An initiative that seeks to financially help small and struggling churches in the wake of COVID-19 has raised more than $400,000 and received over 1,000 applications for funding.
The novel coronavirus is pressing painfully on the soft underbelly of U.S. houses of worship: their finances. About a third of all congregations have no savings, according to the 2018-2019 National Congregations Study.
Smaller churches located in the U.S. and other countries are concerned about "after" the coronavirus, with lower receipts and the ripple effects upon staff, ministry, and mission support. Initiatives launched in the United States and by the Baptist World Alliance are offering relief and inviting
The Churches Helping Churches Initiative has set up a relief fund, and started an application process for $3,000 grants. This initiative is targeted toward congregations between 25 to 150 members in size, in low-income communities, and in urban areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Imagine how much less your church would accomplish if it was forced to cut 30 percent of its budget. Such a scenario is already playing out in many churches across the United States as tithes and offerings are stagnant or in decline.
ECFA was founded 40 years ago to promote financial integrity in Christian ministries and claims nearly 2,400 members, But after its years-long failure to identify financial misdeeds at Chicago-area Harvest Bible Chapel, the organization itself faces scrutiny.