economy Archives - Church Executive


Do you want to dance?

Having talked with many of my counterparts in other churches lately, I can’t help but feel that many of them are on pins and needles.

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Manage expansion uncertainty

Last month we held our Grand Opening and Dedication Service for our new expanded and renovated facility. In early 2008, we made the decision to move forward with an $8 million construction project even as the signs of recession were popping up everywhere.

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Cultivating ‘radical generosity’ in a crazy economy

Nestled in South Florida’s sun-drenched Fort Lauderdale area, Church by the Glades had two problems as it headed into the year 2008. One of the challenges was the kind of issue most pastors would love to face. The other problem was much less desirable.

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How one church recovered from the brink of financial disaster

When Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, CA, accumulated $500,000 in debt — in addition to falling behind on their mortgage payments — financial ruin and foreclosure seemed imminent.

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The altered landscape of giving has both good and bad news

People of faith are renowned for their charitable generosity. Amidst what economists are calling the “Great Recession,” giving to religion is the one subsector of charitable giving that grew in 2008. While charitable giving as a whole decreased from 2007 to 2008 by 2 percent (-5.7 percent when adjusted for inflation) and individual giving dropped 2.7 percent (-6.3 percent when adjusted for inflation) contributions to religion increased by 5.5 percent (+1.5 percent when adjusted for inflation).

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Lessons for church leaders from the recent economy

Remember when it was easy to manage church finances? Income approximated expenses. New programs were launched to meet people’s needs. Lives were changed; more people came, and expansion became necessary; capital campaigns followed, which met or exceeded expectations. Then the bottom fell out as the economy plunged into a recession unparalleled in our experience.

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Dirt’s flying, but pledges are down. What can we do?

The pastor of “Hometown” Community Church noted in a casual way one Sunday that the pledges for the new worship center and classroom buildings were coming in only at a 50 percent rate.

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How one church helped families secure stronger finances in tough times

When Blackshear Place Baptist Church offered a family finance program, 1,200 people signed up, and trimmed thousands in personal debt.

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HIGH CALLING

After my father died 20 years ago, I went to my parents’ safe deposit box at the local bank to see what might be there for mother’s financial support. For 40 years and one month of his work life he helped make Hershey milk chocolate and saved what he could.

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Annual reports are as much for the church as for business today

No doubt as investors or participants in an employer’s 401(k)or IRA retirement fund, many congregants are used to perusing financial statements that affect them. They may or may not understand the fine details, but many a financial advisor has remarked at how good people can be at getting to the bottom line.

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