The Crisis in the Churches: Spiritual Malaise, Fiscal Woe

by Robert Wuthnow. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Wuthnow argues that the financial crisis in congregations today—declining giving and increased demands—is in addition a spiritual crisis arising from the failure of congregations to meet the spiritual needs of their middle-class members. His analysis of the financial and spiritual challenges facing many congregations is derived from and illustrated by more than 2,000 interviews with clergy about their attitudes toward church finances, stewardship, and the needs of congregants. He asserts that middle-class church members need help from their clergy to help balance their ample resources with the common feeling of being overburdened. Clergy often don't like to talk about money, but they must realize that it is a subject on which their congregations need to hear them speak. This book contains valuable insights for all who want to understand the intersection of spirituality and stewardship.