DRAFT - Winthrop University by wuyunyi


									          Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs.
                     The Impact of Congregational Size

                                    Robert J. Stonebraker*

* Associate Professor of Economics at Winthrop University and Emeritus Professor of
Economics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I owe a great debt of thanks to Kenneth W.
Inskeep, Director of the Department for Research and Evaluation, Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America for graciously providing the raw data. I remain solely responsible for any heresies
subsequently generated and reported.

Paper submitted to Review of Religious Research, January 25, 2002.
Revised version submitted April, 2002.
Published, September 2003.

          Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs.
                     The Impact of Congregational Size

Declines in benevolence payments among mainline protestant denominations have caused much
theorizing, but have evoked relatively few statistical studies. We know that the percent of
congregational receipts being sent on to synodical and national church bodies is falling. We
know that increasingly large percents of dollars are staying home to fund local operating expense.
Membership losses undoubtedly contribute to the drop in overall benevolence payments by
mainline congregations. Do they also contribute to the drop in the amount of benevolences that
congregations pay per member and/or the drop in the amount of benevolences that congregations
pay relative to their total receipts? Using a large national sample of Lutheran congregations, this
study answers “yes.” Congregations that lose members find it difficult to cut program, personnel
or facility expenses proportionately. Strapped for cash, shrinking congregations often try to
balance their books by cutting benevolence. Smaller congregations allocate a larger percent of
their funds to operating expense and a smaller percent to benevolence than do their larger
counterparts. Membership loss at the local level is a significant, though minor, determinant of
observed benevolence patterns.

           Allocating Funds to Local Needs vs.
                      The Impact of Congregational Size

        Local parishes exhort members to tithe, to pledge an "off-the-top" percentage of income
to the work of the church. Parishioners giving five percent are encouraged to give six. Those
giving ten percent are encouraged to try eleven. However, when it comes to passing funds on to
national and synodical church bodies, these same congregations can change their tune. The
rhetoric of proportional giving is dropped. Instead of paying an off-the-top percent of local
revenues as benevolence, congregations often pass along only what local programs and
committees cannot grab first.

Declines in benevolence

         Declines in benevolence among mainline protestant denominations have been well
documented (Ronsvalle & Ronsvalle 1999; Inskeep 1994; Nemeth & Luidens 1994). While the
trend has caused significant hand wringing and much theorizing, it has evoked relatively few
statistical studies. We know that the percent of congregational receipts being sent on to
synodical or national church bodies is falling. We know that increasingly large percents of local
dollars are staying home. We do not know why.

        Several observers argue that the cuts in benevolence are symptomatic of a more general
spiritual malaise. For example Ronsvalle and Ronsvalle lament the lack of any “overarching
vision” (1996:53) in mainline churches that calls parishioners to Christian service and challenges
them to look beyond the walls of their local congregations. They fear (Ronsvalle and Ronsvalle
1997) that congregant zeal and fervor are cooling, and fret aloud that members who do not reflect
the fruits of grace may lack faith.

        Noting that gifts of money and gifts of time are complementary inputs into a household’s
production of religiosity, Clain and Zech (1999) claim that the churches suffering from “a
financial crisis may in fact be suffering an involvement crisis. Wuthnow echoes similar concerns
and contends that “the current financial crisis is, in fact, a spiritual crisis (Wuthnow 1999:68).”
According to Wuthnow, mainline clergy and theology are failing to deliver any prophetic vision
of how parishioners should think about intersections of faith and money.

