The State of Church Giving through 2003 – Chapter 6 Highlights

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.