Saw this article in USA Today over the weekend, thought there was an interesting application for student ministry. With the economy down and our budgets being cut (HSM is about -20% of last year’s budget) people are turning to the church for help. This means less expensive activities, more scholarships and thinking about how you program and even care for volunteers. Here’s a clip:
Pleas for help — spiritual and financial — are flooding U.S. churches, from tiny congregations to megachurches, as recession woes seep into the pews, a new survey finds.
Pastors say they’re giving out benevolent funds in record numbers, increasing ministries to the unemployed and the financially fearful, even reaching into their own pockets more to help.
Nearly two in three pastors (62%) report more people from outside their church asking for help, and nearly a third (31%) see more such requests from church members, according to a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors.
The survey, by LifeWay Research, a Christian polling firm based in Nashville, finds that 40% of pastors say they have church members out of work, and 37% say their church has increased spending to help the needy. (The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.)