Church Offerings Increased in 2012 – Worship Attendance Too

This is the third post highlighting select findings from the recent 2012 Leadership Network Economic Outlook Survey which was conducted by Warren Bird, Ph.D., our research director. You can read the first and second posts in the series here & here.

Although the size of the churches surveyed varied, the average growth rate for all churches combined is between 6-8% per year, based on worship attendance numbers (adults and children combined) from the past three years.

The majority of churches surveyed have also seen an increase in offerings since January, 2012. This trend increases with church size. Churches of 2,000 or more have seen a significant increase, with 28% increasing in the 6-10% range

Interestingly, the 80/20 “rule” applies to giving. We asked: Which answer best completes this sentence describing how total giving is reflected in your church? “__ of the giving comes from 20% of our family units.” Most churches replied “80%” or “70%”, indicating that a large amount of giving comes from a small number of households.

Churches receive from 1% to 80% of their total offerings via electronic means (online, bank transfer, credit/debit card, lobby kiosk, etc.), with the biggest group of churches receiving between 1% and 20% of their offerings electronically. Larger churches are more likely to receive a greater portion of their giving through electronic donations. All churches surveyed of a weekly attendance of 2,000 or more receive at least some portion of their donations electronically, and the majority are receiving between 1% and 30% of their offerings electronically.

These findings are just a few of the insights from the 2012 Leadership Network Economic Outlook Survey. A full, illustrated report of the complete survey findings is planned to release 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.

Looking to transform giving in your church? Leadership Network has two unique opportunities for churches who want to move create a culture of generous giving: The Generosity Ministry InnovationLab (for North American Churches) and the Generous Churches Leadership Community for European Churches.