        Why should the crisis impact denominational giving more than local giving? Wuthnow
blames an “increasingly localistic orientation in the society at large” and worries that the efforts
of mainline denominational leaders are often perceived as “boring, poorly packaged, and devoid
of newsworthy content (2000:35).” It is also likely that denominational distinctions look
increasingly irrelevant to those sitting in the pews. Denominations once rigidly segregated along
social, ethnic, regional, and theological lines have become increasingly similar (Wuthnow 1988).
As denominational switching and interdenominational marriages become the norm, parishioners
could logically be becoming more concerned with supporting local as opposed to denominational

        Another group of researchers cite an increasingly large gulf between local parishioners
and denominational and/or national leaders. For example, national church officials often enact
controversial policies. If political and social statements by the national office make local
parishioners squirm, giving to benevolence might suffer (Silk 1998). The argument has intuitive
appeal, but no substantive proof. Inskeep (1994) found no local parishioner dissent to explain
falling benevolence payments among Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) congregations, nor
could he find any measurable effect of clergy discontent with national policies. ELCA
congregations led by pastors at odds with national policies gave as much as congregations led by
more sympathetic pastors. Klay (1992), Nemeth and Luidens (1994) and Hoge et al. (1996)
reach similar conclusions.

        Alternatively, perhaps the problem is that local parishioners neither understand nor
approve of the way in which denominational leaders spend benevolence dollars.1 Why support
programs and organizational structures that you neither understand nor trust? The hypotheses
certainly seem reasonable, but the evidence is weak. Hoge et al. (1996) queried local laity about
their satisfaction with denominational decision-making processes, with information about the
way in which denominational leaders handle funds, and with the financial accountability of
denominational leaders. However the correlations between these attitudes and individual giving
were weak and mixed.

        Unfortunately, the Hoge et al. results pertain to overall giving by individuals, not to
benevolence giving by congregations. Members who are dissatisfied with the denominational
finances might continue giving to their local congregations and simply pressure their
congregations to keep funds at home rather than send them on as benevolences to the larger
church. This could explain why benevolence payments are low, but not necessarily why they are
falling. Longitudinal data showing changes in parishioner attitudes over time would be more
useful for that.

        If discontent and concern over national and synodical policies seem unimportant, what
about the perceived need for projects funded by benevolence? Might local members see less
need for these projects? This is not likely. Many benevolence dollars seed mission
congregations in new areas. As mainline denominations lose market share, members should
view such efforts as more rather than less important. Other funds provide relief for economically
and/or socially deprived groups. Yet the decline in denominational giving relative to local
receipts seems impervious to changing economic conditions (Nemeth and Luidens 1994). In
addition, Krohn (1995) finds no significant relationship between poverty rates and the ratio of
benevolence payments to total congregational receipts.

        If the benefits of giving to benevolence remain high, perhaps the problem is that other
local needs have intensified. The true cost of exporting funds for benevolence is what is lost by
not using the funds in-house. Did this change?

         Several researchers do blame the decline in benevolence on increases in other local costs.
Increased percentages going to operating expenses (Inskeep 1994), personnel (Nemeth & Luidens
1994) and capital (Krohn 1995) have been fingered as possible culprits. Knowing that a decrease
in the share of benevolence is accompanied by an increase in share going elsewhere is useful, but
tells us more about correlation than causation. Did the decrease in benevolence cause the
increases elsewhere? Did causation run the other direction? Did something else cause both?
According to Chaves (1999), asking what caused the increase in local spending might prove
more fruitful than dwelling on what caused the cuts in benevolence.

The role of size

       Changes in congregational size offer one possible explanation. Several previous studies
have documented the effect of size on congregational finances.

        For example, congregations are often beset by free riders, members who happily consume
services but who run for cover when asked to contribute. Large congregations are especially
vulnerable. The larger the group, the easier it is to hide. Shirking one's proportionate
responsibilities is tough in a group of two, but easy in a group of 2,000. For those seeking only
marginal commitment, large congregations are the places of choice.

        Free riders create at least two distinct problems for a religious congregation. First, free
riders can be expensive; they raise costs for the more committed members. Free riders might duck
when the offering plates pass by, but they are seldom shy about demanding services. Clerics of
every stripe can identify families that rarely attend services or contribute funds, yet place
disproportionate demands on their time and energy.

