Granted the sample of the research I am about to share is very small. So small that this would definitely not be considered an appropriate enough research sample to make wide sweeping claims. But the observation really got my attention… I put it in the amazing category. Maybe you will as well.
I am plugged into an executive pastors network with a group of guys that get together once a year. Last Spring as we were meeting, many of our churches were beginning to struggle financially. And the media spoke of a looming recession.
There were about 35 guys in the room. Someone asked how many of the churches were currently meeting budget. Seven hands went up.
Seven out of 35 churches were meeting budget.
Several moments later, someone asked how many of the churches have senior or teaching pastors spend 1-2 minutes at the offering time in the service challenging the church to give. Not heavy-handed pleas that happen occasionally with giving thermometers or special pens, but weekly brief challenges that remind people about the discipline, blessing, or vision of giving.
Eight hands shot up.
Someone smarter than me said, “Hold on a second. Please keep your hands up. Are you the same guys who are at churches who are meeting budget?”
Only one of the hands went down. Wow. Here was the picture. Eight of the 35 churches taught or celebrated giving in small ways every single week. And 7 of those churches were meeting budget.
If you were a stats person, it would break down like this (again, I know it is a small sample)– 88% of the churches that mention giving every week were meeting budget. And 0% of the churches that do not mention giving every week were meeting budget.
What does that say to you?