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The State of Church Giving through 2019

The State of Church Giving through 2019: Serve God with Money At-Scale or Serve Money
(31st edition, January 2022)

Chapters update church member giving and membership data in the U.S. through 2019, the year before the COVID pandemic set in.  Analyses include:

  • 1968-2019 data for a composite set of denominations: Per member giving was down in current dollars from 2018 to 2019.
  • 1921-2019 data for 11 denominations: Once again, in the most recent year, per member giving as a percent of income was lower than in 1921 and in 1933, the depth of the Great Depression.
  • Future trends: Membership and giving trends indicate continued decline in coming years.
  • Denominational overseas ministries support through 2019: A broad set of churches continued to direct, on average, two cents of each dollar received on overseas missions.
  • Cost-per-day for various church populations to address global needs: For example, 1.2 million child deaths could be prevented for 28¢ per day from church members in the U.S.
  • Potential Catholic giving in ten archdioceses: Ten archdioceses in the U.S. would have had an additional $110 billion a year from parishioners in 2019, if giving had been at the classic 10% level.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2019, and cash contributions to charitable causes: Giving to “church, religious organizations,” compared to gifts to “charities and other organizations” and “educational institutions,” received the most support whether data was analyzed by age bracket, income level, or region of the country.

Chapter 8 is the special focus chapter. The subtitle, “Serve God with Money At-Scale or Serve Money,” sets the stage for the exploration of a topic that might give insight to the giving and membership trends presented in the first seven chapters.  Citing data from Angus Maddison’s The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, the chapter explores the new challenge facing church members in the U.S.: their relationship to money in an unprecedented sea of affluence.  Historical church leaders are quoted on the role of money and the church.  However, currently the church in the U.S. has not offered a positive agenda for this affluence.  The consequences of that lack of vision are explored, with implications for the church and society as a whole.  It is suggested that the church in the U.S. is in a unique position to lead its members to help reduce, in Jesus’ name, under-5 child deaths occurring from treatable causes, and thereby offer such a positive agenda.  Lacking such an ambitious goal of serving God by using money at a scale that matches global need, it is posited that, in light of Jesus’ statement recorded in both Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13, the alternative is for the church to serve Money.

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The State of Church Giving through 2018

The State of Church Giving through 2018:
What If Jesus Comes Back in 2025?
30th edition, December 2020

Topics include:

Chapters update church member giving and membership data in the U.S., including:
• 1968-2018 data for a composite set of denominations;
• 1921-2017 data for 11 denominations;
• Future trends;
• Denominational overseas ministries support through 2018;
• Cost-per-day for various church populations to address global needs;
• Potential Catholic giving in ten archdioceses;

An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2018, and cash contributions to charitable causes; and,

Chapter 8 is the special focus chapter, building on the information in the first seven chapters. The chapter presents an exercise using the question: What if Jesus returns in 2025? Acknowledging that no one knows the date of Jesus’ return, the fact that three groups have chosen 2025 as a goal date for their efforts provides a reason to focus on that year. A discussion of missio Dei as a framework for discipleship sets the stage for setting goals for: Bible translations; engaging unengaged unreached people groups; and closing, in Jesus’ name, the Promise Gap by reaching the target reduction goal for the global Under-5 Mortality Rate. A discussion follows of possible consequences that may develop if the church does not prepare, and alternatively, if the church does prepare, as if Jesus is coming back in 2025.

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The State of Church Giving through 2017

Available October 2019

The State of Church Giving through 2017: What a Can-Do Attitude in the Church+$16 Billion Can Do in Jesus’ Name for the Children Dying in the Promise Gap (Oct. 2019, ISBN 978-0-9843665-9-0)
is the 29th edition in empty tomb, inc.’s annual series.

