Tough Times Among the Church

I use a system called Google Analytics to keep an eye on my blog stats. It tells me things like how many people visited my blog day-to-day, where people came from, and even what search terms were used to find different posts on my blog. I have found an interesting trend among the Church in these tought times. Because I screwed up my analytics, my stats don’t start until October 6th, but I have noticed an amazing trend.

From October 6th 2008 until December 5th 2008 my top ten searches were:

  1. gulshan esther – 21 visits
  2. the pursuit – 5
  3. jesus talks about money – 3
  4. lew ayotte – 3
  5. the act of preaching – 3
  6. the pursuit blog – 3
  7. bible talks about money – 2
  8. church covenants – 2
  9. compartmentalize thoughts – 2
  10. historic church buildings – 2

That represents 5 unique visitors who came to my blog by searching for something to do with money. If you look at all my keywords, there are 16 total visitors who used the keyword “money” to get to this blog.

From January 1st 2009 until February 11th 2009 my top ten searches were:

  1. gulshan esther – 42 visits
  2. jesus talks about money – 9
  3. “gulshan esther” – 4
  4. bible talks about money – 4
  5. the pursuit – 3
  6. the pursuit blog – 3
  7. 2350 bible verses on money – 2
  8. biblical ecclesiology – 2
  9. biography of gulshan esther – 2
  10. esther gulshan – 2

That represents 15 unique vistors who searched for (“jesus talks about money”, “bible talks about money”, or “2350 bible verses on money”). For all my keywords that include the word “money”, I have had 54 total visitors more than three times the amount from October-December. For some reason Gulshan Esther is much more popular too!

From October 6th 2008 to December 5th 2009 my top 10 content was:

  1. http://lewayotte.com/ – 385 pageviews
  2. http://lewayotte.com/2008/03/18/wine-strong-drink-part-3/ – 61
  3. http://lewayotte.com/2008/12/03/contract-pastoring/ – 61
  4. http://lewayotte.com/2007/06/26/testimony-of-gulshan-esther/ – 47
  5. http://lewayotte.com/?p=353&preview=true – 34
  6. http://lewayotte.com/about/ – 28
  7. http://lewayotte.com/2008/10/10/a-modern-example/ – 27
  8. http://lewayotte.com/2006/12/21/the-bible-talks-more-about-money-than-hell/ – 22
  9. http://lewayotte.com/2008/10/08/the-pursuit-strip-26/ – 21
  10. http://lewayotte.com/2008/02/ – 18

From January 1st 2009 to February 11th 2009 my top 5 content was:

  1. http://lewayotte.com/ – 556 pageviews
  2. http://lewayotte.com/2006/12/21/the-bible-talks-more-about-money-than-hell/ – 103
  3. http://lewayotte.com/2007/06/26/testimony-of-gulshan-esther/  – 80
  4. http://lewayotte.com/2009/01/26/gods-revelation/ – 78
  5. http://lewayotte.com/2009/02/09/sermon-outlines-a-better-idea/ – 51

Five times as many people visited http://lewayotte.com/2006/12/21/the-bible-talks-more-about-money-than-hell/ than they did only a few months ago.

It seems like the church, is starting to ask questions about money. No wonder, given the current recession/depression. We know that church tithing/giving is down. I can only assume preachers are preaching more about tithing/giving. There are probably a number of people who are questioning some of this content, and even questioning whether or not the tithe is biblical for today.

I have written a few posts that touch on the idea of giving and tithing and a few posts that are indirectly related to money among the Church. Here is the list with a brief description:

  • The Tithing Pastor – A True Conundrum
    I’ll admit it up front, I don’t think we are called to “tithe”… but many vocational pastors do. And can you blame them, that’s how they make a living, off your tithe. But you have to wonder, is the pastor truly tithing a tenth? This slightly humorous posts looks at the math it would take to make sure your pastor is practicing what he preaches!
  • The Bible Talks More About Money Than Hell
    You’ve probably heard this saying, or somethign similar to it. But if you’ve read the bible then you’re probably wondering why you didn’t notice so much financial talk. That’s because it’s not there! The Bible may mention money, but it’s almost always in passing. These statistics about how often the Bible talks about money are tricks and the people who usually use them are just as tricked. Don’t worry, God isn’t going to audit your taxes this year.
  • Resources, Conversions, and Priorities…
    Ever wonder where all your money goes, you know, the money you give to the church. Well this survey by LifeWay shows you exactly where it goes. About 5%-23% goes towards ministering to the lost… the rest of it goes to support your building, staff, and vocational pastor(s). I wonder what would happen if we rethought this structure and actually used our resources for reaching the lost.
  • Money and the Church: A Fulltime Story
    This post was part of a synchroblog that I took part in. It is intended to question whether or not we should be paying a pastor a salary for the services they render. Since most of their services that we pay for are not biblical, maybe we can cut out the “vocational” part of the vocational pastor and save some money. If we do that, we could use our money, time, and energy towards more noble goals… like actually making disciples.

I know these times are tough for everyone. So if you find that your preacher is telling you that you need to give 10%… just look in the bible, you may be surprised what you find — or — what you don’t find.