“The love of God shines”: new report highlights how and why evangelicals give
A recent report titled “The Generosity Factor: Evangelicals and Giving” found that 74% of evangelicals have given to their church at some point in the past year. The study authors also highlighted areas of concern regarding the issue of generosity among believers.
“We had 19% who gave nothing at all,” said Ron Sellers of Gray Matter Research & Consulting CBN News. “Nothing to church. Nothing to charity. So one in five evangelists is just not a donor, at least not in the past 12 months.”
Gray Matter Research & Consulting and Infinity Concepts explored the giving habits of evangelicals over a period of one year.
“We found that among evangelical Protestants, 74% donate to their church or church,” Sellers said. “Fifty-eight percent give to charity outside the church, and it could be Christian ministry. It could be a secular charity. Only 51% give to both church and charity.
According to the study, on average, an evangelical gave $ 1,923 to church and $ 622 to charity over the past year, for a total of $ 2,545.
The vendors said that while many Protestants believe in the biblical principle of tithe, few come close by giving.
“Only 13 percent gave at least 8 percent of their estimated earnings,” Sellers said.
“God commands that I return him tithe and the best place I can see to do it and he commands where we are nourished spiritually and that would be the local church,” said Dave Bodnar of Virginia Beach, VA.
The vendors also pointed out that a significantly higher donation rate came from those who regularly read the Bible and attend church.
“We found a very significant, substantial and consistent difference in giving patterns, regardless of how it is measured, how much they give, how much they give and how generously they give compared to their own means, according to how involved people are in their faith, ”The salespeople explained.
Eighty-six percent of those who attended church at least once a month, in person or online, gave, compared with 42 percent who attended less than once a month.
And for those who read the Bible weekly, donations were 400% higher than those who rarely or never opened the book.
Dr Corne Bekker of the Regent University School of Divinity says giving is often linked to gratitude.
“I think there is a deep connection here because at the end of the day gratitude is not just when we understand what we have received, but the ability to then extend that gratitude to others,” said Bekker told CBN News.
And this can be expressed in various ways.
“Often it’s about giving either to a mission or to other humanitarian organizations such as feeding the poor or caring for those people who are indeed destitute,” Bekker said. “And we have to remember that it is not something for Christians or evangelicals that is outside of our faith. It is central to us.”
Many of those interviewed for the study support three or more charities outside of their church.
It is a generosity for which the Salvation Army is grateful. “The American public has mobilized in a wonderful way to support the Salvation Army during the pandemic,” said association commissioner Kenneth Hodder.
“It doesn’t surprise me that when people believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has changed their lives, they are ready to support The Salvation Army and other organizations to ensure that others have this opportunity as well.” , Hodder said.
And while the study found that half of evangelicals donate less than 1% of their annual income, those who do see it as rewarding and fulfilling.
“There is a need and we are just receiving blessings in return that we cannot begin to measure,” said Ruth Elliott of Virginia Beach.
“It shines the love of God,” said April Wagner of Virginia Beach. “It’s really about showing God. You can say you love God, but practically, when you do things physically, you give, you bless people, you help those who need it. That’s exactly what you are doing. Jesus did. “
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