All posts from “budgets”

Four Poor Responses to Church Money Problems

June 18, 2013 8:00 AM

Randy Marsh, ministry development officer for the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, shared four poor responses church leaders make to money problems while speaking recently in Dallas at the 2013 XP-Seminar, a conference involving nearly 200 executive pastors from across...

Thom Rainer's Top 10 Rules of Thumb for Healthy Churches

June 6, 2013 8:00 AM

Thom Rainer (the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources) recently offered his Top 10 rules of thumb for healthy churches in America. Several caught our eye, including: 8. Effective giving: For every person in average attendance, including children...

Five Ways to Survive Summer with a Balanced Church Budget

May 23, 2013 8:00 AM

Churches have historically dreaded summer due to one thing: giving. That's because activities and costs peak with summer missions trips, camps, and Vacation Bible School just as regular weekly contributions wane. The challenge for every church leader is to...

What's Next: Will Church Bonds Make a Comeback?

April 25, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the final post in a guest series from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first posts addressed church finances, financial accountability, the use of interns and residents, and outsourcing work. Travis is CEO of Leadership...

What's Next: How Churches are Using Outsourcing

April 18, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first three posts addressed church finances, financial accountability, and the use of interns and residents. Travis is CEO of Leadership...

What's Next: Should We Use Interns and Residents?

April 4, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first post addressed church finances and the second post addressed financial accountability. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. Where will...

Are Annual Church Pledge Drives Still Relevant?

April 2, 2013 8:00 AM

I recently sat through a workshop involving financial officers and business administrators from churches in metro Denver. A panel of three finance officers, convened to discuss cash flow and cash reserves, focused mostly on appropriate cash levels, metrics, and forecasts...

What's Next: Transparency is the Order of the Day

March 28, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. The first post addressed how much--or little--the economy is to blame for church failures. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. Here...

What's Next: It's the Economy—or Is It?

March 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts from Dave Travis' book, What's Next?:2012 Edition. Travis is CEO of Leadership Network. The recession has left its mark everywhere--on our friends, our families, our cities, our churches....

New Study: Churches Say Giving is Up, But So are Costs

March 7, 2013 12:48 PM

Our colleagues at Christianity Today just posted a quick analysis of new research on giving at churches conducted by the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, the Alban Institute, the Indianapolis Center...

Four Money Lessons for Churches from the "Great Recession"

February 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Randy Marsh, ministry development officer for the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, shared four money lessons for churches while speaking Wednesday in Dallas at the 2013 XP-Seminar, a conference involving nearly 200 executive pastors from across the country. Marsh said ECCU...

Big Churches Expect Big Things in 2013

February 19, 2013 5:00 AM

Leadership Network released its 2013 economic outlook this morning, relaying a mostly upbeat forecast for the nation's big Protestant churches in the year ahead. The organization created the report, written by Warren Bird and Stephanie Jackson, by combining responses...

5 Tools for Managing Your Ministry’s Money

October 9, 2012 8:30 AM

October 18 is National Church Administration Day (NCAD). In conjunction with this day, the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) will feature local chapter meetings throughout the country focusing on the theme “Accounting Principles—Mechanisms to Manage Your Church’s Money.”...

How Churches Collect Their Donations

June 26, 2012 8:00 AM

The graphic above, which appears in the July edition of Church Finance Today, shows the ways that people give to their churches, based on results from the 2012 State of the Plate giving survey sponsored by Christianity Today, Maximum...

Giving Rebounded for Many Churches in 2011

March 27, 2012 9:35 AM

A majority of churches reported giving increases in 2011, the first such occurrence in three years, according to results released today from the 2012 State of the Plate report. The constituency survey of more than 1,360 pastors and leaders...

Dealing with Unpredictable Giving

October 18, 2011 8:00 AM

Vonna Laue, a partner with Capin Crouse and an Editorial Advisor for Christianity Today International's Church Management Team, discusses key points for why churches encounter giving declines, how to track giving, and how to encourage additional giving. Watch the four-minute...

Should the Jobless Tithe on Their Unemployment Benefits?

May 17, 2011 8:00 AM

In the March edition of Christianity Today, three men with backgrounds in church and personal finances were asked whether the jobless should tithe on their unemployment benefits. Read their answers, then share how your church has (or hasn't) addressed...

More Stats on Church Giving and the Recession

April 26, 2011 1:00 PM

More data about church giving last year in the United States has emerged since the release of the 2011 State of the Plate survey results. The "Holy Toll," based on the 2010 Faith Communities Today research conducted with 11,000...

CNN: Is Tithing Optional?

April 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Results of a survey given by the National Association of Evangelicals to its 100-member board of directors show a minority--42 percent--believe the Bible requires tithing, while the rest do not. Leith Anderson, pastor of Wooddale Church and president of...

Church Giving Begins to Rebound?

March 30, 2011 9:30 AM

Since the recession in 2008, many U.S. churches have seen a decline in giving. But the tide may be changing. The third annual State of the Plate constituency survey of 1,507 churches revealed that 43% of these churches experienced...

Evangelicals and Money: Stingy, Generous, or Just Right?

February 14, 2011 8:00 AM

Last week, we pointed to research data highlighted by our sister magazine Christianity Today regarding average tithing levels among Christians. This week, we point to a series of short quotes obtained by Christianity Today from a variety of evangelical...

When Tithe Doesn't Mean Tenth

February 8, 2011 8:00 AM

Our sister publication Christianity Today magazine published some interesting new data from church giving research in its February issue. Specifically, the average percentage of income given to churches appears on the decline, measuring 2.43 percent in 2008 (compared to...