        In addition, free riders demoralize other members of the congregation. Worship services are
not discrete spectator events. They are chapters in a congregation's continuing and collective
journey of faith. Free-riding members impede that journey. Occasional participants do not
appreciate where the congregation has been or where it is going. They do not sing with enthusiasm
because the melodies and responses are unfamiliar. They do not pray with conviction because their
own commitment is marginal. They do not seek out and greet new visitors because they cannot
identify which people are visitors. Committed believers add excitement to worship. Free riders do

         Citing free-rider issues, Sullivan (1985) and Zaleski and Zech (1992) found clear
statistical evidence that individuals' religious contributions fall as congregational size rises. Lyle
Schaller makes a similar argument and agrees that individual contributions fall as the number of
members rises. According to Schaller, members of large congregations often feel their
contributions "are unimportant." Also, members "tend to give in response to their perception of
need" and, in larger congregations, "it is more difficult for all (or at least most) members to be
aware of the financial needs and obligations of the church" (Schaller 1980).
        Zaleski and Zech (1995) also found strong evidence that giving per member starts to
decline as congregation size rises. Using an economic theory of clubs analysis, they argued that
large size creates congestion. Because this congestion can lessen the access of individual
members to the pastor and staff, decrease the intimacy of interactions among members, and
generally overcrowd the facilities, it lowers the value of membership sand cuts the incentives to

        However, being large confers cost advantages as well. Attendance at liturgies, church
school classes, youth groups, and Bible studies rarely approaches physical capacity. Adding extra
participants almost always lowers the cost per person. Even when capacity is strained, constructing
larger facilities often generates economies of scale. A building large enough to handle 1,000
parishioners is not likely to be twice as expensive as one built to accommodate 500.

        In short, large congregations enjoy a theoretical edge in lower unit costs, but face a
theoretical disadvantage in raising revenues. Which impact is stronger?

        Using a sample of Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania, Stonebraker (1993) found
that the cost advantage of size outweighed the revenue disadvantage. As congregations grew,
costs fell faster than revenues per member. As a result, large congregations typically enjoyed
more “left over” funds that were available for benevolence. He found that large congregations
needed smaller percents of their revenues for operating expense and contributed larger percents
to benevolence. Hodgkinson (1999) reported similar results for an interdenominational sample.

        If these patterns are widespread, they could explain the observed drops in benevolence.
Many mainline congregations have been losing members. When congregations lose members
they also lose contributions. However cutting program, personnel or facility expenses
proportionately is difficult. Such cuts are wrenching and almost impossible in the short run. It is
much easier to reduce benevolence payments instead. Shrinking congregations, strapped for
cash, might try to balance their books by cutting benevolences. If they struggle to maintain other
programs, the share of revenues needed to support operating expense will rise, and the share
available to pay benevolences will drop.

Data and variable descriptions

       Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) offer a reasonable
laboratory to test this hypothesis. Unlike some denominations, ELCA congregations have
considerable freedom in allocating funds to benevolence. Although synod councils might
suggest “recommended” levels of benevolence in some cases, pressure to conform is minimal.
Congregations are generally free to designate any amount they wish and patterns vary widely.

       For the current study a 20 percent random sample was drawn from a data set of all ELCA
congregations.2 The 2,085 sample congregations reporting consistent data for both 1990 and
1996 were used. Like all data developed and reported by unpaid volunteers, these probably
harbor a wide variety of accounting and conceptual errors.
         Reflecting national ELCA trends, sample congregations reported cuts in both
membership and the percent of local revenue paid as benevolence over the 1990 to 1996 period.
The average number of confirmed, communing members fell from 275 to 265, the real value of
average benevolence payments per congregation fell from $17,674 to $16,091, and the share of
receipts going to benevolence fell from 12.0 percent to 10.3 percent. Table I lists descriptive

                                     [Place Table I about here.]

