Please Pray for our Church and Yours! We are struggling financiall, but God is good and we are hanging on. However, I know of two local churches that are in real trouble. Here is an article from USA Today on the struggles of the Christian Church.
Recession pain has hit widely and deeply among U.S. churches — driving down contributions and limiting budgets, according to surveys from two groups specializing in Christian research. Meanwhile, pleas for assistance rose sharply in 2009.
Although pastor Rick Warren, a best-selling author, raised $2.5 million with a New Year's Eve appeal when the budget for his Saddleback Church came up $900,000 short, few pastors have his fame or his affluent Southern California base.
A national survey of 1,002 Protestant pastors in November by Nashville-based LifeWay Research found:
•28% reported raising less money than in 2008.
•57% said the poor economy was hurting their church.
•70% reported increased requests from people outside their congregation for assistance.
•43% budgeted more money to help more needy people.
•3% were considering closing down their churches.
"Churches have not yet entered the recovery," says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. "Historically, they tend to recover financially when unemployment decreases, usually after the economy as a whole" recovers.
"Still, we have a mandate to help, even when giving is down," says Brady Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where 10,000 people attend weekend worship.
New Life dealt with a 13% drop in offerings in 2009 by cutting 25 staff positions through layoffs and attrition, ramping up use of volunteers, and relying on special appeals such as a Christmas collection to help struggling military families nearby to buy food.
"I'm proud that our people rallied and we do as much or more in ministry than we did before," Boyd says.
Read the rest of the article here: