Economics In The Umc Essay

936 words - 4 pages

Many churches are experiencing economic hardships at this time, and the Methodist church is no exception. In addition to drops in attendance over the last half century, Religion News reports “The percentage of a church member’s income given to the church dropped to 2.3 percent in 2011 (the latest year for which numbers are available), down from 2.4 percent in 2010, according to the Empty Tomb study.” (Burgess) Because of this, many churches are feeling the strains of limited funds. But, there are ways that I believe that the church could possibly improve their situation. The problems include people treating the church as a free rider program, the church being used as a common pool resource, ...view middle of the document...

Common pool resource “are natural or human-made resources where one person's use subtracts from another's use and where it is often necessary, but difficult and costly, to exclude other users outside the group from using the resource”. (Indiana University) Though common pool resources are non-excludable, meaning no one can be excluded, they are rival goods, meaning eventually the resource can become depleted or congested. This is a common problem churches run into that creates a vicious cycle. If people don’t contribute enough money because they are free riders, churches cannot enhance their facilities. If a church is plagued with a small parking lot or outdated sanctuary, it can seem congested even with the current members they have. This is the vicious cycle when people fail to contribute their fair share of their income. People use a church and want friends, family, and neighbors to come to improve the church and grow, but the current members sometimes fail to see that for new people to come, an improvement of facilities is necessary in order for the church to not be congested.
Lastly, there is the problem of tragedy of the commons. This is defined as “multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen”. Once again, giving can be seen as an example here. Of course, it is in everyone’s own best interests to not give money to the church. That extra money can be used to save or consume. However, there is a less obvious, but equally dangerous example as well. On Easter and...

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