Estimation results

        Ordinary-least-squares regression analysis was employed to check for the expected
relationships between congregation size, revenues, operating expense and benevolence. The
variables used in regression estimations are:

BEN:           Total benevolence payments (in real, 1990 dollars).
MEM:           Number of confirmed, communing members.
OPER:          Congregational operating expenses (in real, 1990 dollars).
REV:           Total congregational revenue or receipts (in real, 1990 dollars).
INC:           Average household 1997 income in relevant zip code area.3

                           Revenue, costs and benevolence per member

        Congregational revenue, operating expense and benevolence payments per member were
estimated as log-linear functions of membership size and income for both 1990 and 1996.4 The
log-linear form was chosen primarily for ease in interpretation. By measuring the variables in
logarithmic form, the regression coefficients tell us what percentage change in the dependent
variable will result from each one percent change in the independent variable. For example, a
coefficient of 2.5 means that every one percent increase in the independent variable will cause a
2.5 percent increase in the dependent variable.5 Other functional forms, including combinations
of both linear and quadratic variables, were tested as well. The results were similar, but the other
specifications generally gave slightly less significant results.

        Equations (1) through (6) of Table II report the log-linear results.

                                    [Place Table II about here.]

        All predicted relationships hold. Larger congregations exhibit both lower revenues per
member and lower operating expenses per member in both sample years. Free-rider effects and
economies of scale are real. And, consistent with earlier findings (Stonebraker 1993), the costs
savings enjoyed by large congregations exceed their revenue losses. According to the estimated
coefficients, a congregation with twice as many members (or 100 percent more members) would
experience a 16 percent advantage in operating expense per member over its smaller counterpart.
Its revenue per member would also be lower, but only by eight percent in 1990 and nine percent
in 1996.

       Size also has the expected impact on benevolence. As predicted, many of the net cost
savings generated by larger size show up in benevolence. In both years larger congregations paid
more benevolence per member than did smaller ones. On average, a congregation with twice as
many members paid about 13 percent more benevolence per member in 1990 and about nine
percent more in 1996 than did their smaller counterparts.

      Not surprisingly, income also matters. Congregations in high-income areas attracted
enough funds to spend more on both operating expense and benevolence per member.

       All coefficients are statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level, but the R2
values are relatively low. Membership size and income make a difference, but they do not
account for most of the observed cross-sectional variation in operating expense and benevolence
payments per member.

       Operating expense and benevolence as a percent of receipts

       The share of total receipts going to operating expense and benevolence also depend upon
membership size. Equations (1) through (4) of Table III list results for similar set of log-linear
                                    [Place Table III about here.]

        Large congregations systematically devoted smaller shares of their budgets to operating
expenses and larger percents to benevolence. A congregation with twice as many members as
another devoted about a 21 percent larger share of its receipts to benevolence than did its smaller
counterpart in 1990, and 17 percent more in 1996. In other words, if a small congregation
allocated 10 percent of its receipts to benevolence, a congregation twice as large, on average,
would have been sending about 12 percent of receipts into benevolence.

        Interestingly, income has a negative effect on the share of receipts going to both operating
expense and benevolence. Krohn (1995) found a similar result for benevolence patterns for a
small sample of Presbyterian congregations. He suggested that differences in female labor-
participation rates might be the cause. Perhaps higher household incomes were the result of
more working wives. With more women in the labor force, local congregations would lose
potential volunteers and be forced to substitute with paid staff. This could cause relatively higher
operating expenses and relatively less benevolence.

         However, a recent study by Hoge et al. (1998) found that high-income households
actually provided more hours of volunteer service to their congregations than did families with
lower incomes. In this Lutheran sample, the share of receipts used for operating expense is
negatively related to income as well; not positively related as Krohn might have predicted. There
is no evidence that congregations in wealthy areas need disproportionately more staff to offset
the loss of workingwomen.

       Among sample congregations debt service soaks up a larger percent of receipts in high-
income areas. But the reason is unclear. Do congregations in richer communities demand
physical facilities, financed by debt, that are disproportionately ornate and expensive? Are newer
congregations (with newer mortgages) concentrated in high-income suburbs, while older
congregations (with retired mortgages) are huddled in poorer rural or inner-city areas? We do
not know.

