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What is a Church Worth?

Are you undervaluing the impact your church is having on the local community?

A recent research study from the University of Pennsylvania attempted to put a value on a church in light of the community it serves. They calculated the "halo effect" of 12 churches of various denominations within the Philadelphia area.

The study created 54 value categories in order to determine a net worth for each church. One value category adds up all the money generated from weddings, funerals, and day care. Another calculates the staff salaries and the money paid for services (cleaning, shoveling, etc...). They even put tangible amounts on intangible services, such as teaching children, suicides averted, saved marriages.

The verdict: over $50 million in annual economic benefits for all 12 congregations. In other words, these churches provided over $50 million in free services to their local community.

The researchers were surprised at the contributions of churches.

It is no doubt that churches are making a difference. It's bigger than I imagined–not just in services and goods, but at ...

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