Giving Trend Could Lead to Collection Plate Crisis

A leading trend watcher has warned that churches could face a financial crisis because of changing attitudes about the collection plate. Fewer Christians are tithing, and more are getting picky about where they give what they give.

Barna Research Group reports that giving to U.S. churches dropped significantly in 2000, even by those identified as born-again Christians. Seventy percent of them gave to the church last year, down from 84 percent the previous year. Their average total gift for the year also fell 19 percent from 1999 to $1,166.

The nationwide survey of 1,005 adults also found that although 32 percent of born-again believers claimed to tithe, a check of their household income revealed that only 12 percent actually did. Barna reports that the slump has serious implications for churches. Researchers found that Baby Busters (20s through mid-30) barely give to churches or religious causes while Baby Boomers (mid-30s through mid-50s) were more generous but not automatically inclined to give to churches.

Maranatha Christian News Service via HCJB World Radio