       Changes in benevolence

        If levels of benevolence are consistently related to levels of membership across
congregations, then changes in benevolence should be related to changes in membership as well.
They are (see equations (1) and (2) of Table IV). Changes in membership have positive and
significant impacts on both benevolence and the share of receipts being paid as benevolence.
When congregations lose members, revenues fall, and they fall faster than expenses. A loss of
members means leaner offering plates with few offsetting drops in cost. The pastor must still be
paid, the church must still be heated, and the organ must still be repaired. The resulting fiscal
squeeze raises the opportunity cost of sending benevolence dollars on to the larger church.

                                  [Place Table IV about here.]

        Note that our measure of benevolence includes both ELCA and “other” (mostly local)
benevolence expenditures. Some commentators, for example Amerson et al. (1997), have
suggested that denominational restructurings have moved the locus of need from the world and
national level to the local level. They contend that congregations might merely be diverting
dollars to local mission projects that were formerly sent on to national and/or synodical bodies
instead. The current sample provides no evidence to support this contention. The data allow us
to separate ELCA benevolence and other (mostly local) benevolence. The trends are quite
similar. Both fell as a percent of overall receipts over the 1990 to 1996 period. No such
substitution is apparent. Statistical results obtained by substituting ELCA benevolences only as
the dependent variable were almost identical in all cases.

        Membership losses in ELCA congregations over the 1990 to 1996 period caused cuts in
both absolute and relative benevolence dollars. However, although changes in membership
clearly matter, they explain only a small part of the observed changes in benevolence.6


       What do we know? We know that mainline congregations now channel larger percents of
funds into operating expense and smaller percents into benevolence. And we know that
membership losses contribute to that shift. To protect staff and maintain current programs,
shrinking congregations slash benevolence by disproportionately large amounts. However
membership changes explain only a small part of the observed relationships. More is at work
and we do not know what it is.7
       Detailed breakdowns of operating expenses are unavailable for the current sample, but
personnel costs often dominate the category.8 Nemeth and Luidens (1994) suggest that costs have
soared because congregations must hire extra personnel to replace the volunteers lost when
increased numbers of women entered the labor force and to administer specialized programs now
demanded by parishioners. Clain and Zech (1999) make a similar point. This does seem
plausible. But these effects should be most evident in high-income areas. High-income families
are more likely to demand specialized staff administering expensive ministries and, all else equal,
more working wives means more family income. Yet, in this sample correlations between
regional income and the share of funds used for operating expense are negative, not positive.

         Alternatively, costs might jump because of increased salaries for the same numbers of
personnel. In the secular world, skilled professionals command salary increases in excess of the
rate of inflation. To continue attracting talented staff, local congregations must offer the same.
Unfortunately, local revenues often do not keep pace with the inflation and congregations might
choose to sacrifice benevolence to protect staff salaries. Detailed longitudinal data that can
differentiate among these hypotheses would be quite useful.

        Ultimately it is a matter of priorities. Denominational loyalties are on the decline
(Wuthnow 1988), and with few parishioners directly affected by benevolence, benevolence is
rarely the priority. The self-interest of congregations is often to keep their own staff and
committees happy. 9

         Exceptions do exist. Some congregations do make benevolence a top priority. One
mainline church official commented privately that pastors held the key to benevolence; that he
could trace the movement of pastors from congregation to congregation merely by looking at
shifts in congregational benevolence payments. Different people do have different priorities and,
in the end, people determine budget allocations.
                           TABLE I: Descriptive sample statistics

                                                      Median Sample Values*

Variable                                              1990              1996

Confirmed, communing members                           275               265
ELCA benevolence                                   $14,698           $13,077
Other benevolence                                   $2,976            $3,014
Total benevolence                                  $17,674           $16,091
Operating expenses                                 $91,528           $98,402
Capital expenses                                   $17,606           $14,083
Debt expenses                                      $11,914           $11,249
Total expenditures                                $142,983          $144,754
Total receipts                                    $145,618          $148,389
ELCA benevolence/total receipts                       .103              .088
Other benevolence/total receipts                      .017              .015
Total benevolence/total receipts                      .120              .103
Operating expenses/total receipts                     .730              .755
Capital expenses/total receipts                       .065              .067
Debt expenses/total receipts                          .055              .050

* All monetary values are reported in terms of real 1990 dollars.

