Did you know that the Book of Discipline states “tithing is the minimum goal of giving in The United Methodist Church?” Meanwhile, the average Methodist gave just 1.6% of their income to the church according to a 2009 study by the Indiana University. 1.6%! Apparently Methodists aren’t relying too much on the Book of Discipline…or even the Bible…to guide their giving.
The good news is that there is a ton of room for growth…if people are challenged to grow in giving and generosity. Think about it. If your church is average, and they grow to just 2%, the income to the church will increase by 25%. Here’s an example of what it would look like in an average church:
- The Median Household Income in the Dakotas is $60,000.
- The average giving (1.6%) ends up being $960 for the year ($20/week except they miss four weeks of the year).
- If they gave 2%, their giving goes to $1,200 for the year ($20/week without missing PLUS an extra $160 gift on Christmas Eve).
- A church of 30 households sees their income increase from $28,800 to $36,000.
If people are never challenged or invited to think about their giving, they usually give the same amount year after year. While not everyone will accept the challenge, some will. Churches that are courageous enough to challenge their people on giving through New Consecration Sunday or the like will see their income grow year after year. Also, I and others have noticed that people growing in giving are usually more joyful and engaged.
- Estimate of Giving Template: https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/CONFERENCE/5_Conf_Finance_Benefits/Finance/Estimate_Giving_Card.docx
- Step Challenge (Excel): https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/old/00/Conference/Finance/StewResrces/Step_Challenge.xlsx
- Step Challenge (PDF): https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/old/00/Conference/Finance/StewResrces/Step_Challenge.pdf
- Wakonda UMC: https://www.facebook.com/vwiumc
- New Consecration Sunday: https://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9780687644377/