No church leaders will be surprised to learn that contributions in megachurches are essentially flat from 2005 — even a little down when adjusted for inflation — meaning that more churches are feeling the pinch. Even the largest churches have been affected by the overall economy.
More surprising, at least to me, is how they spend their money –
They spend nearly half their revenues on salaries! Half! You’d think that as the churches grow they could spend less money on staff, percentagewise, but this is about the same as for a much smaller church.
The old rule of thumb is that you need about 1 full-time minister per 150 members. Evidently the rule remains true even as the church gets very large indeed.
Of course, size has a way of producing dis-economies in personnel. If you have 2,000 teenagers, you not only need enough youth ministers to keep up with all those kids, you need middle management to keep up with all those youth ministers!
It looks like we’re never going to get away from that big-ol’ salary line item.