TABLE II: Estimation results: Revenue, operating expense and benevolence per member

Dependent variable                     Independent variables                     R2
                                constant log(MEM)1990 log(MEM)1996    log(INC)
1. log(REV/MEM)1990              0.54          -0.08*                 0.57*      0.12
                                (0.34)         (0.01)                 (0.04)
2. log(REV/MEM)1996              0.68*                       -0.09*   0.56*      0.12
                                (0.35)                       (0.01)   (0.04)
3. log(OPER/MEM)1990             1.53*         -0.16*                 0.48*      0.15
                                (0.54)         (0.01)                 (0.03)
4. log(OPER/MEM)1996             1.44*                       -0.16*   0.50*      0.15
                                (0.34)                       (0.01)   (0.03)
5. log(BEN/MEM)1990             -0.82          0.13*                  0.38*      0.06
                                (0.54)         (0.02)                 (0.05)
6. log(BEN/MEM)1996             -0.60                        0.09*    0.37*      0.04
                                (0.59)                       (0.02)   (0.06)
The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses.
* Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level.
     TABLE III: Estimation results: Operating expense and benevolence shares

Dependent variable                Independent variables                             R2
                             constant log(MEM)1990 log(MEM)1996         log(INC)

1.   log(OPER/REV)1990        0.99*          -0.08*                     -0.09*     0.06
                             (0.24)          (0.01)                     (0.02)
2.   log(OPER/REV)1996        0.75*                         -0.07*      -0.06*     0.06
                             (0.21)                         (0.01)      (0.02)
3.   log(BEN/REV)1990        -1.40*           0.21*                     -0.19*     0.06
                             (0.51)          (0.02)                     (0.05)
4.   log(BEN/REV)1996        -1.35*                          0.17*      -0.19*     0.04
                             (0.51)                         (0.02)      (0.05)

     The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses.
     * Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level.

                   TABLE IV: Estimation results: Changes in benevolence

Dependent variable                    Independent variables        R2

                                      constant         log(MEM)

1.       log(BEN)                    -0.13*          0.62*        0.07
                                      (0.02)          (0.06)

2.      log(BEN/REV)                -0.17*          0.26*        0.01
                                      (0.02)          (0.07)

The standard errors of the coefficients are in parentheses.
* Coefficient is significant at the 95 percent confidence level.


1.       An anonymous referee noted that parishioners sometimes complain that benevolence
         payments fall into a “black hole” to which “funds are sent and never heard from again.”
2.       The sample was drawn from a population of approximately 12,000 ELCA congregations
         operating in both 1990 and 1996. Kenneth Inskeep, Director of the ELCA's Department
         of Research and Evaluation, cautions that reporting procedures prior to 1990 make earlier
         data suspect and less comparable.
3.       Income data for 1990 and 1996 would have been preferable, but were not available.
4.       All estimates are heteroskedastic-consistent.
5.       In the jargon of economics, the coefficients in a log-linear regression are “elasticities.”
6.       Krohn (1995) suggests that the effect of size might differ among different-sized
         congregations. However, regressions run of samples segmented by congregation size
         yield very similar results. The effect of membership size among ELCA congregations
         apparently differs from that found among congregations in his Presbyterian sample.
7.       Including additional variables might raise the R2 values. An anonymous referee suggested
         adding a measure of the baptism/funeral ratio as a proxy for a congregation’s youth and
         vitality. Variables to account for geographic differences might also be useful.
         Unfortunately, while these variables are often available for ELCA congregations, they
         were not included in the particular data set used for this study. Hopefully these can be
         included in future work.
8.       In the local ELCA congregation of about 750 confirmed communing members, personnel
         costs comprise about 75 percent of operating expense.
9.       Iannaccone, Olson and Stark (1995) might argue that increased local spending generates
         faster membership growth that, in turn, benefits the larger church. However, there is no
         supportive evidence in our sample. The share of revenues used for operating expense is
         not significantly related to subsequent membership growth.

