One Trillion Dollars

” . . .although Protestant and Catholic churches [in USA] have raised – and spent – close to one trillion dollars on domestic ministry during the past two decades, there has been no measurable increase in one of the expressed purposes of the church: to lead people to Christ and have them commit their lives to Him.” Barna. Link


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • tim says:

    is there a point where a culture can be so saturated with christianity (in this case) that no amount of money thrown at the problem will yield much in terms of results? I wonder how much has to do with ineffective ministry, and how much has to do with the nature of western culture.

  • Grant says:

    We’re too busy building 41 million dollar buildings.

  • No Measurable Increase…

  • Darren says:

    Wow. I linked to this in a post pondering shallowness and comfort as a possible reason. Thanks for the info.

  • david says:

    i recently was thinking on similar things . . . and as dctalk has become famous for saying:
    ‘. . . and that’s what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable . . .’
    thanks for pointing this out . . .

  • Christianity: Tweaking A Seriously Failing ROI

    Barna does it again, as reported on Next-Wave (HT:TSK). I’m just going to pick up on one theme here, there’s a lot more in the report. Basically, as of 2002, the church in the USA including both Catholic and Protestant flavours, has gathered up and…

  • ella says:

    i’d quibble a little over the express purpose of the church… but certainly not over the sentiment in the quote.
    one trillion dollars… and there are more people starving, more people dying from curable diseases, more people homeless (and that’s in “developed” countries) than ever before.

  • lisa c says:

    how do we know what effect a trillion dollars has had?
    I’m not for or against spending such sums (though I agree with Ella’s point). that’s not the point I’m getting at.
    what I’m questionning is the way we measure a person’s “commitment”. I’d hope that we wouldn’t limit ourselves to measurables. I don’t think God would.

  • fernando says:

    so many times I have seen churches act like buildings are more important than people. i’ve been involved in 7 churches over the years (either in a role, or as a congregant for 2 or more years) and ALL of them have had fund raising drives for buildings, but only one has had a fund raising drive for a pastoral appointment. moreover, 4 of those 7 have, during the time I was involved with them, turned down modest increases in budget for pastoral appointments, whilst simultaneously approving expensive building or refurbishment programmes.

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