Inflation, Parsonages, & Apathy
Inflation and higher prices at the gas pump are effecting churches across the country. Charlie Houck loves serving as lead pastor at Mesa Church in San Diego. Just as much, he’s a fan of the parsonage that came with the building when Mesa launched in October 2020. And pastors often deal with churchgoers with strong opinions, but they’re much more concerned about the people in their congregations who don’t seem to care much at all.
Inflation and higher prices at the gas pump are effecting churches across the country.
In the blighted South Dallas community Cornerstone Baptist Church serves, inflation has led some members to choose between keeping gas in their tanks or driving to church.
“Giving is down, because people now have to decide whether they’re going to give or get gas to get to church,” Cornerstone Senior Pastor Chris Simmons said.
In the more affluent Riverside, Calif., the national inflation rate of 8.5 percent is challenging attendees at Orangecrest Community Church to sacrifice to support the construction project the church launched just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
“Prioritizing Christ’s mission comes at a cost,” senior pastor Josh De La Rosa told Baptist Press. “Because of inflation, our building costs went up by 11 percent. Giving is slightly behind last year’s giving to date. We’re about 0.5 percent behind last year’s giving, after quarter one.
On average, an 8.5 percent inflation rate means the dollar is worth nearly 9 cents less than a year ago, according to David Spikarr, chief investment officer of GuideStone Financial Resources.
Charlie Houck loves serving as lead pastor at Mesa Church in San Diego. Just as much, he’s a fan of the parsonage that came with the building when Mesa launched in October 2020.
“We love it,” he said. “My family couldn’t afford rent in this city, let alone a home purchase.”
A historic housing boom has seen U.S. home prices jump 34.4 percent and 19.8 percent over the last year, according to Fortune magazine. In San Diego, Houck and other prospective buyers must contend with an average home value of $969,595. Rent for 700 square feet that includes one bedroom, one bath will run you $2,700 a month.
All of it has brought a renewed appreciation to the parsonage.
Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs
Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
Pastors often deal with churchgoers with strong opinions, but they’re much more concerned about the people in their congregations who don’t seem to care much at all.
In the final release from Lifeway Research’s 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors study, most pastors say the primary “people dynamics” challenge they face in their churches is apathy or lack of commitment.
“Many people can be a member of a church, but not participate in the work of the church,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “Pastors see the potential of mobilizing everyone in the church to minister to others in the church and in their community.”
Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.
DR Teams Respond to Panhandle Wildfires, Evangelicals Back Immigration Reform & Pastoring Through an Election Year
In the wake of devastating wildfires that sweeping through the Texas Panhandle, Governor Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 60 counties. American evangelicals have complex perspectives on immigration and want a nuanced political response, but most want Congress to act soon. And, in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Rick Harrington, a pastor in Massachusetts offers guidance for believers in an election year.
Royalty Rates Push Religious Webcasters Out of Market, Send Relief Partners Persevere in Ukraine & The Value of Keeping Alert
Noncommercial religious broadcasters are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review copyright royalty fees, alleging they favor secular speech over religious expression. In the midst of Ukraine’s ongoing conflict, which has tragically claimed over 10,000 civilian lives, the story of Luba, a woman whose life was shattered by the bombing of her home in Bakhmut, highlights the profound impact of compassion and faith. And, in the midst of Ukraine’s ongoing conflict, which has tragically claimed over 10,000 civilian lives, the story of Luba, a woman whose life was shattered by the bombing of her home in Bakhmut, highlights the profound impact of compassion and faith.
ERLC Releases Guide For Gender Confusion, An Answer to Prayer by a Mississippi Church & Essential Resources for Sermon Illustrations
While Augusta, Georgia may be known as the home of the PGA Masters tournament…it like most cities…has great needs. An envelope with a suspicious white powder on it found at the Louisiana church membership of U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson revealed no toxicity in field tests, the FBI said Feb. 19. And, Theologian Chuck Lawless is experiencing neuropathy in his feet – that’s a tingling sensation that eventually leads to numbness.