Pastor Jeff in South Carolina called my office a few days ago and seemed troubled – almost depressed. He knew his spiritual relationship with God was good and he knew that the members seemed to like him and his family. However, there was lethargy in the air at his Church, and even he seemed to struggle to maintain the excitement and energy that had always been present in his ministry.
What Pastor Jeff is experiencing is nothing new. Most Pastors encounter it at some time in their ministry. The Pastors of large Churches seem to not experience it – they do, but they have other staff that absorbs the brunt of it, while the Pastor takes extended Sabbaticals.
Because of the “product” (Christianity/Spirituality) offered by the Church, Pastors and members alike, subconsciously fall into the notion the Christianity and Church are somehow a utopia without any of the challenges of life. Church is spiritual about 2 or 3 hours per week. The remainder of the time it is a business that deals with day-to-day troubles, life issues, disgruntled members, and stress just like any other business. Bills have to be paid; budgets must be met; and discord among members must be resolved.
Not long ago a National Church Survey was conducted among thousands of Churches, Pastors, and members, across the United States. The findings reported in this Survey are alarming. Everything listed in the Survey is a leach that saps the energy, excitement, and desire out of Pastors and members.
The following twelve items were discovered during the Survey and should be annotated as an area of concern that requires attention and adjustment by the Pastor, Church Members, and Leaders:
1. The National Church Survey indicates that approximately one hour after your members
hear your sermon or message, they will forget it.
2. The National Church Survey indicates that most people will have to hear your message
at least seven times to be able to retain only 25% of what they heard.
3. The National Church Survey reports that those who attend Church generally contribute
to an average of 13 different ministries (most of which are television ministries).
4. 68% of Christians surveyed said they do not have a high level of trust in those who use
the title Bishop, Prophet, or Apostle.
5. 94% of Christians say they prefer the title Pastor. When asked why, Christians said it
reminds them of a shepherd and Jesus.
6. 84% of Christians are asking the question, “Why is the person behind the pulpit doing so
well. . .and the people in the pew are hurting so badly?”
7. The National Church survey states that 94% of all Church members do not like the
automated telephone systems that their Church uses to answer calls. A common opinion
is that Churches feel the people are suppose to serve them and give them their money.
8. The National Church Survey reports that for every hour you teach or preach it equates to
7.2 hours of wear and tear on your body as a Minister.
9. The National Church Survey reports that Pastors and Ministers who do not demonstrate
the importance of looking your best when coming to the House of God have 42% less
consistency in their attendance, tithing, and commitment.
10. The National Church Survey states that those who do not carry their Bibles to Church are
less likely to read their Bibles during the week. Churches that display Scriptures through
various forms of media during services discourage attendees from bringing their Bibles
with them to Church.
11. The National Church Survey indicates that 97% of all Pastors who retire at age 65 will
be broke or sick.
12. The National Church Survey states that 87% of all Church members do not enjoy Power
Point teaching and are uncomfortable with their Pastor not referencing his Bible during
his sermon. They comment that they do not feel like they have been to Church if an
actual Bible is not used by their Pastor.
With these items adding stress to ministry, why would any Pastor or Church Board want to add to it bookkeeping practices that are not compliant with State and Federal Regulations. Churches should be obeying the Laws of the land more than anyone (Rom. 13:1-7).
This where Chitwood and Chitwood can help. We have been helping Churches and Ministers stay in compliance with State and Federal Guidelines for more than 77 years. No one can do what we do. We are the best in the field.
Remember, God cannot bless a mess! When you are under the umbrella of the Number One, Church and Clergy Tax professionals in the world Chitwood and Chitwood, you can rest assured that you are not only in compliance with State and Federal Regulations, but most importantly, you are in Compliance with God’s Word!
Call 800-344-0076 or visit us at www.cmtc.org to register for a Church Management Tax Conference near you