73% of Surveyed Churches Expect to Meet Budget

The following blog is the first post highlighting select findings from the recent 2012 Leadership Network Economic Outlook Survey* which was conducted by Warren Bird, Ph.D., our research director. To follow this blog series and other blogs, go to www.leadnet.org/blog.

Despite the current economic landscape, 73% of all churches surveyed expect to meet budget this year (“this year” being 2012 calendar year or current fiscal year). This response was to the question: “How do you respond to this statement? 'Our church will meet its budget for this year.' (whether calendar or fiscal year)

Participating churches ranged in size from less than 50 to over 40,000 people in weekly worship attendance.

The larger the church, the more likely they are to say they will meet budget.

More than half of the churches surveyed use a Jan-Dec calendar year for their fiscal year, but as church size increases, so does the likelihood that the fiscal year does not follow the calendar year.

This optimism is particularly encouraging when you compare the outlook to the responses to the question, “Overall, how has the economic slowdown that began in 2008 impacted your church?


*A total of 586 churches surveyed from mid-October to early November, some invited by email and others responding to blog postings and e-newsletter. All surveyed churches are Protestant (both denominational and non-denominational). 96% of churches surveyed are located in the USA, and 3% are located in Canada, with the remaining 1% of churches being located in other countries.

These findings are just a few of the insights from the 2012 Leadership Network Economic Outlook Survey. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting additional highlights from the survey, with a full, illustrated and free report to follow in early 2013.

Related reports are also available: For additional insight into the salary and staffing landscape of large churches, download the 2012 Large Church Salary Report Research Trends from Leadership Network, by Warren Bird, an insider’s look at the salary trends from 209 “game changer” churches across North America. Most are influential, many on a national scale. The vast majority are also innovation leaders in one or more areas of their ministry.

If you are interested in finding out how your church compares to others like yours (in size, budget and number of staff), Leadership Network is offering a customized salary analysis for churches with an average weekend worship attendance of 1,000 – 50,000. Click here for more information.