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3 Biblical and Data Driven Reasons Why You’re Giving Less

Ellen Painter Dollar recently shared her struggles with tithing. According to her, when she was in her 20’s she was a faithful giver. Now that she and her husband presently make 4 times what she used to make she doesn’t tithe. According to her:

“We give away about 5 percent of our gross income every month, divided between a pledge to our church, a monthly gift to an organization addressing global poverty…and smaller donations to charities we support.

And I miss that money. I’m glad we give it away, but I miss it. I would like to give more, but I’m also enjoying the financial place we’re in right now. Due to a significant promotion my husband got last year, we are for the first time in our adult lives able to do things like go out to dinner for a birthday and pay for the kids’ summer camps without hyperventilating. I admit that the idea of giving away a higher percentage of our income, and as a result having to seriously curtail some expenses, makes me feel a bit resentful. And then guilty, because really Ellen? You sit here in your lovely home with a kitchen full of food and three children who have never wanted for anything, and you resent giving away money that you’d rather use on, what, new jeans or a renovated kitchen or a vacation? Pathetic.”

But Ellen is not alone.

According to an analysis of IRS tax returns researchers at the Chronicle of Philanthropy found the wealthiest Americans — those who earned $200,000 per year and over — actually reduced the share of their income they gave to charity by 4.6% in 2012, compared to the amount they gave in 2006.

Giving decreases as income increases

Those who earned less than $100,000 — including poor and middle-class families with two working adults — donated 4.5% more of their income in 2012 than 2006, but those making $25,000 or less gave 16.6% more. But those charitable contributions steadily decreased as incomes increased.

So why are you giving less? You already guessed it: you’re making more money.

You can read the rest on my guest post at Patheos.

What I’ve Learned from a Series of Rapid Fire Promotions

Promotion

I recently got promoted.

That is why you haven’t seen as much posts from me.My workload has increased because of the promotion. I used to be an assistant branch manager at a Fortune 500 company, now I’m promoted to a branch manager. Being a new manager has a few perks including increased pay, greater responsibilities, and a company car.

When I told you I took my branch to #1 four consecutive times I wasn’t making that up. In fact, they went and gave me this plaque for a great quarter:

ABM of the quarter

(Yes I blotted out all the previous winners and my company name.)

After that I received a call from my general manager (my boss’ boss’ boss) who told me I should interview for an upcoming branch and voila here I am.

Now there a few things I’ve learned through these quick series of promotions:

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How Tithing Helped Improve My Marriage

Wedding_rings

I’m a pro-tither.

I advocate it and encourage people to do it. I have seen tremendous blessings as a result of it. One blessing that I’ve seen is the improvement of my marriage.

Before I was a consistent tither my marriage was on its last leg. My wife was pregnant with our 2nd child and was considering leaving. She loved me but with the tight finances, the tense atmosphere, my bad attitude, and my constant complaining it was getting to her.

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The Marketing You’re Subjected to When Giving to Larger Ministries

large ministry marketing

 

Since I embarked on this journey of giving I’ve been bombarded with extra mail.

The letters above are the ones I received Tuesday.

( I crossed out my name for privacy’s sake. I like you but I don’t need you to know where I live :) )

The most intrusive one I’ve received is from Mike Murdock. Murdock went further than just sending me a letter, his ministry would occasionally call my phone with prerecorded messages of how God was going to bless me as I continued to sow into his ministry.

That has been the most annoying to date.

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How The State of Tithing in America Has Evolved

For all its controversy tithes and offerings account for$50 billion a year in the U.S.

$50 billion.

This $50 billion is from 10 million tithers–people who donate 10% or more their income to a church–across America. They make up 10-25% of a normal congregation yet they for 50-80% of church funding.

The ole’ Pareto principle (or the 80-20 rule) is still at work.

Here’s an infographic on the state of church giving in the US.

So out of that $50 billion there are churches receiving a larger portion of that pie.

And its not because they are megachurches.

The Reasons Why Some Churches See Bigger Offerings

Now I understand the controversy of this article. I know there people who see churches as businesses where “rich pastors” deceive poor people to give. Also, to be frank: I’m not a pastor. I get no benefit from tithes and offerings. So no I’m not asking you to send me a check!

But I am somebody who has seen their own life change as a result of  giving. Not only that, but I do believe in the mission of the global church–the one called to lead, serve, and share. Regardless of its imperfections and missteps, it has great value in the eyes of One who died for it.

So, if it needs helps with the bills I think its only fair I lend a hand.

So yes, I’m a pro-tither!

Read the rest on my guest post at Patheos

 

How to Use Technology To Effectively Teach Giving

Tithing and/or giving is a delicate subject. It has the power to split churches down the middle.

It is important though.

According to the 4th Annual State of the Plate Survey of 2012 many ministries saw giving increase because of financial/generosity teaching initiatives. Not only that but many other ministries are looking for proactive and positive ways to teach on finances and faithful giving.

How to Teach Tithing

How to teach tithing effectively takes a certain kind of leader.

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How I Changed My Life With a One Year Tithing Experiment

I’m a tither.

Despite the controversy surrounding it, I’m a huge advocate of it.

And, honestly, before I got serious about it my life was a total mess. I couldn’t make ends meet. I had trouble holding a steady job. My wife (God bless her) loved me, but lost almost all respect for me. Our marriage was on its last leg. She was pregnant with our 2nd child and was considering leaving. As I said she loved me but with the tight finances, the tense atmosphere, my bad attitude, and my constant complaining it was getting to her.

I was working a job that couldn’t pay the bills because I left my job that COULD pay the bills because the supervisors “weren’t treating me right.” Truth is: they weren’t treating me right because I wasn’t doing my job right. I was too “smart” for my own good!

You can read the rest on guest post on Patheos.com.

Would LOVE to hear your thoughts and I share my life to the world :)