Topics Include:

Chapters update church member data in the U.S., including:

  • 1968-2017 data for a composite set of denominations;
  • 1921-2017 data for 11 denominations;
  • Future trends;
  • Denominational overseas ministries support through 2017;
  • Cost-per-day for various church populations to address global needs;
  • Potential Catholic giving in ten archdioceses;

An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017, and cash contributions to charitable causes; and,

Chapter 8 is the special focus chapter. Downward trends in church giving and membership, explored in the earlier chapters, can be reversed. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has placed eternity in the human heart, but people don’t understand. The chapter explores directions people search for understanding, noting Hollywood seems to understand this need better than the church. The church has not but can provide a positive agenda for affluence: Closing, in Jesus’ name, the Promise Gap – – the difference between: 1) goals set to reduce the global Under-5 Child Mortality Rate (U5MR), and 2) the actual U5MR. Progress tables are included. With an average of 1 million children dying in the Promise Gap each year, the book states, “It’s time for the church to stop letting Hollywood have all the good lines.”

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The State of Church Giving through 2016

The State of Church Giving through 2016:
What Do Denominational Leaders Want to Do with $368 Billion More a Year? • 28th edition, 2018, ISBN 978-0-9843665-8-3

Topics Include:

Chapters update church member giving and membership data in the U.S.:

  • 1968-2016 data for a composite set of denominations.
  • 1921-2016 data for 11 denominations.
  • Future trends.
  • Denominational overseas ministries support through 2016.
  • Cost-per-day for various church populations to address global needs.
  • Other potential giving such as potential Catholic giving in ten archdioceses.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2016 data for charitable cash contributions, analyzed by age, region, and income levels, other estimates and media reports of philanthropy.

Chapter 8 explores the data discussed in the earlier chapters from a broader context, centered on the key question that will help determine the future of the church in the U.S.: “What do denominational leaders want to do with $368 billion more a year?”

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The State of Church Giving through 2015

The State of Church Giving through 2015:
Understanding the Times • 27th edition, 2017, ISBN 978-0-9843665-7-6

Topics include:

Chapters updating church member giving and membership data in the U.S.:

  • 1968-2015 for a composite set of Protestant denominations
  • 1921-2015 data for 11 Protestant denominations
  • Future trends based on past data in giving and membership
  • Denominational overseas ministries support, 2003-2015
  • Potential giving for various church populations, including nine Catholic archdioceses
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2015 data for charitable cash contributions, analyzed by age, region, and income levels

Chapter 8 provides a micro-summary of church history as background for a discussion of the challenges facing the church in the U.S. today. The challenge of affluence in present times has produced difficulties in the church and society as a whole. Church leaders will either be victims, bystanders, or will mobilize for a larger purpose. Tables provide data on 40 countries that were not on target as of 2015 to reduce the under-age-5 mortality rate in those countries to meet goals set by global leaders. The church in the U.S., it is suggested, can mobilize its giving and distribution abilities to meet this need and, as a result of loving a hurting world in Jesus’ name, engage the challenge of these times.

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The State of Church Giving through 2014

The State of Church Giving through 2014:
Speaking Truth to Power • 26th Edition, 2016, ISBN 978-0-9843665-6-9

Topics Include:

Chapters updating church member giving and membership data in the U.S., including:

  • 1968-2014 data for a composite set of denominations
  • 1921-2014 data for 11 denominations
  • Future trends
  • Denominational overseas ministries support through 2014
  • Cost-per-day for various church populations to address global needs
  • Other potential giving such as potential Catholic giving in nine archdioceses
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2014 data for charitable cash contributions, analyzed by age, region, and income levels

Chapter 8 explores the implications of the affluence that has flooded the U.S., especially since World War II. Its impact on society has been felt and not understood. The results, it is suggested, are evident in the church member giving and membership trends discussed in the first six chapters of the book. The proposed solution might be summarized as: repent and mobilize.

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The State of Church Giving through 2013

The State of Church Giving through 2013:
Crisis Or Potential? • 25th Edition, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9843665-5-2

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2013, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominational overseas missions income, 2003-2013.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2013, cash contributions to charitable causes.

Although chapter 8 reviews the church member giving and membership data as well as various surveys that suggest a crisis facing the church in the U.S., the emphasis is on the potential for the church in the U.S. to impact global word and deed need in Jesus’ name. Such action, it is suggested, may help reverse the trends that point towards crisis.

