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Korean American Churches Hurt by Ailing Economy – NAM

I recently heard in a lecture that only churchgoing members in the US only tithe 2%, and of that percentage, 98% is used to cover the overhead of the church and staff, leaving 2% for what may be considered missions or evangelism.

Based on this latest report, I’m assuming that the downturn in the economy is going to mean that mission is less funded than before.

LOS ANGELES — Experiencing a huge reduction in donations, Korean American churches, big and small, are tightening their belts and readying for seven lean years, reports Korea Daily. According to its survey, most Korean American churches in the Los Angeles area have already slashed their 2009 budget and frozen new spending plans. Some churches have taken more extreme measures. They’ve cut the salaries of pastors and staff, temporarily halted expansion construction and even asked clergy to work without pay for a month. An anonymous official with a Korean American mega church told the newspaper that the donation to his church has been reduced by 15 percent, although the congregation continues to grow. An unnamed reverend of a medium size church said that although his church always used to increase its budget by ten percent every year, he has decided not to do that for the coming year because many members of his congregation are suffering from the current economic downturn.

About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

One response to “Korean American Churches Hurt by Ailing Economy – NAM

  1. djchuang

    Yeah, giving by churchgoers is rather low. I’m not sure if the statistic is U.S. churchgoers giving around 2% of income, or only 2% of churchgoers actually donate 10% or more of their income. Either way, it is low. The 98% of going to staff and overhead, i.e. building and utilities, seems a little high. I think 50-65% feels more right. Now, 2% going to evangelism and/or missions sounds in the ball park. I’d venture a guess, just a guess, that the 33-48% remaining in my estimates would go to program expenses, e.g. curriculum, materials, etc.

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