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Affluent Investor | April 28, 2017

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Are Churches Economically Consequential?

Church sanctuary

The big question I’ve been mulling around recently is this: Are churches economically consequential? Should they be? Look at the typical American church and ask, if that church disappeared from the community it’s in, how affected would that community be? How would the unemployment rate change? Entrepreneurship rates? Output? Job growth? Innovation? Economic growth? I think that churches are supposed to be economically consequential. What do you think? More to the point, what does God think?

Certainly history shows that Christianity has been extremely economically consequential. Christian civilization — and no other — initially broke the millennia of bare subsistence living, increasing our living standard an astonishing 9,900 percent in about two centuries. But is Christianity still doing that in our communities? Are churches any longer sources of social capital, hard-work, thrift, innovation, and knowledge acquisition? And if they aren’t what ideas do you have about how to change that?

Listen to my interview on The John & Kathy Show here.

Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.

Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.

Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.

Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.

Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.

Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest five of their seven children.

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  • Charles Henry

    Churches are only as good as the people filling them. Were we live to many of the people only care about their own pleasures they felt that it’s someone else’s responsability to help others.

    • violater1

      CHARLES: Is what you State an absolute fact or is it perhaps a biased observation on your part?! If this is factually the case then what envolvement are you and to what degree to change this for the betterment of where you live! Remember United we stand Divided we fall are not just idle words! Become a part of the solution Charles and then you may not be part of the problem on the outside looking in with bias and perhaps anger in your heart! Ask God for his direction and I am going to tell you that if you ask it in truth and earnest and a humble heart he will show you how perhaps you may be his foremost leader in bringing your Community together and Love will conquer all for that is the first New command from Jesus added to the ten that we Love one another as we love ourselves!!! Think about that Sir if it were your family would you not help them? Well Jesus says that we are all one family and with him all things are possible!!! ALL THINGS!!!Not some but ALL THINGS!!!! GOD BLESS YOU IN JESUS NAME!Go forth and in love make it happen!!!!

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