Americans Pass Economic Woes to Churches

I found this interesting — and inevitable…

A new study from the Barna Group shows that fears and disruptions in the economy have induced one in every five households to decrease donations to churches or other religious centers. Over the last three months, 22% have stopped giving entirely, and even 48% of givers in “upscale” housholds were likely to have reduced their donation. The report found that families with “serious financial debt,” “downscale” households, and those who lost 20% or greater in their retirement fund or stock portfolio value were most likely to cut back. Among the 20% total who cut back at least somewhat, 28% had reduced their gifts by half or more. The Christian Post reports that George Barna, head of the Barna Group, said, “The giving patterns we’re witnessing suggest that churches, alone, will receive some $3-$5 billion dollars less than expected during this fourth quarter.” Churches can usually expect greater giving in the last quarter, Barna said, but need to prepare for a 4% to 6% dip below usual.

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