Giving Statistics

Giving Statistics ChartI fished through some articles and some statistics and compiled the most interesting statistics in one post. These statistics will make you think, question, and doubt the responsibility of your leaders. I will admit, these giving statistics are not pretty, but i hope they make you re-think some things about stewardship in the Church today.

“in its 2008 report found 33.4% of estimated total giving, $103.32 billion, went to houses of worship and denominational organizations in 2007” (source).

Right off the bat, the first question is what is the Church doing with the money we have already? This is 103 billion were talking about here? Are we conquering world hunger. Do all the hidden tribes in Africa have printed bibles in their language? Are we taking care of the widows? Sure, there is pressure to give more and more, but are we fiscally responsible and efficient with the resources we are receiving already?

“85 percent of all church activity and funds is directed toward the internal operations of the congregation”. Add in another 2% going to overseas missions to support their budget costs. (source)

In the end this leaves 13% that possibly might be used for practical purposes. Figuratively speaking, this also means that 85 billion dollars us used primarily to keep the lights on!

WOW! 85 billion dollars, that’s a lot of money, especially when you look at the new testament and see how money was used. From Acts through Revelation, you won’t find a single example where money was given or asked to meet anything besides basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health.

Granted, minister’s salaries/needs are included in the 85 billion we spend internally, but as you can see there’s very little sacrifice for churches to give outside of their own needs. I see it as, “selfish”, but i’m sure others define it as, “sacrificial”

I think we need to separate churches from the term “ministry”, because 13% of the churches resources actually go towards administering needs.

“”Americans who earn less than $10,000 gave 2.3 percent of their income to religious organizations,” Smith, Emerson, and Snell write, “whereas those who earn $70,000 or more gave only 1.2 percent.” While the actual percentages are slightly higher for Christians who regularly attend church, the pattern is similar. Households of committed Christians making less than $12,500 per year give away roughly 7 percent of their income, a figure no other income bracket beats until incomes rise above $90,000 (they give away 8.8 percent).

In fact, in absolute terms, the poorest Christians give away more dollars than all but the wealthiest Christians.” (source)

Some things never change. The story of the widow and her mite still live today.

“If members of historically Christian churches in the United States had raised their giving to the Old Testament’s minimum standard of giving (10% of income) in 2000, an additional $139,000,000,000 a year would become available assist in Christian based mission work.” (source)

Well let’s see after all the overhead is paid, and we have enough to run the machine, that leaves about 18 billion out of the 139 billion going towards practical needs. If you think that 139 billion is a lot of money, and we could use the tithe to do greater good, just hold your thoughts and listen to this next statistic.

“Christians worldwide in 2007 gave . . . $370 billion, to Christian causes” (source)

Please . . . OH PLEASE! Tell me what a meager extra 139 billion would do? Christian stewards have received 370 BILLION dollars to do missions, spread the gospel, clothe the poor, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and provide ministry; and all we can do is cry about everyone tithing an extra 139 billion? Is 370 billion not enough?

“”Relatively little donated money actually moves much of a distance away from the contributors,” Smith, Emerson, and Snell write. The money given by the people in the pews, it turns out, is largely spent on the people in the pews. Only about 3 percent of money donated to churches and ministries went to aiding or ministering to non-Christians.” (source)

I have said this long before these statistics came out. You wonder why people struggle with selfishness? It’s because they are following their church’s example of giving. As a matter of fact i said that we were “selfish” just above. I said that before i even read this giving statistic. Of course i thought our external giving came to about 13%, but it looks as if i was off by 10%. We only use 3% towards practical ways of reaching the unsaved! Once again we spend only 3% of our budget to show the unsaved how generous our God is!

These giving statistics are sobering, saddening, and sickening. My giving is nothing to be proud of. What about you? How has your giving been? How does your church give? How much do you spend on your own church for yourselves, and how much do you spend on others? What do you think about these giving statistics?