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State of the Church Giving through 2012

The State of Church Giving through 2012:
What Are Christian Seminaries and Intellectuals Thinking — Or Are They? • 24th Edition, 2014, ISBN 978-0-9843665-4-5

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2012, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominational overseas missions income, 2003-2012.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2012, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of the need for a categorical shift in the way the church in the U.S. understands money. Five realities missed by Christian seminaries and intellectuals are explored: 1) The potential of the church; 2) Pastors are preaching to congregations filled with not the poor but the rich; 3) Money is a spiritual power; 4) Bigness and the illusion of powerlessness; 5) Seminaries and intellectuals must lead.
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The State of Church Giving Through 2011

The State of Church Giving through 2011:
The Kingdom of God, Church Leaders & Institutions, Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus • 23rd Edition, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9843665-3-8

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2011, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003-2011.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2011, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of the relationship of the kingdom of God, church leaders and institutions, global triage needs, and the promises of Jesus in light of the analyses in the first seven chapters of this edition in the series, in chapter 8.
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The State of Church Giving through 2010

The State of Church Giving through 2010:
Who’s in Charge Here? A Case for a Positive Agenda for Affluence. • 22nd Edition, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9843665-2-1

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2010, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003–2010.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2010, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of Matthew 6:24: the implications for church leaders and members of the choice between God and Money, and an exploration of a positive agenda for affluence.
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The State of Church Giving through 2009

The State of Church Giving through 2009:
Jesus Christ, the Church in the U.S., & the 16 No-Progress-in-Child Deaths Nations, 10 Being 84% Christian • 21st Edition, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9843665-1-4

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2009, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An analysis of church member giving in recessions, 1968-2009 and 1921-1967.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003-2009.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2009, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats, in light of church member giving patterns in the U.S. in relationship to the 16 nations making no progress in decreasing child deaths among those under age 5, with 10 of those countries being 84% Christian.
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The State of Church Giving through 2008

The State of Church Giving through 2008:
Kudos to Wycliffe Bible Translators and World Vision for Global At-Scale Goals, But Will Denominations Resist Jesus Christ And Not Spend $1 to $26 Per Member to Reach The Unreached When Jesus Says, “You Feed Them?”• 20th Edition, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9843665-0-7

Topics include:

  • An exploration of denominational leaders’ approach to Jesus priorities in the context of Jesus’ interaction with the first disciples in the miracle of the loaves and fish, as recounted in Mark 6:35-44.
  • Church member giving in recession year 2008
  • Church spending for denominational overseas ministries, 2003-2008
  • Country-specific costs to address under-5 child deaths in 68 countries that account for 95% of these deaths, updated to 2008 data
  • Updates of church member giving and membership, 1921-2008
  • Comparison of Evangelical and Mainline Protestant giving, 1968-2008
  • Church member giving and membership Trends based on 1968-2008 Data
  • The potential of the church to impact global word and deed need through increased giving
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008 Consumer Expenditure Survey cash contributions
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The State of Church Giving through 2007

The State of Church Giving through 2007:
What Are Our Christian Billionaires Thinking — Or Are They? • 19th Edition, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9679633-9-6

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. through 2007, based on aggregated congregational reports.
    An analysis of the 2007 U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey Charitable giving data.
    An original survey of 34 denominations’ overseas missions spending, 2003-2007.
  • Country-specific cost estimates to address eight causes of under-5 child deaths in 68 countries that account for 95% of these deaths.
  • Discussion of one organization’s approach to global evangelization, and a case study of one denomination’s approach to its stated goal for engaging unreached people groups.
  • A strategy for “wholesale” billionaire philanthropists (high-capacity donors) to mobilize “retail” billionaire philanthropists (supporters of multibillion dollar churches) to assist global and domestic need in Jesus’ name.
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The State of Church Giving through 2006

The State of Church Giving through 2006:
Global Triage, MDG 4, and Unreached People Groups • 18th Edition, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9679633-8-9

Topics include:

