Monday Morning Insights

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    Saddleback Comparison:  Was Your Giving Down the last week of 2009?

    Saddleback Comparison:  Was Your Giving Down the last week of 2009?

    In his statement last week giving the reason for his $900k plea, Rick Warren wrote:  "The cause of our financial shortfall was... simply by the way Christmas occurred in this year's calendar. After 10 packed Christmas services, and with Christmas Day on Friday, many people were out of town or too tired to come back for weekend services, so the unusually low attendance created an unusually low offering."  Just wondering... was your attendance and offering unusually low on December 27?

    I'd love to hear how your church did.  Please leave a comment below...


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    1. Peter Hamm on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We had poor weather, so we’re not a great indicator, but our giving has been flat the whole year. Praise God, we’ve laid nobody off and we haven’t had to decrease what we do in the community, but it’s been hard.

    2. Bill on Mon, January 04, 2010

      December 27 was one of the smallest Sundays of the year (but the Christmas Eve service was packed as usual).

    3. Michael Dixon on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Gving was up! Many more than would have been expected a while ago were giving inspite of reduced personal wealth & income, were giving amounts not reduced commensurately with the reduction in ioncome and wealth. In other words, many more gave the widow’s mite.

    4. Art on Mon, January 04, 2010

      I am not certain, because I don’t have direct knowledge of the church’s finances, but I’m going to guess it was down because our attendance was down.

    5. Dave on Mon, January 04, 2010

      I don’t have direct access to giving on a specific week (it is available if I ask). But last Wednesday I asked our treasurer how our giving was compared to expenses. While we did not meet budget in giving, we also did not spend the whole budget. Income was within 1/2 of 1% of our year-to-date spending. God provided exactly what we needed!! And , like Saddleback, our benevolence spending was up as we spent less on internal ministries. God rewards generosity.

    6. M@ on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We had low attendance. I wasn’t surprised. I think people lose track of what day it is over the holiday and I think maybe people have family events that packed the weekend. We are considering not having services on Dec. 26 next year and adding more Christmas Eve gatherings.

    7. David on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Our December giving was better than last year but way off our previous trend.  December usually makes up about 12% of annual giving.  This year it was 6%. 
      Christmas eve we had 5 services.  Rain changed to snow during the first one.  As snow fell down so did the attendance.  We expected 1200 and got only 900.  That all hurt us.
      I made a last ditch appeal to the people I thought I could generate income from.  Our 2010 budget really depends on our 2009 numbers and rigth now we’re facing a tough year based upon our year end.

    8. Pastor Chris on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Very disappointing attendance on Dec 27, and we struggled with money all year.  We ended up collecting more this year than last but it was harder work than before.  On the other hand, great attendance and high energy on 1/3!

    9. bishopdave on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Attendance was low, offering was lowest of the year.

    10. Brandon Matthews on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We actually had a great Sunday! We were prepared for a low Sunday, seeing as how it normally would be. We were very surprised though at both of our morning services with high attendance.

    11. Bob Farris on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Maybe Andy Stanley has it right after all, close the church on the Sunday after Christmas.  When I first stated attending North Point, 13 years ago, I thought it was a crazy idea.  Not any more.

    12. Gregg Lamm on Mon, January 04, 2010

      Large turnout on 12.27.09 and higher than previous “last Sunday of the year” giving.  Our giving is off 5% for the year, but our spending is also a bit less than planned, so we’re proceeding with discernment and courage.  We’ve had no staff layoffs or cut backs, and giving in a special offering a month ago at Thanksgiving were double the amount given last year.  Last year we supported a seminary in Kenya.  This year we supported a water filtration project there and had $2,900 come in from our 350 person flock.  I agree with others that when generosity is sown, generosity is also reaped.  And in the midst of all the economic downturns in our community and state, our people are seeing this, are understanding this, and are learning to participate in it.

      As with so many aspects of our life with God, it’s about trust.  Godspeed.


    13. Don on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We too were low, so low I heard a new term for that Sunday after Christmas: “Cannon Sunday” You can shoot a cannon through the church and not hit anyone. Attendance popped back up yesterday!

    14. Craig Lee on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We closed the Sunday after Christmas, we had great comments from our people thanking us for considering this time with family.  I am sure I will take a hit from some, but we believe church is more than meeting in a building.  As far as offerings we were up over 10% for the year and we offered a way of giving even though we were off and it seems we didn’t miss a beat.  Most certainly we will not have service the Sunday after Christmas this year.  We determined that If the only reason we had service after Christmas is to make budget then we shouldn’t do it.

    15. Timothy Hatch on Mon, January 04, 2010

      We had baptisms scheduled which turned out to be genius.  Great crowds both for the Christmas eve and Dec. 27th.  Of course, I can’t take credit, it was because of a snow sunday the week before that we moved Baptisms to the 27th.

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