Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Giving...a subject everyone has thoughts on, but not all participate in!

Relevant Magazine published a short article a while back regarding giving...

It said that "if Christians (US stats) had given the traditional 10% tithe of their income to their churches in 2004, instead of the 2.56% that they actually gave, there would have been an additional $164 billion available, according to a report released in October called :The State of Church Giving through 2004.” If the churches chose to funnel just $70-$80 billion of that additional income to missions and humanitarian works, the basic needs of every person on the globe would be provided.
What are your thoughts?


SantanaRose said...

i believe there is always more we can do, and it would definitely be of benefit. however, i think these stats account for the ideal. the mobilization and utilization of these resources in a way that would provide for everyone on the globe seems unattainable. nonetheless, i believe it is something to strive for, and even if we fall short of that, the act of working towards that would be create a change of heart and lives in many people..

Scott said...

My thoughts are that I don't give enough, and to be honest, I don't give much at all. Definitely something that needs to be addressed in my life.

Jean said...

What a touchy subject.
Historically, the church has been given a bad rap for collecting a tithe (think corruption in medieval times, evangelists gone mad, etc) and yet how could I not want to put God first in my finances?
With my heart, I know God needs to be first with what I do with my money (and what he's given me), with my head, I'm like, "ew, don't talk to me about money".
Why does it seem like such an obligation instead of an innate desire to give back to God?

Jimmy in Cowtown said...

Interesting. If the objective is for the church to 'funnel' that income to humanitarian works - why not just give directly to those agencies who are doing the frontline work and avoid the church as the middle-man?

I recognize that this suggestion comes with a huge debate, but you have to admit there is merit in its simplicity. I'm not saying don't give to the church - they of course need your donation to sustain their programs. But what about getting away from the 10% mindset and trusting them to funnel some of your funds to cause that is important to you. Give the church their portion and make decisions yourself as to what causes you want to try and have an impact on.

JasonK said...

I have a hard time (sometimes) giving to the church because I have this underlying suspicion that if the church I give to, despite my positive feelings towards it, did not exist the world as a whole would be virtually unchanged. Yet if I think of some of these humanitarian causes a very small number of dollars could go a long way. I also fear that if everyone gave a lot to their church the church would end up with more executives, a bigger building, a driver for the pastor, and other perks. I wondering how much would end up in Guatamala?...

Scott said...

Are we missing the point here? Should we be questioning what God has called us to do?

Instead of thinking about the possible corruption that could occur, maybe we should be considering the positives God can do if we are diligent in our faith with our monetary funds. Perhaps the reason we don't tithe as much is because our attitudes towards the "use" of the money have been soured. We are supposed to give with a grateful heart. If I give, I pray that God will do his work with my offerings.

Karen said...

Is it only an offering if you give your money to your church? What about if you give to Compassion Canada, the charitable fundraiser at a public school, or the person who comes knocking at your door taking collections for some worthy cause. God loves a cheerful giver but where does it say that he only collects through the church? Is his name only glorified if the giving is attached to something that has the words "Christian" or "Church" branded to it?

Jimmy in Cowtown said...

hey Scott - I'm not sure anyone is questioning what God has called us to do. By the posts generated it's clear that people want to show compassion to others, to lead by example and to make the world a better place.

The point being raised is that there are other organizations that help us achieve those goals too - so why not take a more active role in working on those organizations that you have a passion for - instead of hoping your church is alsigned with a cause you support.

Scott said...

If you can afford to do both, then by all means. But I think it is important to give back to the place where you worship.

Jason stated he had a hard time giving to the church, claiming it had no impact on the world if it didn't exist. I disagree. Perhaps the world doesn't change, but the world in someones life can directly be impacted. The money put forth into a church allows for programs of all types. Examples in my own church are, young adults, Hearing Impaired, Addiction, etc. I think without money and time, the people looking for refuge in these areas would be left behind.

We should have a passion for the place we worship. I think our tithe should reflect that. After that, anything additional is up to the individual. Spend your coin however you like, but give back to a God that his given so much to you.

Who knows, maybe if all Christians did give the traditional 10%, they (the churches) would be able to "funnel" that money into more Organizations of your choosing.

Karl said...

In a recent discussion at school our instructor put up the following statistics. Im trying to track down what source she used but here it is.

Basic education for everyone in the world 6 Billion dollars
Cosmetics in the US 8 billion dollars
Water and sanitation for everyone in the world 9 billion dollars
Ice Cream in Europe 11 billion dollars
Perfumes in the US and Europe
12 billion dollars
Basic Health and nutrition for everyone in the world 13 billion dollars
Pet food in the US and Europe
17 billion dollars
Cigarettes in Europe 50 billion dollars
Military spending around the world780 billion dollars
Alcohol in Europe 105 billion dollars

You have to admit that its a pretty messed up world where we spend more for food on pets than we do on our fellow man.

Anonymous said...

I think it's more messed up that we have to spend $780 Billion on Military spending and $12 Billion on Purfume.

Scott said...

The US Military alone will spend close to 1 Trillion Dollars in the 2009 Fiscal Year.

novice said...

Anonymous said: "I think it's more messed up that we have to spend $780 Billion on Military spending and $12 Billion on Purfume."

I agree. Perhaps if we increase perfume spending people would smell better and therefore fight less.

Anonymous said...

I think something that is important to consider is that as noth americans, our heart follows our money. I took a few courses in fundraising as a part of a missions internship I did a while back, and one of the big things it taught me was that a person is more likely to invest emotionally, spiritually, and relationally in a place where they invest themself finacially. A person's heart follows their money. In that respect, I think it is necessary to tive at least some of your tithe to your church, God built us that way on purpose.
It's at least something to consider.

Karen said...

Anonymous, do you go to Soul? I'm looking for someone who knows how to fund raise and would like to help out for a great project our church is gearing up to participate in.