  • Church Giving and Membership Data and Trends Updated through 2006
  • Global Triage for Word and Deed Need: A strategy of global triage is suggested as a solution for lukewarm giving patterns. Although church members in the U.S. could help both unreached people groups and the prevention of under-five child deaths for a few cents a day, church members and leaders are not mobilizing to do either. Setting priorities may help church members to be more faithful and help meet urgent needs at the same time.
  • Why and How Much Americans Give: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data for 2006 analyzed by U.S. Region, Age, and Income. Also a comparison of CE, Form 990, and the tax-return based Giving USA estimates of giving for 1989 through 2004, the latest data set year.
  • The Potential of the Church: An empty tomb survey of 34 Protestant denominations’ Overseas Missions Income is extended through 2006, including cents per dollar by denomination. Also: Potential giving in nine Roman Catholic Archdioceses; cost per member for global evangelization and meeting various global needs for selected church populations; an update of potential giving at the 10% level.
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The State of Church Giving through 2005

The State of Church Giving through 2005:
Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions
 • 17th Edition, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9679633-7-2

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. through 2005, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An analysis of the 2005 U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey Charitable giving data.
  • An original survey of the 34 denominations’ overseas missions spending, 2003-2005.
  • A discussion of denominational structures in relationship to the support of congregational overseas missions.
  • An exploration of the potential for church members in the U.S. to impact global and domestic need through increased giving through their congregations.
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The State of Church Giving through 2004

The State of Church Giving through 2004:
Will We Will? • 16th Edition, 2006, ISBN 0-9679633-6-2

Topics include:

  • Update on Church Member Giving and Membership Trends through 2004
  • New Survey of 2004 Overseas Missions Support in 34 Denominations
  • Calculated Per Member Cost Per Day to Address Global Evangelization and Physical Need for Various Church Populations
  • Roman Catholic Potential Giving in Eight Archdioceses
  • A Proposal from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. to Increase Giving to 0.7%, Applied to The United Methodist Church
  • Consideration of the Effects of the Unified Budget in One Denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Why and How Much Americans Give
    This chapter includes a comparison of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the Internal Revenue Service Forms series, and the IRS charitable deductions-based Giving USA estimates for total contributions in the U.S. The chapter also includes an analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey charitable giving data for 2004 by Age, Region of Residence in the U.S., and Income Levels.
  • Will We Will?
    This chapter considers: the role of traditional and meta-denominations; the process of disintermediation between denominations and congregations, and the possibility of reintermediation; the practice by denominational leaders of cathartic drama rather than practical mobilization for global needs; and the institutional enslavement of overseas missions as a consequence of the unified budget.
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The State of Church Giving through 2003

The State of Church Giving through 2003
• 15th Edition, 2005, ISBN 0-9679633-5-4

Topics include:

  • The Potential of the Church
    An empty tomb survey of 28 Protestant denominations’ Overseas Missions Income for 2003 (including 146,000 congregations). A comparison of Overseas Missions Income in the 1920s and 2003. An update of potential giving at the 10% level, and the potential of the church to impact global need in Jesus’ name.
  • The relationship between membership growth and Overseas Missions Income.
  • Church Giving and Membership Data Updated through 2003
    Updated and confirmed giving data from 1968-2003. Analysis of evangelicals and mainline Protestant giving trends, 1968-2003 trends in membership and giving patterns, and giving and membership from 1921-2003.
  • Giving Patterns and the Church’s Priorities
    A review of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches series, 1916-1982 editions, to explore church priorities. A discussion of dynamics defining current church priorities, especially regarding the prime directive of the Great Commission.
  • Measurement of Philanthropy
    A review of national media reports on national philanthropy data. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey charitable giving data.
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The State of Church Giving through 2002

The State of Church Giving through 2002
ISBN 0-9679633-4-6

Contains a detailed 20-year update of empty tomb’s Yoking Map® and the Fourth Annual Measurement of Philanthropy Report Card. Also, a discussion of why church members do not give more, exploring the practice of idolatry in the context of the Apostle Paul equating greed with idolatry (Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968-2002
  2. Church Member Giving for 41 Denominations, 2001 to 2002
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2002
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in Eleven Denominations, 1921-2002
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968-2002 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Measuring Charitable Giving in the United States
  8. Helping Church Members Care Effectively: Yoking Map® Twenty-Year Update
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Behind the Stained Glass Windows

Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church (Baker Books, 1996)

What are the dynamics at the congregation level that contribute to declining church member giving? This book reports on a three-year study by empty tomb, inc. The project included encounters with hundreds of local congregations, a nationally-distributed survey as well as interviews with over 40 national church leaders.

