by Mark Jones

With so many news reports about continued economic trouble in Europe, China, and other parts of the world, public opinion shows deepening economic concern among Americans, which is affecting charitable giving.

According to results of an April 2012 survey published today by the Barna Group, 41 percent of Americans have reduced donations to non-profit organizations. For churches, 34 percent of Americans have reduced donations; 11 percent have stopped giving to their churches altogether.

50 percent of Americans believe the economy will still take more than three years to recover, if it fully recovers.

These are sobering statistics for any of us who work in ministry. While many ministries have seen an uptick in donations over the past year, this survey suggests caution as we consider new expenditures, forecast our future revenues, and consider next year’s budget.

News like this continues to drive me to my knees and remind me of God’s sovereignty. I find great peace and hope knowing that he is in control and not political parties or world powers. At the same time, I am reminded that we have a responsibility to wisely steward the resources he provides.

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