When it comes to finances, the new normal for American churches seems to be "just getting by."
A third of Protestant senior pastors say their church's giving was under budget in 2015, according to LifeWay Research.
Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research, says pastors are still uneasy about their church's finances.
"Wages grew in 2015, and inflation and unemployment remained low," said McConnell. "Yet the financial picture for many churches did not improve."
The most recent telephone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors found 51 percent said the economy is hurting their church—the lowest total since LifeWay began researching the topic in 2009. One in 8 (13 percent) say the economy had a positive effect on their church.
About 3 in 10 (32 percent) pastors say their church failed to make budget. That's better than 2010 (46 percent), according to LifeWay Research, but not as good as 2012 (22 percent).