I’ve read a few articles today about how much or little Christians give…mostly little. It’s depressing. However, there are some assumptions I’ve seen that I don’t entirely buy into.
Here’s a typical line:
Had giving been at an average of 10 percent in 2005 rather than 2.58 percent, there would have been at least an additional $168 billion available for the overseas and domestic mission work of churches.
The assumption is, of course, that if churches only had more money, they could do more mission work. But what I’ve seen is the opposite. When churches get a lot of money, they don’t ship it out the doors. Instead, they tend to build huge, multi-million-dollar campuses. The stated purpose is to reach the neighboring community, and sure, that’s a good idea. However, millions of dollars to build a place just so people can have meetings….
So if suddenly everyone started tithing and churches had all the money they could ever use, would we see an increase in giving money away? Sure, the total dollars would go up, but I doubt the percentage would increase. Use yourself as an example: when you got your last raise, did you increase the percentage you gave away, or just the total amount — or maybe neither?
Churches are the same as people. We (American churches) only give 3% of our money to non-Christians; the majority stays in the building. I doubt it will change just because we have more.