This Sunday, October 11, 2009, is "Prove the Tithe Sunday" at Fort Caroline Baptist Church. We are challenging every member to trust God and give 10% of their weekly income to Him as an act of worship. I am not preaching on giving this Sunday, but here are some statistics that might surprise you from www.generousgiving.org about Christians and their pocketbooks.
Giving by Class: The two groups in the United States that give the highest percentages of their income are the poor (those making less than $20,000 per year) and the rich (those making more than $100,000 per year). Middle-class Americans (those making between $40,000 and $100,000 per year) are the smallest percentage givers.
Few Support the Church: Only one-third to one-half of U.S. church members financially support their churches.
Religious Donations: More than $60 billion a year is donated to religious nonprofit organizations. The vast bulk of that sum-more that $40 billion annually-goes directly to churches, almost all of it from individuals.
Pets: In 2007, it is estimated that Americans will spend over $40 billion on their pets.
Weight Loss: It is estimated that by 2010, Americans will spend over $60 billion on weight-loss programs.
Giving Not a Priority: Christians worldwide had personal income totaling more than $16 trillion in 2007 but gave only 2 percent, or $370 billion, to Christian causes.
Donating over Tithing: Overall, only 3 to 5 percent of those who donate money to a church tithe (give 10 percent of) their incomes.
Tithing: 9% of American "born-again" adults tithed in 2004.
Then and Now:Giving by North American churchgoers was higher during the Great Depression (3.3 percent of per capita income in 1933) than it was after a half-century of unprecedented prosperity (2.5 percent in 2004).
Sunday Offerings: The average amount of money given by a full or confirmed member of a U.S. Christian church in 2004 was $691.93. This comes to an average of $13.31 per week.
Income versus Net Worth: Ninety-six percent of evangelical giving is given out of income, and only 4 percent is given out of net worth. (Ron Blue & Co.)
Enormous Prosperity:At the turn of the 21st century, the United States was home to 276 billionaires, over 2,500 households with a net worth exceeding $100 million, 350,000 individuals with a net worth of $10 million, and 5 million millionaires.
High Wealth, Small Population: Americans own approximately 40 percent of the world's wealth but comprise only 2.5 percent of the world's population.
Incomes Up, Giving Down: Incomes have gone up nine to 10 times in the last 20 years while giving has gone down about 50 percent.
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Hebrews 7:8 (NKJV)