It may not look like it yet where you live, but there are signs of life in America that things are looking better.
As the chart above shows- stocks have been rebounding for basically 12 months.
The unemployment rate, while still horribly high, has begun to turn… following the comeback of Wall Street.
As church folk, we know that these two charts are closely tied to people’s ability/willingness to give. When people feel good about their money [and 401k, and for retirees, their investments] than they become more generous. Once unemployment starts to turn, then happy times should come in the offering plate… and begin trickling into staff dollars and budgets.
The upside of 2009’s double crotch kick
Let me explain what I mean by the double crotch kick.
First, going into 2008-2009 pretty much every church in the country was re-evaluating and re-thinking how they do ministry. This was a crotch kick as we all wrestled through the realities that our ministries probably need to change significantly to adapt to culture faster and reach more people.
Second, 2008-2009 were rough years financially. While not in every single church, most churches saw a dip in contributions. This was a swift kick to the groin because you either had to cut staff or cut programming (or sell assets at the bottom of the market) to balance the budget.
The upside, just like in real life, is that getting kicked in the crotch twice in a row causes most people to wise up and get ready to fight.
As I talk to ministry people all over, almost universally they have come through 2008-2009 with a new sense of calling and determination.
While the signs of life haven’t trickled into every corner of the church just yet. It is awesome to report that there are signs (more than the two economic ones I’ve shown here) that things are truly looking up.