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The State of Church Giving through 2003

Chapter 6 Highlights

•     A survey of 28 Protestant denominations found that in 2003, an average of less than 2 of every dollar donated to the local church went to overseas missions through the denomination. The term "mission" included overseas deed activity, such as relief, development, and word evangelism.
•     If members of historically Christian congregations in the U.S. had given at the 10% level in 2003, there would have been an additional $156 billion available. The potential impact of this money is seen in need statistics that could be addressed in Jesus' name: $5 billion could help stop the majority of 29,000 deaths a day around the globe among children under five, most of whom are dying from preventable poverty conditions; $7 billion could provide basic education for the world's children; $124 million could launch a massive word evangelism effort in the "10-40 Window" (area of global need).
•     An analysis of 2003 Overseas Missions giving as a portion of Total Contributions, and membership changes between the late 1960s and 2003, found that a set of communions with a higher ratio of Overseas Missions giving to Total Contributions in 2003 also reported membership growth between 1968 and 2003.
•     Congregations are able to give significant portions of their budgets to overseas missions, as demonstrated by two congregations in Maryland, and a 4,000-member church in South Korea that has chosen to give over 60 of every dollar to international missions.

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