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At Ease

At Ease: Discussing Money and Values in Small Groups
(Alban Institute, 1998)

Well known for their innovative writings on churches and money, the Ronsvalles of empty tomb, inc. team up with U. Milo Kaufmann to present their newest work in this field: a method for making people comfortable about the difficult issues of linking money and values. The method is based on congregational small-group discussions that create support and trust to help individuals identify their fears and worries, as well as their attitudes on stewardship and support of the church. A series of questions leads participants by steps to new and increasingly probing conversations about these issues.

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The Poor Have Faces

The Poor Have Faces: Loving Your Neighbor in the 21st Century
(Baker Book House, 1992)

Building upon their church giving research, the Ronsvalles reflect on the potential of the church to impact global and domestic needs. Sharing experiences from their local ministry outreach and global interactions, they suggest that although people truly want to help their neighbors, people often feel overwhelmed by the world’s extensive problems. In response, this book realistically looks at the church in America’s unique resources, challenges Christians to adopt a personal, biblical view of stewardship, and lays out a viable plan of action to significantly reduce desperate world and domestic conditions and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lifestyle


Mobilizing the Church

  • Reflections on the 25th Edition
    Here are ninety-five titles, for reflection.
  • National Church Leaders Response Form
    A mailing to 202 denominations resulted in a 41% return rate for those denominations successfully contacted. The statement posed read, “Church members in the United States should increase giving through their churches in an effort to stop the millions of annual preventable global child deaths in Jesus’ name.” Of those responding, 81% said yes, 6% said no, and 14% did not choose yes or no. The detailed text from The State of Church Giving through 1999 (published 2001) is available. The full list of the national leaders who received the mailing is available by denomination or by zip code. In the table, “Y” equals a “Yes” response. “N” equals a “No” response. “O” equals a response that was “Neither” Yes or No. Comments written by the respondents are provided as well.
  • Systems Analysis
    Systems and Subsystems Analysis: A Case Study, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1998 (published 2000), considers denominational structures that work against increased mission giving, including a case study of The United Methodist Church. [PDF]
  • Two Solutions
    Two Solutions for the Vacuum of Leadership in the Church in the U.S., an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2000 (published 2002), offers two strategies to encourage church members to improve giving in order to impact global need in Jesus’ name. [PDF]
  • Needs Analysis
    Reversing the Decline in Benevolences Giving: A Country-by-Country Needs Analysis, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2001 (published 2003), describes the need for a country-by-country needs analysis with a reference point of stopping, in Jesus’ name, global child deaths. [PDF]
  • Priorities and Consequences
    Giving Trends and the Church’s Priorities, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published 2005), explores national and local church priorities; reviews Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches editions from 1916 through 1982 for historical perspective; discusses possible social consequences of current giving trends; and offers recommendations to encourage the church’s commitment to the Great Commission
  • Will We Will?
    Will We Will?, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2004: Will We Will? (16th edition, October 2006), considers topics including:
    • Will meta-denominations replace current denominational structures?
    • Is the goal of denominations to mobilize their congregations in mission outreach, or provide cathartic drama at a maintenance level?
    • Do denominations have a role in helping congregations set their priorities?
    • Is an emphasis on missions versus congregational maintenance a zero-sum challenge?
    • Will congregations in the U.S. serve as global mission outreach centers and financial discipleship centers, or succumb to Mammonism and become irrelevant to the work of God’s kingdom?
  • Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions
    Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2005: Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions (17th edition, October 2007), explores various topics, including:
    • Describing Congregational and Denominational Organization regarding Overseas Missions.
    • The Church in the U.S. in the Midst of Miraculous Circumstances.
    • Potential Versus Practice.
    • A Lack of Vested Interest in Changing the Status Quo.
    • Consequences of Religion Being Practiced without Power.
    • Signs of Hope for a Movement to Abolish the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions.Enslavement or Freedom for Overseas Missions?
  • Global Triage for Word and Deed Need
    Global Triage for Word and Deed Need, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2006: Global Triage, MDG 4, and Unreached People Groups (18th edition, October 2008), explores various topics including:
    • A Choice Before the Church in the U.S.
    • Triage as an Organizing Strategy.
    • Is Triage for Global Word and Deed Need Necessary?
    • An Examination of the Evidence: Allocation of Word Mission Resources.
    • An Examination of the Evidence: Rate of Progress in Alleviating Physical Needs.
    • Choice and Consequence: Consequences for Church Structure.
    • Triage as a Strategy for Change.

