Monday, November 24, 2008

Church giving below Great Depression levels

Justin Taylor shared the following on his blog:


This is a sobering statistic:
In fact, fewer than 5 percent of churchgoers actually tithe 10 percent of
their income; the average, according to numbers from Empty Tomb, a
Christian research group that puts out annual reports on church giving,
is now 3.4 percent, or 21 percent less than what dust-bowler counterparts gave during the worst of the Great Depression.
Figures show that churchgoer contributions have been cascading downward
since the 1960s. Religious conservatives do give more. Problem is, they
only give nominally more and other groups give next to nothing.
My emphasis. Read the whole thing.


Indeed many churches, like my very own, are feeling the pinch of today's market. We have an endowment that normally helps our church, but the combination of an over-dependence on this gold egg laying goose, and the downturn in the stock market has dried that well up to us unless we are willing to cash in our future for today. Most churches have the giving capacity within their walls. As a whole, the American church has the giving capacity to change the world, but the unfortunate reality is that we have never leveraged this ability as a whole, and our whole world suffers. My family will be increasing our giving in the year to come, and I challenge you to do the same. Give up a latte a week, or drop down a level of cable TV programming. You'll never know the difference, but the Kingdom impact those dollars can have will amaze you. I dare you. I double dog dare you!

1 comment:

Peter P said...

10%. First check to write.

No question. It belongs to God.

Then you start thinking about free will giving.

In my opinion, the first 10% is God's. it belongs to Him. You don't GIVE it as a tithe, you release it to its rightful owner. For me personally, I think of it as stealing from God if I keep what is His.

The question is... what do we do with the other 90%?