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Hypocrisy of Church Leaders Evident During Economic Downturn says House Church Leader

Contact: Jon Hirst, The Well, 719-362-5235, jhirst@dotheword.org

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Feb. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to a recent study by Barna, church leaders are more willing to cut spending, let go of staff and reduce giving to missions than they are to make changes related to their buildings. House church leader Ken Eastburn commented on the findings pointing out the hypocrisy of church leaders, "No church leader would ever say that their buildings are more important than their people or the mission of God, but that is exactly what their behavior communicates."

The study, conducted among 1,114 senior and executive pastors during the fourth quarter of 2009, found that only 3% of churches were making changes related to their facilities in an effort to adapt to the economy and save money. The most common change was reduced spending (21% of churches) while a very close 18% have also made cuts to staff. Another 4% reported reduced giving to missions or missionaries.

"These numbers represent a reality that many of us have been aware of for some time," says Eastburn, "We have placed far too much value on our buildings and it is hindering our ability to respond appropriately to what God is doing in the midst of a struggling economy."

Barna Group President David Kinnaman also noted in the article that virtually no churches were rethinking the future of congregational ministry or the sustainability of church campuses.

"Anything that goes unquestioned in the Kingdom of God is close to becoming an idol," continues Eastburn, "God could very well be leaving the building and most of us wouldn't know it because we're too busy bowing down at the feet of what we've managed to build with our own hands."

Eastburn is a leader with The Well, formerly a traditional Southern Baptist church that transitioned in 2005 to a network of home-based churches in California and Colorado.

The Well hosts 10-15 members at each of its five locations on a weekly basis. Eastburn and other members post their experiences on a blog maintained by the church, www.leavethebuildingblog.com, with the purpose of interacting with individuals from traditional and house church backgrounds.