7 Reasons Churches Should Offer Electronic Giving Options

December 17, 2010 8:00 AM

For many years, churches pondered (and even debated) whether to collect offerings by placing a box in the back of the sanctuary or by passing the plate. Today there is a much more important issue that is transforming how...

Giving at Churches—How Will 2010 End?

December 7, 2010 8:00 AM

Our friends at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability recently released a report showing charitable giving to its members has remained steady, especially among its largest members, despite the recession. But there were signs of challenge for ECFA members...

Cash Reserves: Who Needs Them?

September 9, 2010 8:00 AM

Cash reserves. If you’re like me, your eyes glaze over when these two words are used together. It’s certainly not the most exciting topic. But, what we have found through the current economic downturn is that cash reserves are...

How Churches Can Re-think Money and Giving

July 22, 2010 8:00 AM

I recently posed four questions about organizational theory, leadership—and how those influence church giving—to Mike Bonem, executive pastor at West University Baptist Church in Houston and co-author of Leading from the Second Chair. Here is what he shared with...

Should Churches Increase 2011 Budgets?

July 20, 2010 8:30 AM

Christianity Today, our sister publication, recently asked several financial advisers, researchers, and other observers to weigh in on whether churches should increase their operating budgets next year. Here are their responses: "What we see is cautious optimism on the part...

A Case Study: When Shortfalls Cloud the Big Picture

April 29, 2010 1:40 PM

The Scenario Mike Newson* and the rest of the leadership of Trinity Church were at a crossroads. It was January—midway through the fiscal year—and Trinity’s income projections weren’t looking any better. It seemed like cuts were inevitable. But the...

Learning from Lean Staffs during Lean Times

April 7, 2010 12:32 PM

With many congregations facing tighter budgets as they weather the worst economic recession in decades, a recent survey of U.S. church leaders shows that a small percentage of churches are able to continue doing ministry while keeping staffing costs—the single-biggest...

What Will the New Health Care Bill Mean for Churches?

March 25, 2010 9:00 AM

(Editor's Note: Since this post publishes, we've since released "Health Care Reform: How the new laws will affect your church.") Now that President Obama has signed the health care reform bill into law, many churches are wondering what the impact...

Did the Grinch Steal December from Churches?

March 23, 2010 9:00 AM

In the latest “State of the Plate,” survey, in which we worked with Maximum Generosity’s Brian Kluth to poll 1,000 church leaders on the health of their churches’ finances in 2009, an interesting pattern emerged—December didn’t save the day...

Family Money Matters: A Look at Christian Household Finances

February 25, 2010 8:30 AM

What really matters in an economy is not what the media says, but what people’s personal wallets say. As part of the second annual “State of the Plate,” 750 Christian households provided an inside look into their income, employment,...

Church Finances Remain Pinched in Early 2010

February 18, 2010 8:00 AM

A “new normal” is emerging in the church world when it comes to giving, budgets, and generosity initiatives, according to an ongoing survey conducted by Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today International’s Church Finance Today and Leadership journal. Nearly 800 churches...

Stetzer: Churches Lag in Economic Recovery

January 14, 2010 9:11 AM

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research in Nashville, wrote a post today highlighting new research regarding continued economic pressures on U.S. churches. LifeWay gathered the research in November through phone surveys with 1,002 church pastors. The overarching message: Churches...

New Survey on Church Staffing

January 6, 2010 11:50 AM

How lean is your church staff? How does it compare with other church staffs? If you've ever wondered about these questions, here's your chance to find out. The editors of Christianity Today International's Your Church magazine and Leadership Journal...

Church Budgets: How Much for Staff, Buildings, and Ministry?

November 11, 2009 2:13 PM

Paul Clark, one of Your Church's contributing editors, wrote an interesting post this week on his blog. Paul is an executive pastor who at one time spent several years in a managerial role with General Electric. His business background...

Report: Finances Steady at Two-Thirds of Churches

October 29, 2009 9:00 AM

New research released this week by Indiana University's Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and The Alban Institute suggests giving remained steady--or grew--during the first half of 2009 for two-thirds of the 1,540 churches they surveyed. More than three-fourths...

Facing a Financial Crisis: Three Experts Weigh In

October 22, 2009 4:25 PM

A headline I read earlier this week from the newswire service United Press International gave me pause: “More Churches Face Foreclosure.” Upon reading the piece, I quickly understood why: While the rate of foreclosed church properties continues to climb,...

Free Excerpt: The Essential Guide to Church Finances

October 15, 2009 9:00 AM

Earlier this year, we released The Essential Guide to Church Finances by Richard Vargo, a professor of accounting in the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, and Vonna Laue, a partner at nonprofit accounting firm...

Building a Culture of Generosity in Your Church

October 14, 2009 8:50 AM

Some estimate giving to churches is on a 40-year decline. In contemplating the reasons why, here's a thought that should give church leaders pause: A church budget usually is set to the level of its people's unfaithfulness. That's one...

Reading the Fine Print

August 28, 2009 12:30 PM

The deal sounded good. About 50 churches in the Washington, D.C., area leased interactive electronic kiosks for their entrance areas so that members and visitors could check on activities and news and register for classes and meetings. The selling...

4 Reasons NOT to Cut Conferences

August 28, 2009 12:00 PM

During tough economic times, many churches are looking at cutting all travel for training and events, but that may not be the wisest decision. Here’s why: Care. The church is about people caring for people, so your most important...