Understanding Megachurches Part 2: Finances

Recently, Leadership Network released a new study entitled The Economic Outlook of Very Large Churches: Trends Driving the Budgets and Staffing Activities of North America’s Biggest Congregations. The infographic below was part of that release. Considering the discussion yesterday here on the blog about the growth of the number of megachurches, I thought this was worth sharing today.

Again, the number of megachurches is not declining. And based on these statistics, they are financially healthier than non-megas.

According to our most recent LifeWay Research economic impact survey, 22% of all churches reported giving below budget. Only 17% of megachurches expect giving to be below budget this year. Also, 70% of megachurches showed an increase in giving as compared to just 40% of all churches.

Despite 50% of large churches being slowed by the Great Recession that has marked North America since 2008, a majority of large congregations met or exceeded their budgets in 2012, and most have seen offerings increase over that same time period.

You can find those and other findings in Leadership Network’s most recent report, The Economic Outlook of Very Large Churches: Trends Driving the Budgets and Staffing Activities of North America’s Biggest Congregations (free download).

Church staffing trends, giving patterns of worship attenders and the role of e-giving are also part of this year’s findings, which draw from two Leadership Network surveys of more than 700 large churches.

EconomicOutlook

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., holds the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College and serves as Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Previously, he served as Executive Director of LifeWay Research. Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He serves as interim pastor of Moody Church in Chicago.

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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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