A while back my friend Dr. Ken Carter, pastor of Providence UMC in Charlotte sent me these staggering statistics. Here they are for your pondering.
Fact # 1: In 1916, Protestants were giving 2.9% of their incomes to their churches. In 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, it was 3.2%. In 1955 just after affluence began spreading through our culture, it was still 3.2%. By 2002, when Americans were over 480% richer, after taxes and inflation, than in the Great Depression, Protestants were giving 2.6% of their incomes to their churches. Source: www.emptytomb.org.
Fact # 2: If Americans who identify with the historically Christian church increased their giving to an average of 10% of income, there could be an additional $86 billion dollars available for overseas missions each year. One source estimates that $70-$80 billion would impact the worst of world poverty and $5 billion could end most of the 11 million under-5, global, annual child deaths. Also, $7 billion would be sufficient for global primary education for all children. There could also be $30.9 billion more a year for domestic outreach. Source: www.emptytomb.org
Fact # 3: Americans spend more money on gambling than groceries. Source: Crown Ministries.
Fact #4 : One in six children in the U.S. live in poverty, compared to one in twelve in Great Britain and one in twenty in Germany. Source: Jim Wallis, Sojourners.
Fact# 5: Americans spend, as a group, $2. 5 billion per year for world missions, $2. 5 billion per year for chewing gum,$ 8 billion per year for movies, $22 billion per year for hunting, $34 million per year for state lotteries. Source: John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, Behind the Stained Glass Window.
Fact #6: Eight of ten families spend more than they make. Source: Family Business Centre, Inc.
Fact #7: As a national average, one third to one half of a church’s membership supports the congregation financially. Source: Christian Missionary Alliance.