If offering plates have looked a little more full at your church lately, you are not alone.
While it may not seem like good news that 56 percent of churches in the U.S. report a negative impact from the economy, that is the lowest number since Lifeway Research began asking churches in 2009.
The latest survey of Protestant pastors also found that 13 percent felt their churches were positively impacted from the economy – a jump of 4 percentage points since 2012.
Almost three-fourths (74 percent) of churches say their current offerings are at or above 2013 levels and 68 percent are meeting or exceeding their 2014 budget.
Overall numbers are trending positively, but several sectors are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn.
Pastors of churches with up to 99 regular attendees are more likely to report the economy continues to have a very negative impact on their churches (9 percent). For churches with at least 100 attendees, that response drops to about 3 percent.
Pastors in the Northeast report very negatively about the economy (10 percent), as do pastors nationwide who are 55 years or older (16 percent), and African-American pastors (12 percent).
The pastor’s education level also gave some indication of financial health. Pastors with a master’s degree (5 percent) are less likely to select “very negatively” compared to pastors with no college degree (10 percent).
Read the full story at LifewayResearch.com.photo credit: k.landerholm via photopin cc