Jared Bartholomew is the author of There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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68 comments on “Giving Statistics
  1. YF says:

    Interesting article but I think you don’t get the whole picture. Sure, tax deductions are given based on taking the burden off the shoulders of the govt but tax policy is very much about encouraging certain behavior. Why do you think you get a deduction for your kids, certainty not because they deserve it. To remove tax exemption from churches would set a very dangerous precedent in a society where religion is already under such heavy attack. Tax policy is all about social policy.
    I would also take issue with your statistic, especially about the 85% there really is no information about where that is coming from. I will agree that there is mass abuse but at the end of the day, there is also a lot of good

  2. YF,
    You can see references to the statistics here

    If there were no 403b’s or church buildings do you think there would be no religions? Do you think Christianity would disappear? I think your comment sheds some perspective on the general population’s definition of “Church”. Do we serve because of the existence of icons? If we don’t, then how can humanistic law extinguish the Church?

    – jared

  3. My heart is burden by the individual believers. The bottom line is the vast majority are not living according to the biblical mandate to give at LEAST 10% of our income. We cannot expect the Body Of Christ to reach the unsaved and unchurched when our primary focus is internal. That sounds like the The Church of Corinth rather than The Church of Ephesus. The $$ amount is not the concern it is our heart motivation and is it in line with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must evaluate ourselves as individuals.

  4. James says:

    Please read your bible again properly, Giving is a gift same as prophesy, speaking in unknown tongues, performing miracles, etc . To say that christians shoul be giving more is the same as saying prophets should prophesy more or pastors should sheperd more christians .
    Its unbiblical for any christians to complain why christians are not giving unless you want to manipulate or defraud people to give to their own man made visions
    God does not force anyone to give or to support the gospel ,that is the Holy Spirits work is to instruct and lead christians to give to any ministry God intents to finance .
    Carl ,many pastors and christians are out there to defraud and  steal from christians to finance their own greed and coveteousness , they twist and lie about scriptures to build their own wealth rather than Gods kingdom .

  5. Crystal says:

    I’ve got 1 verse for you all!
    2 Corinthians 9:7
    Has it ever occurred to any of you not to ask any man what to give, but TO ASK GOD HIMSELF? P.S. This is NT :) God bless you all, and please stop fussing over money. God isn’t pleased with that, and that’s definitely NOT what He’s about! Greatest commandments are to love Him with all your heart and love others.

  6. Tim says:

    Only 1 way to change these statistics, and that’s to change ourselves.

  7. Robert Yocom says:

    I do not want to support a man who talks to the congregation 1 hour in the mornong Sun and one hour in the evening and maybe 1 hour for Wed buble study and maybe does 10 hours to prepare. The rest is just PR. Aint going to support somebody like that.

  8. Christian Bosah says:

    We should read the scripture and follow the contexts in which tithing is presented. It is so clear that the totality of it amounts to giving with love of God and humanity at heart and faith in Christ our redeemer, for the propagation of the Kingdom agenda and purposes. The critical essentials therein is LOVE and FAITH. In love and faith matters there is never any element of compulsion but always freewill. If any reference should be made of Malachi 3 , it should be as a guide or suggestion and never as compulsion and therefore law. BUT we all know we are in the dispensation of grace for Christ already fulfilled all the laws which no man was able to fulfill. Going back to lawful giving would in fact amount to Christ dying in vain. ABOVE all, we must think of giving for kingdom purposes beyond the confines of our houses of worship or fellowship. It must include in the plural sense our neighbors- family, needy, beggars, home churches, other charities etc. In totality, we must give much more than 10% on an annual basis. We should give generously and without compulsion for that is the real measure of true love.

  9. e thomas says:

    If Christians are required to tithe, when do we get our year of jubilee? That was part of the old testament system as well as the tithe. New testament giving is, give as you prosper and purpose in your heart. We are not under law, but grace in the new testament. The jews in the OT, were under a theocracy where the government was the religious organization the tithe supported the government, until they were taken over by a foreign power. The tithe was for the poor, support of feast days and to support the priest. Who are the priest in the Christian church? The believers are the priest today. We are joint heirs with Christ, what is His is ours. Give as you prosper, he who gives sparingly will reap sparingly, that is New Testament giving. No set. Percentage.

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