Is your church destined to be a health spa? Could the above picture of a former church be a future picture of your church? If the current trend is not reversed it could well be. At the current pace of declining giving by 2050 Americans will give only 1% of their incomes to a church!
A recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Montreal: Where the Churches Convert,” contained sobering facts for what could be the future of American churches. The article talked about how once Montreal was filled with churches. One statement summed up what is happening by reporting, “Amid plunging church attendance, the Catholic Diocese of Montreal said it has sold off about 50 churches and other religious buildings in the past 15 years.” The bottom line is that they could not afford to keep the doors open as their giving declined.
Why is it that giving is in decline? The following are some key reasons.
Decrease in attendance – When there are fewer people in the seats it stands to reason that giving will be impacted.
Secularization of society – We are becoming more like Europe and this has caused giving and attendance to decline.
Change in demographics – Not only are we ethnically more diverse but the generations that faithfully attended church AND gave are moving off the stage.
Failure to keep and connect with the next generation – In particular we have a disconnect with the Millennial generation.
Unwillingness to use technology – We are now a digital commerce driven society yet the church uses antiquated means of collecting donations. Our unwillingness to use technology also impacts our ability to connect with the very world we are commissioned to reach.
We have put all our eggs in one basket – Most churches only means of collecting funds is through the offering plate. As stated above this greatly impacts the ability to collect dollars from people who no longer carry cash or checkbooks upon their person.
Can anything be done about this? Yes! However you can’t just sit there and not do anything. That is the strategy of most churches today. Most are simply ignoring the obvious hoping for a better tomorrow. There is no factual data available that would give us any reason to believe this downward trend will stop.
The real question is what are you doing to reverse or maintain giving at your church? National polls are fine and interesting but the only church you really care about is yours! Your church is the only church you can do anything about. So, my question is, what are you doing right now to combat this downward trend from making your church a health spa? If you don’t do something the picture on the left could be a picture of your future!
My mission in life is to reverse the decline in giving one church at a time! I offer stewardship coaching that helps churches reverse their decline in giving. Last year I helped a church that had seen a decline in their giving of -3% increase giving to over 12%!
The number one excuse churches and pastors use for not engaging a stewardship coach – In over fifteen years in the stewardship field I have helped hundreds of churches raise millions of dollars. I can help your church no matter what the size but you have to get over your excuses!
The number one excuse for why churches don’t engage a stewardship coach…
It costs too much! Yet what will happen if you start your budget year slow?
Start working now to reverse the decline in giving by starting with the one church you can do something about, yours! It might be that the first step towards getting the help you need is to email me. Let’s get to work on fully funding your missions and ministries for the next year.
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions