In this episode of the Generosity Podcast, Todd McMichen is joined by Scott McConnell, director of Lifeway Research. During their conversation they discuss the latest trends in generosity for future planning purposes.
“Lifeway Research is a team that works to understand what is going on in the church, what is going on in the culture, and that understanding is built on surveys and qualitative surveys among church leaders and those in the culture as well.”
“Since 2008, we’ve been asking pastors questions about giving in the church.”
“As late as last fall, more pastors were saying positive things about the economy than negative.”
“This last fall is almost as good as it gets in terms of economic help or hurting a church and it’s congregation and their finances, and yet we saw that 1 out of 5 churches was running behind their giving from the prior year.”
“As we turn the page to 2020, there’s always a group of churches struggling even in the best of times.”
“More churches are stepping back toward something more normal in terms of giving patterns, but there are still going to be churches that don’t recover from March, much less how they navigate some of the future things that arise.”
“The more we see an individual engaged in the life of the church is one of the best predictors we see of their generosity.”
“When a natural disaster occurs, Americans trust faith-based groups to be more responsible with their donations than secular groups by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.”
“As a church is thinking about how they foster generosity, know that is connected to the efforts they are also making to try to keep people connected relationally and to keep their groups ministry strong despite the fact we are socially distanced.”
Scott McConnell is Executive Director of Lifeway Research, a Nashville-based, evangelical research firm that specializes in surveys about faith in culture and matters that affect churches. Scott began his career in market research after receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Scott has researched the church and culture with Lifeway Christian Resources for 24 years. For the last 14 years, Scott has led Lifeway Research’s national polling that regularly measures the views of Americans and Protestant pastors (see www.lifewayresearch.com). These findings regularly appear in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online media. Scott has also led numerous in-depth research studies designed to help church leaders. These range from core functions of the church such as pastoral ministry, discipleship, church planting, and evangelism to helping leaders understand the experiences and perceptions of the unchurched, church dropouts and church switchers. Studies have also addressed needs within the church such as divorce, domestic violence, mental illness, women who have had an abortion, young adults, and parenting.