Amerson, Philip, Edward J. Stephenson, and Jan Shipps. “Decline or Transformation? Another
        View of Mainline finances.” The Christian Century. Feb. 5, 1997. 114(5):144-152.
Chaves, Mark. 1999. “Financing American Religion.” Pp.169-188 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L.
        Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
Clain, Suzanne Heller and Charles Zech. 1999. “A Household Production Function Analysis of
        Religious and Charitable Activity. American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
Hodgkinson, Virginia. 1999. “Financing Religious Congregations: A National View.” Pp.79-96
        in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut
        Creek: AltaMira Press.
Hoge, Dean R., Charles Zech, Patrick McNamara and Michael J. Donahue. 1996. Money
        Matters: Personal Giving in American Churches. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox
Hoge, Dean R., Charles Zech, Patrick McNamara and Michael J. Donahue. 1998. “The Value of
        Volunteers as Resources for Congregations.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
        37: 470-480.
Iannaccone, Laurence R., Daniel Olson and Rodney Stark. 1995. "Religious Resources and
        Church Growth." Social Forces. 74:705-732.
Inskeep, Kenneth W. 1994. "Giving Trends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."
        Review of Religious Research. 36:238-244.
Klay, Robin. 1992. "Changing Priorities: Allocation of Giving in the Presbyterian Church in the
        U.S." Pp. 132-153 in Milton Coulter, John Mulder, and Louis Weeks (eds.), The
        Organizational Revolution: Presbyterians and American Denominationalism.
        Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
Krohn, Gregory A. 1995. "The Receipts and Benevolence of Presbyterian Congregations, 1973-
        1988." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 34:17-34.
Nemeth, Roger J. and Donald A. Luidens. 1994. "Congregational vs. Denominational Giving: An
        Analysis of Giving Patterns in the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the
        Reformed Church in America." Review of Religious Research. 36:111-122.
Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1996. Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money
        Dynamics in the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1997. “The Theological Implications of Church Member
        Giving Patterns.” Http://www.emptytomb.org/implications.html. Taken from John
        Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 1995. Champaign:
        Empty Tomb, Inc.
Ronsvalle, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle. 1999.“Basic Trends in Religious Giving, 1921-1995.”
        Pp.11-20 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L. Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion.
        Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
Schaller, Lyle. 1980. The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church. Nashville: Abington Press.
Silk, Mark. 1998. Something New, Something Old. Reflections on a Conference held at Harvard
        Divinity School, September 5-8, 1996. Hartford: Center for the Study of Religion and
        Public Life, Trinity College.
Stonebraker, Robert J. 1993. "Optimal Church Size: The Bigger the Better?" Journal for the
        Scientific Study of Religion. 32:231-241.
Sullivan, Dennis H. 1985. "Simultaneous Determination of Church Contributions and Church
        Attendance." Economic Inquiry. 23:309-320.
Wuthnow, Robert. 1988. The Restructuring of American Religion. Princeton: Princeton
        University Press
Wuthnow, Robert. 1999. “The Crisis in the Churches.” Pp.67-76 in Mark Chaves and Sharon L.
        Miller (eds.), Financing American Religion. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
Wuthnow, Robert. 2000. “The Moral Minority.” The American Prospect. May 22, 2000. 11:31-
Zaleski, Peter and Charles Zech. 1992. “”Determinants of Contributions to Religious
        Organizations: Free Riding and Other Factors.” American Journal of Economics and
        Sociology. 51:459-473.
Zaleski, Peter and Charles Zech. 1995. “The Optimal size of A Religious congregation: An
        Economic Theory of Clubs Analysis.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

To top