I hear complaints
and questions like these from Christians frequently:
Bill N., a site reader wrote:
"The church's concern is one's income. I have been to several and they always ask about income. I tell them I will give what I can and their response is, 'You have to give at least ten percent of your income.' I understand that the church needs funds to operate, but to tell someone that they need to give ten percent is not right ... In my area alone there are what I call 'Super Dome Churches' where the pastor drives a Bentley and has a home three times the size of mine. Is this what is preached in the Bible? I don't think so!"
Several research groups including The Barna Group
have reported a decreasing trend in church giving during recent years. Surveys show that the practice of tithing
has become uncommon among American Christians today. In this 2005 update
on "Why People Do Not Give More," the Barna Group's director, George Barna, said the declining trend in giving to churches is influenced by five factors. I've summarized those factors below, but you can read them in full detail in my article, What Does the Bible Say About Giving?
Why People Do Not Give More:
- Lack of motivation. The church hasn't shown that it will make a difference in the world.
- An inability to see sufficient return on their investment.
- An inability to see that the church needs money to be effective.
- An ignorance as to what the Bible teaches about giving.
For the sake of this study, I'd like to focus on the fourth group of people, those who've never looked at what the Bible says about giving: