February 8, 2011
When Tithe Doesn't Mean Tenth
Average income given to churches appears on the decline.
Our sister publication Christianity Today magazine published some interesting new data from church giving research in its February issue.
Specifically, the average percentage of income given to churches appears on the decline, measuring 2.43 percent in 2008 (compared to 2.59 percent in 1985 and 3.11 percent in 1968). The magazine smartly includes additional data on all religious giving (not just to churches), which helps paint a more representative picture of the many ways that Christians give.
We're watching this subject particularly close this week as we launch the survey for the 2011 State of the Plate. We're hoping to hear from church leaders like you about how tithing went during 2010, and any effects on the budget--bad or good. Do you see commonalities between the decline in average income given to churches reported by Christianity Today and your congregation? What did that mean for your church in 2010, and how are you preparing for 2011?