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)

By John L. Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle 

ISBN: 978-0-9639962-0-6

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.

The State of Church Giving through 2019 is available…

The State of Church Giving through 2018

What If Jesus Comes Back in 2025?

  • 30th edition, December 2020
  • ISBN: 978-1-7362924-0-2

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.

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.”

The State of Church Giving Through 2017 is available …

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The State of Church Giving through 2016

What Do Denominational Leaders Want to Do with $368 Billion More a Year?

28th Edition 2018, 227 pages, ISBN 978-0-9843665-8-3

Available October 2018

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968-2016
  2. Church Member Giving for 34 Denominations, 2015 to 2016
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2016
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921-2016
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968-2016 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Much Do Americans Give?
    Includes an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey data for cash contributions by age, income levels, and region
  8. What Do Denominational Leaders Want to Do with $368 Billion More a Year?
    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?”

The State of Church Giving Through 2016 is available …

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  • by a check, using the Order Form found here
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The State of Church Giving through 2015

Understanding the Times

27th Edition, 2017, 220 pages, ISBN 978-0-9843665-7-6

Available October 2017

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968-2015
  2. Church Member Giving for 34 Denominations, 2014 to 2015
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2015
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921-2015
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968-2015 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Much Do Americans Give?
    Includes an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey data for cash contributions by age, income levels, and region
  8. Understanding the Times
    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

Speaking Truth to Power

(26th Edition, 2016, 210 pages) 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

Crisis Or Potential?

25th Edition, October 2015

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.

Chapters

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968–2013
  2. Church Member Giving for 38 Denominations, 2012 to 2013
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2013
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921–2013
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968–2013 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Do Americans Give? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2013 data for charitable cash contributions is analyzed by age, region, and income levels.
  8. Crisis or Potential? Chapter 8 reviews the church member giving and membership data and various surveys that suggest a crisis facing the church in the U.S. Whether the church in the U.S., like the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-2), is dead and dying is considered. The potential for good that yet exists among the still-large church population in the U.S. is highlighted.

Also

  • Historical and modern theological perspectives on money;
  • The church tradition of fearless servanthood;
  • Money as a spiritual power;
  • The role of church institutions; and,
  • The potential to increase church member giving to address unengaged unreached people groups, and reduce the global under-5 mortality rate at a scale to help, in Jesus’ name, solve, rather than cope with, needs.A final feature is a selection of 95 titles, drawn from many drafted over the years, accompanied by a blank column for the reader’s notes and reflections.

The book should be available through Internet sellers soon.

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Contact us for the Library Rate, Faculty Review Copies, or Multiple Copies: bookorder@emptytomb.org, or call (217) 356-9519.

State of the Church Giving through 2012

What are Christian Seminaries and Intellectuals Thinking – Or are they?

24th Edition, October 2014

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.

Chapters

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968–2012
  2. Church Member Giving for 41 Denominations, 2011 to 2012
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational     Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2012
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921–2012
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968–2012 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Do Americans Give?
  8. What Are Christian Seminaries and Intellectuals Thinking — Or Are They?

ISBN 978-0-9843665-4-5

You should soon be able to order The State of Church Giving through 2012 through Barnes & Noble.com or Amazon.com.

You can order the book directly from empty tomb, inc. via an online form where payment is processed by PayPal by
(Note: PayPal no longer requires you to be registered to use this secure transaction site.)

Or you can print out this order form and send it to the address listed below, along with a check for the amount of the book.

The State of Church Giving Through 2011

The Kingdom of God, Church Leaders & Institutions, Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus

23rd Edition, October 2013

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.

Chapters

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968–2011
  2. Church Member Giving for 38 Denominations, 2010 to 2011
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2011
  4. Church Member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921–2011
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968–2011 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Do Americans Give?
  8. The Kingdom of God, Church Leaders & Institutions, Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus

ISBN 978-0-9843665-3-8

You should soon be able to order The State of Church Giving through 2011 through Barnes & Noble.com or Amazon.com

You can order the book directly from empty tomb, inc. via an online form where payment is processed by PayPal by
(Note: PayPal no longer requires you to be registered to use this secure transaction site.)

Or you can print out this order form and send it to the address listed below, along with a check for the amount of the book.

Contact us for the Library Rate, Faculty Review Copies, or Multiple Copies: bookorder@emptytomb.org, or call (217) 356-9519.

The State of Church Giving through 2010

Who’s in Charge Here? A Case for a Positive Agenda for Affluence

22nd Edition, October 2012

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.

Chapters

  1. Church Member Giving, 1968–2010
  2. Church Member Giving for 41 Denominations, 2009 to 2010
  3. Church Member Giving in Denominations Defined by Organizational Affiliation, 1968, 1985, and 2010
  4. Church member Giving and Membership in 11 Denominations, 1921–2010
  5. Church Member Giving and Membership Trends Based on 1968–2010 Data
  6. The Potential of the Church
  7. Why and How Do Americans Give?
  8. Who’s in Charge Here? A Case for a Positive Agenda for Affluence

ISBN 978-0-9843665-2-1

You should soon be able to order The State of Church Giving through 2010 through Barnes&Noble.com or Amazon.com

You can order the book directly from empty tomb, inc. via an online form where payment is processed by PayPal by
(Note: PayPal no longer requires you to be registered to use this secure transaction site.)

Or you can print out this order form and send it to the address listed below, along with a check for the amount of the book.

Contact us for the Library Rate, Faculty Review Copies, or Multiple Copies: bookorder@emptytomb.org, or (217) 356-9519.