Congregational giving is on the rise, but in many cases, it's not enough. A new study shows that almost 60 percent of churches reported an increase in giving during the economic recession, but most also saw an increase in spending. All things considered, less than half of churches were able to keep up with inflation between 2007 and 2011.

This is grim news for many churches, but before you start panicking, keep in mind that there is much your church can learn from the "Great Recession."

Christianity Today's Melissa Steffan also points out that the study "wasn't quite representative of the U.S. congregational landscape." It over-represented mainline Protestant churches and under-represented Catholic and black churches.

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