Faith and Communities Today (FACT) recently released ”A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000 – 2010,” which explores the health of congregations and changes in the past 10 years.
Some highlights of this major study which brings together surveys of 32 of the country’s largest denominations and traditions:
- Increase in innovative and adaptive worship
- Increase in racial/ethnic congregations
- Increase in breadth of mission- and member- oriented programming
- Increase in connections across faith traditions
Yet the decade also saw:
- A drop in financial health
- Aging memberships
- Fewer people in the pews
- A series of reflections on the state of local congregations is offered by Alban Institute Founder Loren Mead. Note: One can easily substitute “United Methodist” for “Presbyterian” or “Episcopal” in the series. Read more
- Discovering the Secret Givers… People age 40+ may be those who we should target for wills/planned giving. Read more
- Margaret Macuson offers these insights into the pastor’s (and other’s) leadership role in the church’s financial stewardship ministry. Read more
- In “Finding Your Fundraising Voice,” author and pastor Dan Hotchkiss provides insight on a frequently asked question: “How can we persuade people to give more?” Read more
- Giving USA reports an increase in charitable giving for 2011. Giving to religious institutions accounts for about one-third of all charitable giving. Read the executive summary.
- Say thank you. Clif Christopher reminds us of the importance of regularly and intentionally thanking friends and members. Read this article for tips on writing superior thank you notes.