7 Difficult Truths About Church Giving You Need to Accept
The Bible tells us that joyous church giving is a central aspect of living a righteous life. Looking at this fact from an outside perspective, one might assume that ministries have no problem collecting tithes and donations. As a leader within your church, though, you likely understand that this isn’t the case. And you probably noticed this long before COVID-19 shut everything down.
If giving has gone down in your ministry, don’t give up hope just yet. There are simply a few hard truths about church giving that you need to accept. By ignoring these issues, many houses of worship have found themselves in dire straits. If you can accept these facts and work around them, though, your congregation could become more successful than ever.
1. Church Giving is Decreasing
One of the hardest pills to swallow involving tithes and donations to the church is that they’re going down. Even before the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread ministry shutdowns, giving in churches had already dropped to levels not seen since the Great Depression. People simply aren’t giving like they used to.
This issue stems from a combination of reduced attendance and reduced tithing. Even as overall giving to charitable organizations increased, the average revenue in churches was dropping. This is something that ministries must actively work to overcome. You may not know it if you’re not involved in day-to-day finance issues, but this could destroy a church.
2. Church Giving is the Main Source of Revenue
Decreased levels of tithing and donations are certainly disheartening, but the reality becomes more distressing when you realize how much this affects ministry finances. A full 98 percent of church revenue comes directly from tithing and donations. This makes it clear why so many congregations failed during pandemic lockdowns.
Church leaders must find alternative ways to collect donations even when the ministry doors are closed. Failing to do so means the loss of their largest source of funding. And since one-third of American churches have no savings accrued, even a few months without proper levels of tithing can prove detrimental.
3. Hardly Any Christians Tithe
When it comes to church giving, most Christians don’t live up to their biblical responsibilities. About 1.5 million American Christians tithe, but in a country where over 245 million citizens claim the religion, this is far less than a 1 percent giving rate. Even more disheartening is the fact that only 5 percent of churchgoers bother to tithe.
If even 1 percent of the Christian population tithed in a year, church giving could increase by billions of dollars. Ministries simply find it difficult to thrive in an environment where people aren’t giving. This is why tools like DonorWerx are so integral to growing your congregation. Giving will not increase on its own, so start taking active measures to help.
4. Congregants Wonder Where Their Money Goes
One of the biggest issues facing modern churches is a lack of trust. Sitting through a sermon and periodically bringing a potluck dish are simple tasks, but when it comes to entrusting money to someone, folks are sometimes hesitant. This is one of the many reasons church giving has decreased so much in recent years.
Fortunately, this hurdle could prove to be an easy one to overcome. It all comes down to trust and communication. Let people know where their money is going. Better yet, give them options for what their tithes will do. Your online giving page can offer selections – such as “General Fund,” “Mission Trips” and “Building Fund” – so congregants can choose how they give.
5. The Way People Give is Changing
If you’ve spent a while in the ministry, you remember a time when church giving meant passing the offering plate around before service. This might bring back a slew of fond memories, but there’s no doubt that things are changing. You can still pass around the plate when the time comes, but it’s important to realize that people are tithing in different ways.
A full 15 percent of tithing and church giving now takes place via digital platforms. And while it’s still not as popular as online giving, text-to-give donations have skyrocketed recently. Even people who do make an effort to give while at church have had to find alternatives to the offering plate – such as on-site giving kiosks – since fewer folks are carrying cash on them.
6. Older Congregants Give More
In case you haven’t noticed, there are things that worked in church 10 years ago that don’t work today. This is because demographics have transformed significantly, and ministries must now appeal to younger generations. Even with this shift, though, it’s still older populations that take church giving most seriously.
Over 55 percent of pre-Boomer parishioners tithe to their churches. This number drops to around 40 percent for Baby Boomers and less than 20 percent of Millennials tithe like they’re supposed to. Unfortunately, older congregants have less to give as they get older due to fixed incomes. This is why you need a plan that takes donor segmentation seriously.
7. It’s Time to Take Church Giving Seriously
The hardest truth to accept is that many church leaders simply don’t take these issues seriously. And when they finally recognize the issues, it’s easy to become disheartened. Acknowledging these facts, however, is a blessing in disguise. Only when you see the hurdles before you can you take measures to overcome them. Our duty is to act as stewards of God, and we can only do this when we know what we’re up against.
Increased church giving from your congregants is their responsibility, but leading them to this point is yours. You need an appropriate donor engagement plan combined with proven tools for collecting donations. This is what we offer at DonorWerx. Schedule a Discovery Call with one of our giving experts today, and we’ll discuss proven steps for increasing your ministry’s revenue.