The Long Drip, Drip, Drip, in the Decline in Giving
A recent study by empty tomb inc. shows that for decades, there has been a long drip, drip, drip in the decline in giving to the Church. Their recent study, “The State of Church Giving through 2017,” reveals that Americans giving to the Church as a percentage of income declined slightly to 2.13%.
empty tomb inc. does what I believe is the most definitive work on researching and analyzing the state of giving to the Church. Their 2019 version of their report tracks giving from 1968 to 2017. In 1968 Americans gave 3.02% of their disposable incomes to the Church. Here are some startling facts from their study:
- Giving as a portion of income declined 36 of the 57 times from 1961 through 2017, increasing 21 times.
- In 1933, the worst year of The Great Depression, Americans gave 3.2% of their disposable incomes to the Church.
- The 2017 level of giving was the lowest percentage since 1941 through 1947, the WW II years.
- 157% was the increase in personal income for Americans from 1968 to 2017. Americans are making more but giving less of what they make back to the Church.
So what? At the present rate of decline churches, in America will, by the year 2050 receive only 1% of American’s disposable incomes.
Last year giving as a percentage of income, in the churches studied by empty tomb inc., declined to Benevolences by only -0.009826258%. No big deal, right? That was a loss of,
Churches had almost $100 million less in 2017 to do benevolent ministry with. Every percentage of decline matters. Yet because the decline is so slow few if any realize the danger we in the Church are in.
If you went outside and saw your faucet pouring out water, you would act immediately to stop it. Yet if it was a slow drip, drip, drip, you might not even see the waste of water let alone feel the need to do anything. That is exactly the picture of the typical church leader when it comes to the long drip, drip, drip in the decline in giving.
Every percentage loss means thousands of lost dollars for your church. It means millions for the Church overall. Every year. Year after year.
What are you doing about this? Nothing is what most leaders are doing. It is just a drip after all. Why worry? Sooner or later, you will realize this drip is making it difficult for you to achieve the dreams and visions you have for your church. Here is a thought,
The church that survives into the future is the church that plans today for tomorrow!
I can help you. With my plans and my coaching, you can survive into the future. The sooner we get started on developing a giving plan for you the less likely you will experience the decline in giving. Let’s work now to stop the drip, drip, drip in your giving.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach