How much does it actually cost to operate a church?

Question: How much does it actually cost to operate a church?

Answer: The church offers pastoral care, religious education, weekly worship, written materials, multi-media services, a website, memorial services, and other forms of ministry. In addition to the services the church offers, buildings have rents or mortgages, professional staff members need to be paid (and by the way, this church today has 10 fewer paid employees than it did in 2005!), air conditioning costsmoney, garbage collection is surprisingly expensive, even communion bread isn’t cheap. So, there are real costs involved in operating a church.

But what people may not know about this church is that it costs ONLY $25 per person per week to offer all that we do. I have been serving churches in fulltime ministry since 1993 and in all those years it has always cost $20-something dollars per week per person
to operate a church of any size. That is how efficient we are with monies given; it costs no more to operate a church our size in 2011 than it cost to operate churches as small as 50 and as large as 2000 in the early 90s! If every person tithed (gave 10%) on an annual income of just $13,000 (poverty level for a family of two), this church would have no unmet needs.

If we each give a percentage of our income consistently to the church, we will feel blessed and we will assure the success of our church. It doesn’t cost any more than that. The church offers hope, healing, happiness, community, education, inspiration, enlightenment, comfort, challenge, empowerment and more and it does it in an incredibly cost efficient way. And it is our gifts of time, talent, and treasure that bring life and health to our spiritual community. We get a lot for what we give, and it’s worth every penny.


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