Megachurches thriving in tough economic times

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20 2013 11:00 a.m. MST

Sheila Schuller Coleman poses for a picture at the Crystal Cathedral church in Garden Grove, Calif., Wednesday, June 17, 2009.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

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Our take: In a recent survey, only 3 percent of megachurches reported being affected "very negatively" by the economy. The vast majority of these large churches either met or exceeded their budgets in 2012 or current fiscal year, expecting to expand and hire more staff.

Despite the tough economy, many of the nations largest churches are thriving, with increased offerings and plans to hire more staff, a new survey shows.

Just 3 percent of churches with 2,000 or more attendance surveyed by Leadership Network, a Dallas-based church think tank, said they were affected "very negatively" by the economy in recent years. Close to half 47 percent said they were affected "somewhat negatively," but one-third said they were not affected at all.

The vast majority 83 percent of large churches expected to meet their budgets in 2012 or their current fiscal year. A majority of large churches also reported that offerings during worship services were higher last year than in 2011.

Read more about megachurches thriving in tough economic times on Religion News Service.

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