Barna sent out an interesting study Monday. Barna tracks behavior trends in American Christians. This is part of what he said, "The giving patterns we are witnessing suggest that churches, alone, will receive some 3 to 5 billion dollars less than expected during the fourth quarter of 2008."
He continues "With a large share of congregants expecting the nation's economic woes to drag on for several years, it would be wise for churches and non-profits to reconfigure their financial models and plan to spend more cautiously over the coming two or three quarters."
This is the reality for the Church. The economy is already affecting giving dollars, but an even more serious issue is the giving patterns of American Christians. The days of loyal giving to a church budget are becoming seriously numbered. The younger people are the less likely they are to give to a budget. Dollars are given to causes and stories of individuals who grab a person's heart.
Missio Lux recognizes the reality of the giving trends, as well as the challenges of our economy. Part of the appeal of Missio Lux is the freedom in giving. Each Missio Community receives 75% of their tithes in an account that is available to use for carrying out their Missio! This frees up funds to help alleviate the challenge of fund raising, it also gives ownership for what each community is doing, rather than going to the leaders of a church asking them to fund their passion.
I feel for the Church. Oftentimes the only option to reduce expenses is to cut staff. This is an incredibly painful move that reverberates throughout the entire church: people, leaders, staff. It also grabs valuable energy away from our true focus: reaching out to show the world that Jesus loves them.