5 Facts About Money in Large Churches

Recently we partnered with a leading church research firm to conduct a national survey of hundreds of churches exceeding 1,000 people in worship attendance. Below are some interesting financial learnings I want to pass on to you:

  1. 100% of large churches are engaging capital campaigns as a funding strategy.
  2. 57% of large churches desire training and will lead their capital campaigns internally rather than hire a traditional capital campaign firm.
  3. The #1 named financial challenge was current church debt load.
  4. The #2 named financial challenge was aging donor base and not engaging younger donors.
  5. The #3 named financial challenge was no strategy in place to encourage generosity.
  6. Churches founded prior to 1900 launched the highest percentage of capital campaigns in the last year.
  7. Churches over 2,000 in worship attendance showed a higher concern for debt load and aging donor base.
  8. Churches between 1,000-1,999 in worship attendance showed the highest concern for lack of a strategy to encourage generosity.
  9. The longer the church had been in existence, the more concerned it was with an aging donor base.
  10. Churches in existence since 1980 showed the highest concern for debt load.

Facts should lead to clarity. Here is some advice:

  1. Generous churches are led by generous pastors and leaders. Pursue staff wide training as a part of your ongoing culture.
  2. Debt is consistently the most limiting fixed expense. Create a culture of generosity to prepare for your future instead of leveraging your future with a burdensome debt load.
  3. Don’t exchange a capital campaign for possessing a strategy to grow a generous culture. A commitment card is not the same as a generous life.
  4. Go digital to reach the younger generation. Strive for 50% of your receipts to be received outside of the plate or box at the door.
  5. A clear vision that creates an unstoppable culture is a powerful tool every pastor needs to possess. Generosity follows opportunity, relationship, and passion.

> Read more from Todd.


Learn more about the importance of these financial learnings for your church. Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd McMichen

Todd McMichen has served for over 30 years in a variety of roles in the local church, doing everything from planting churches to lead pastor. While on staff he conducted two major capital campaigns helping to guide his local churches through sizable relocation projects. Those two churches alone raised over $35,000,000. Since 2000, Todd has been a well-established stewardship and generosity campaign coach, as well as a conference leader and speaker. Todd is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, FL and Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife Theresa, and their two kids, Riley and Breanna. You can contact Todd at todd@auxano.com or 205-223-7803.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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