Giving is Up But Challenges Remain at Churches & Thank God for Answered Prayer
Three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, churches have fewer people in the pews, more money in the collection plate and less conflict than they had in 2020. An, a Lifeway Bible Study talks about the importance of prayer.
Three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, churches have fewer people in the pews, more money in the collection plate and less conflict than they had in 2020.
Despite their struggles, many congregations are optimistic about the future.
Those are among the findings of the latest report from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, part of a five-year study of the impact of the pandemic on America’s churches. This latest report drew from surveys for 4,809 congregations from 58 denominational groups, as part of the Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations study. The surveys were fielded from January to May of 2023.
The median attendance at local congregations stood at 60 people as of spring 2023, down slightly from 65 in the spring of 2020, according to the report — a decline of 9 percent. About a third (30 percent) of churches said they’d experienced significant decline, while a quarter (24 percent) experienced some decline. Twelve percent stayed the same, while 11 percent said they’d experienced some growth.
Giving at congregations went up by about 42 percent over the past three years, from a median of $120,000 in 2020 to $170,000 in 2023.
Online giving appears to have played a role in boosting donations. Congregations that offer online giving reported higher per capita giving, ranging from $2,052 at congregations where online giving is used a little to $2,428 where online giving is used a lot. Congregations that do not offer online giving options reported per capita giving of $1,809.
The report noted that only 31 percent of churches reported using online giving in 2015, whereas now 67 percent do so, and nearly half (48 percent) use this method “a lot.”
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How do you handle life’s unanswered questions? More specifically, what about your own unanswered questions? A Lifeway Bible Study talks about the importance of prayer. Looking back to the Old Testament life of Daniel, the lesson speaks about how Daniel looked to God to bring the answers he needed.
More powerful that googling or searching for an online video, God’s people have an invitation to bring their cares, concerns and questions to God. The Lord is faithful and while the answer may not be what you want or expect…you can trust that God is good and His desire is to do good for His children.
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Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.