Less Giving = Less Good News

We just finished talking about what the Bible says about tithes and offerings at Calvary Assembly of God. Right on the heels of this, I noticed this article in the Grand Rapids Press: “Study reveals church giving at lowest point since Great Depression.”

Here are some of the sad findings:

  • Regular church attendees aren’t even tithing. The average giving is only 2.4% of the attendees’ income.
  • While giving to churches is down, giving to other faith-based organizations is up.
  • The study’s authors noted a “long-term turning inward of congregations.” In other words, of the money that is given to churches, less and less of it is going to needs outside of the church’s walls.
  • Church’s spending on benevolence has dropped 47% since 1968, and now stands at just 0.35% of attendees’ income.
  • “Fewer people are seeing churches as the primary conduit for meeting the larger (charitable and evangelistic) need.”

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about the overflowing joy of giving to help the needs of others. He commended those with rich generosity, and encouraged the church to excel in this grace of giving.

Here’s the sad fact: The less we give, the less the Good News about God’s love is shared.

God wants us to give because we want to give. Paul even said I am not commanding you to give, but instead…

Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Let’s change this around. Let’s buck the nationwide trend. Remember…

MORE GIVING = MORE GOOD NEWS

!

Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites… (book review)

…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told.

If this sounds like a provocative title, you’d be right. But Bradley R.E. Wright delivers with Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites. A sociologist professor, Dr. Wright digs into the numbers behind the headlines. Of course, you’ve heard the age-old cliché: Figures never lie, but liars figure. Sometimes headline writers can take some stats to say what they want to say about Christians and the church, but Dr. Wright shines a light on these tricks.

Dr. Wright looks at some of the headline-grabbing topics like:

  • Is the church losing its young people?
  • Are evangelicals uneducated and poor?
  • Do Christians break the rules as much as non-churched people?
  • Do Christians really love others?
  • What do non-Christians think of Christians?

There are a ton of stats presented in this book. I happen to enjoy digging through the numbers, so there was just enough for me. But don’t worry, if you aren’t really a “numbers person,” there are some easy-to-read graphs and charts that make the numbers easier to digest.

My own slight hesitation with recommending this book is a slight sarcastic edge to Dr. Wright’s delivery. It’s not over-the-top, but at times I felt it was less than his best. But aside from this, I enjoyed getting a look behind the numbers.

I am a Bethany House book reviewer.

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