Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tithing facts.....

Destiny Church in New Zealand has been in the news more than once relating to tithing, particularly in regard to the poorer members of the congregation being required to tithe along with the better-off. While we don't have particular details about what NZ churches do in relation to tithing, we can possibly get idea when we look at the US stats on the subject - some of which are surprising. Figures come courtesy of Scot McKnight.

Fact #1: poor people are more likely to tithe and give a higher percent of their income that wealthy people. Thus, Americans who make $10,000 or less give 11.2% of their income, while those who make $150,000+ give 2.7% of their income. There is a basic descent of percent of income given from the poor to the wealthy. I suspect, looking at the Presbyterian Church stats, that this may be the case in New Zealand too, but don't have specific evidence.

Fact #2: denominationally, the spectrum moves from Catholics (2.2%) to Liberal Protestants (3.0%) to Conservative Protestants (5.5%) to Black Protestants (5.7%) to Mormons (7.1%) in percent of income given to the church. The percent giving a tithe goes like this: RCC (2.5%), Liberals (5.9%), Conservatives (14.4%), Black Protestants (13.5%) to Mormons (34.0%).

Fact #3: those who tithe or who give more correlate with such things as church attendance.

And two more intriguing facts:
Fact: widows and widowers are the most likely to tithe: 20.1% widows vs. 16.7 widowers tithe. Following in the footsteps of the woman in the Gospels, no doubt!

Fact: older people are more likely to tithe. The average age of an American tither is 54.1 yrs.

Photo by Darren Hester

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