I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t believe we’re still under the requirements of the Law to give 10%, but do feel that it’s a good guideline to follow. The freedom we’ve been given should just as often be used as a license to give more as it is a license to give less. I want to share some statistics I found on how much Christians are currently giving to their churches and where that money goes. The answers were certainly a surprise to me. According to a USA Today article, only 5% of Christians as a whole tithe. According to The Hole in Our Gospel by World Vision president Richard Sterns, 8% of born again Christians tithe and evangelical Christians are the most likely to tithe at 24%. Still, this is only one in four. On average, American church members give just 2.58% of their income with 25% giving nothing at all. Discovering for the first time that Christians are not giving at the level you may have thought can be depressing, but even at 2.58% it still adds up to over $103 billion given to American churches each year. $103 billion dollars every single year is an incredible amount. It’s enough for the American church alone to eliminate the most extreme poverty in the world by many estimates. So how is the money being spent? Here are the stats according to GenerousGiving.org. 85% Internal Operations 50% to pay the salary of pastors and church staff. 22% to pay for upkeep and expansion of buildings. 13% for church expenses such as electricity and supplies. 15% Outreach 3% local missions. 2% for overseas missions (both evangelistic and charitable) In the end, if you only give to your local church, odds are that only 2% of 2.58%, or 0.05% of your income is going towards “preaching the gospel to every nation” and helping the “poorest of the poor” combined. To put that in perspective, if you make $50,000 a year, that is only $25.80 per year. Of course, all of this depends on what church you attend and how much you give, but it’s a sobering statistic for sure. The $4 trillion dollars that American Christians make every year, has been reduced to $103 billion given to support their churches, which is reduced to just $2 billion that makes its way outside of the US. Still $2 billion dollars a year can accomplish a lot if it’s spent well. I'll cover that in another post. Please share your thoughts you may have on this topic. Statistics can often be misleading and there could be more to the picture such as the fact it costs more to build a church in the US than overseas so the disproportionate amount of money may not translate into a disproportionate amount of work being accomplished.