Potential of the Church (See also the Potential page)

The Potential of the Church, chapter 6 from The State of Church Giving through 2002 (published 2004), explores potential Christian missions giving, the positive impact such giving could have, and possible reasons why Christians do not give more.

  • Why Is There No Creative Leadership?
  • Are There Signs of Hope?
  • The Church of Thyratira and the Church of Laodicea
  • The Chicago Archdiocese and Tithing: $7 billion
  • What Is Joe Christian Supposed to Do?
  • A Korean Church That Gives 60% To Missions

The Potential of the Church, chapter 6 from The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published 2005), presents a survey of 28 Protestant denominations’ overseas missions giving, and a historical review of missions support.

  • Per Capita Giving to International Missions
  • Denominational Overseas Missions Income, 1916-1927
  • Denominational Overseas Missions Income, 1924-25 and 2003
  • Changes in Denominational Priorities
  • Potential for Overseas Missions Funding
  • Potential Giving at 10% of Income in 2003
  • Positive consequences of Increased Overseas Missions Giving
  • Can Congregations Allocate More to Missions?
  • Two Maryland Congregations Focus on Africa
  • Antioch Presbyterian Church, Chonju, South Korea
  • Re-Imagining Missions
  • Will the Potential Be Realized?

Perspectives on Faith and Money

The following papers consider various aspects of the spiritual implications of faith and money. The documents are provided in PDF format [PDF] or html [html] as noted. A link to download the free software to read PDF is available on this site under “Printing Helps.”


Philanthropy Measurement

  • Consumer Expenditure Survey Analysis
    Analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey 2004 Data of Americans’ Giving [html] reviews giving by categories:
    • Age, Region, Income Charities and other organizations; churches, religious organizations; educational institutions
    • Disparity in Reporting of Philanthropy

Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published October 2005), reviews national media reporting of philanthropy estimates in the United States, and provides recommendations to improve both reporting and estimates. [PDF] The chapter includes:

  • Recommendation:
    “Reports of philanthropic giving need to be adjusted by population and income, as are other national statistics. The Associated Press told the American public that a fundraising industry estimate of giving rose 5.0% in 2004, while the percent change in the industry estimate of individual giving, when adjusted for population and income, was actually -1.6%” (p. 71)
  • “The Key Role Played by the Associated Press” (p. 76-77).
    Table and Chart regarding the Disparity between Associated Press Reports on Aggregate Charitable Giving Levels, and Giving Adjusted for Population and Income (pp. 78-81).
    • “Detail for 2005 regarding the Associated Press Headline and Lead Sentence Focus on Aggregate Charitable Giving Data, Unadjusted for Population and Income” (pp. 81-89).
    • Update of Disparity in Reporting of Philanthropy
      Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2004 (published October 2006), includes an update through 2005 of national media reporting of philanthropy measurement. The chapter also includes the Consumer Expenditure Survey 2004 Data of Americans’ Giving. [PDF]
  • Report Card on the Measurement of Philanthropy
    Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2002 (published October 2004), reviews various national measurement of philanthropy efforts, giving the combined efforts an “F.” [PDF]

Tidbits

The following articles are brief reflections by John and Sylvia Ronsvalle from empty tomb, inc.’s Opportunities Newsletter.