Churches confront global recession

When it comes to a recession, Kentucky's churches are businesses just like factories and offices.

Congregations such as Centenary United Methodist have seen layoffs, and others have frozen salaries or cut programs. Others have been radically reshaped, like the Lexington Theological Seminary.

Still, the picture isn't all bad. A national survey by LifeWay Research suggests 71 percent of Protestant churches are meeting their budgets this year or even doing better than they'd anticipated.

"Right now, churches are working to be wise with their finances, asking themselves, 'Is this expenditure really necessary?' " said Timothy Paul Jones, associate professor of leadership and church ministry at Louisville's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The first place churches typically look to cut, he said, is equipment and supplies "from computers and amplifiers to copy machines and copy paper."

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