I was just checking my blogroll during lunch at work, and a quick note by Bonar over at his blog made my eyes water, and nose run… my allergies went crazy.
A new report came out from a research agency that stated that tithing to mainline Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years. Here is the link.
I am 41 years old, and according to this new report, I must be part of the “who gives a shit” about others generation. Over my lifetime churches are keeping a greater share of their “donations” for their OWN needs. No wonder I have a hard time swallowing what goes on behind the “church” walls. I do not want to be known for being a “churchgoer”. I want to be known for being the “Church”.
The report said “churchgoers” gave about 2.38% of their income to their local “church” organization, with just over 2 percent of income going toward “the finances”, or in other words the operating costs and building expenses. It is the small amount of only 0.34% percent of “churchgoer” income that went to “benevolences,” i.e. charities and other forms of outreach.
That is POINT 34%, not 34%. What a bunch of BS that is. Instead of benevolence… this is Bene”violence”
Let’s put it into perspective for a salary of $50,000. Say you “tithe” the full amount and give the 2.34% to your local “church”. You would be giving $1,170 a year to that organization. The “church” then uses $1000 of your income to run the place, and then gives only $170 to the poor and marginalized.
I have an idea. Why not gather with other followers of Christ anywhere and anytime and give the full $1,170, or more, to the poor and marginalized. Better yet… help out the poor and marginalized by giving more than money, how about building relationships with them outside the walls to see what their needs are.
I know many “churchgoers” give to other places, but it still seems a bit steep to spend $1000 to have a someone preach to you in a big fancy building to have a glamorous bible study (where you cannot speak!)
Just a thought. What’s yours?
Thanks Bonar for getting my blood flowing on a Monday!