42.5% American congregations that spend less than 10 percent of their budgets on social services in their community.
12.2% Congregations that spend more than 30 percent.
Hmmm. Are we ingrown, or what? I wish they had shown what percentage of the budget was spent on the physical plant.
At the same time, I saw this by one of my co-workers in a list of reasons why the church should go underground:
1. Get the money out of the church
No more of the Big Green or the Bling Bling. No more big budgets, paid pastors who view ministry as a career path, no more expensive and divisive building projects, no more bright lights and neon signs, no more marketing and advertising budgets. Anything that needs doing can be done by those who give their time sacrificially.
He goes on to list 18 reasons the church should go underground, all of them good. I especially like number 17:
16. You have everything you need
Sure, books, sermons, DVD's, mp3's, etc. can be helpful. But let's ditch the Paperback Pope. If you've got issues/questions/struggles/opportunities the best thing to do is realize that the Spirit within is the main thing. Be rational and reflective. Trust yourself. Try. Fail. Love. Grow. Progress. Regress. You don't need to be a John Piper (or fill in the blank) Groopie [sic].