Many times the budget is the last to fall.
In fact, many unhealthy churches have a very robust and balanced budget.
As Sam Rainer points out, he’s notices that in many churches, attendance is a leading indicator. Decreasing giving is a lagging indicator.
In other words, by the time your budget takes a hit, you may be well on the road to decline.
In fact, if your church turns it’s focus more inward, many times per capita giving actually goes up.
Strong giving is masking the underlying issue of an inward focus. Obviously, this trend comes with many other dangers, like how a church can become complacent since the money is there even when the people are not. I’ll have to explore these dangers in a future post. I realize a lot of churches would love to have a year in which giving goes up, but it’s not always a sign of a healthy church.
But inward focus is not a growth engine, at least as far as attendance is concerned.
Just beware… just because thing are ‘up and to the right’ when it comes to budget, that’s not a primary indicator of overall health and growth.
We all know that.
But giving is one of the things we look to when other indicators are trending south.
“At least giving isn’t affected” should be turned into “At least giving isn’t affected YET.”
Something to think about.