Posts Tagged ‘financials’

Megachurch Finances – How Much Money?

August 31, 2008

Usher: OK Deak, here’s the first in a series of megachurch economics (I know, I’m a day late).  We’ll touch on lots of things, but here’s a little food for thought for those who attend, give and endorse (and those who don’t) these types of institutions referred to as “megachurches“.

Facts from our last post on tithing:  5% of today’s churchgoers actually tithe, the average church is 50-301 people & the average salary for a pastor of a church of this size is $72K.  At a median income of 48K (US Census 2007), All a pastor has to do is grow the congregation to 300, have 5% faithful tithers (15 salaries) and he’s making 150% more than his faithful tithers!

Let’s move to Megachurches (churches with the top 10 numbers in attendance weekly in the US).  Here are the top 10

1. Lakewood Church, Houston Texas – Joel Osteen (47,000)
2. Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill. – Bill Hybels (23,500)
3. Second Baptist Church, Houston – Ed Young Sr. (23,198)
4. Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif. – Rick Warren (22,000)
5. LifeChurch.tv, Edmond, Okla. – Craig Groeschel (19,907)
6. Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky. – Dave Stone (18,013)
7. North Point Church, Alpharetta, Ga. – Andy Stanley (17,700)
8. Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va. – Jonathan Falwell (17.445)
9. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Bob Coy (17,000)
10. The Potter’s House, Dallas – T.D. Jakes (17,000)

Let’s just take weekly and yearly income and do the numbers based on the data we used in the last study:

Top 10 Megachurches and their weekly attendance figures Attendance 5% tithe  $   48,200.00 weekly net yearly net
1. Lakewood 
47000 2350  $   48,200.00  $    2,178,269.23  $ 113,270,000.00
2. Willow Creek  23500 1175  $   48,200.00  $    1,089,134.62  $    56,635,000.00
3. Second Baptist  23198 1160  $   48,200.00  $    1,075,138.08  $    55,907,180.00
4. Saddleback  22999 1150  $   48,200.00  $    1,065,915.19  $    55,427,590.00
5. LifeChurch.tv 19907 995  $   48,200.00  $         922,612.88  $    47,975,870.00
6. Southeast  18013 901  $   48,200.00  $         834,833.27  $    43,411,330.00
7. North Point 17700 885  $   48,200.00  $         820,326.92  $    42,657,000.00
8. Thomas Road  17445 872  $   48,200.00  $         808,508.65  $    42,042,450.00
9. Calvary Chapel  17000 850  $   48,200.00  $         787,884.62  $    40,970,000.00
10. Potter’s House

17000 850  $   48,200.00  $         787,884.62  $    40,970,000.00
 $ 10,370,508.08  $ 539,266,420.00

Usher: This does not include offerings, special offerings, building fund drives, missionary giving or special giving when it comes to programs or events. Numbers on these things are nearly impossible to obtain as there are no constant criteria with which to measure.  So Deak, could you manage a church on say, 787,884.62 per week?  Other questions:

1. If you had a congregation of this size, why would you not continue to ask for money any time it is needed?

2. If you didn’t have to publish your finances, why would you? (Mr. Grassley has the same question)

3. Even independent surveys are confidential and sold to those who want them with all of the names scrubbed.  If men of God aren’t doing anything wrong, then why won’t they come out with the real numbers? (another Senator Grassley question)

4. Just how much money should a great orator pastor put in his pocket as fruits of his labor? (Kenny, Creflo, Richard, Joyce and Benny all seem to think there’s no limit to that number.)

5. Here’s a megachurch that did post its numbers and the blogger gives them kudos for posting it but that’s about all: Neo-Baptist

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Another Top 10 MegaChurch – Brooklyn Tabernacle & Your Tithe

August 18, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, here’s another one of the top 10 “Most influential churches in America” according to The Church Report http://www.thecronline.com/mag_article.php?mid=672&mname=July – and it appears they don’t have any desire whatsoever to tell you where your money goes!

I stumbled upon this forum where internals including those who are asking for accountability have a very lively discussion – apparently Mr. Cymbala answers to NO ONE……

Some excerpts by the first guy who is asking for accountability (obviously a member) and then one of his internal people who comments on the site:

Paul White:Like I said- He’s got you all hoodwinked. While you were working there did you ever see a financial statement that was made available to the public? The answer is no, you never have. So what that he GIVES ALL the proceeds of his books back to the church, he’s said plenty of times from the pulpit that he recieves no salary, so my question to you is- how then does he support himself? The bottom line is this, he has NO RIGHT at all not to disclose financial info. You obviously think that he is above being held accountable thereby deifing him. 

Anonymous Insider:  I hate to say it but Paul White is 100% Correct. BT is in financial trouble. A recent meeting where the Financial Pastor told the leaders “please do not share this with anyone, but once we pay the mortgage we have no money left in the bank”. Some of the leaders in the room suggested sharing the situation with the congregation but The Financial Pastor said he does not even share his financial matters at home with his children so why would he share it with the leaders or the church. They are currently undergoing a construction project worth appx 250,000.00 for childrens ministry space at thier 180 location. Pastor Cymbala has become a fund raiser and in my 25+ years at that church he has never begged for money as he does now. The financail pressure is killing him. He has lost his annointing. In a recent Leaders Meeting July 2008 he told the leaders “This is my church, Things will be done my way, If you do not like it there is the door”. “I do not trust any of the leaders and If you think I am going to hand over my church that my wife and I built for 30 years you have another thing coming” “There is only one choir in the church MY WIFE’S CHOIR”. “I am sending my spies into your meetings to bring back to me reports so you better beware”.