Funding the Local Church
Eighty percent of giving in evangelical churches comes from 20 percent of the people. The remaining 20 percent of giving is from another 30 percent of the people, leaving 50 percent not participating. Published national statistics by Barna, the Southern Baptist Convention, and others suggest that 80 percent of giving in evangelical churches comes from 20 percent of the people. The remaining 20 percent of giving is from another 30 percent of the people, leaving 50 percent not participating. The average amount contributed represents about 2.5 percent of the contributors gross income, rather than the basic tithe (10%). Historically, most churches have sought to stretch giving by increasing the budget or appealing through Faith Promise Missions—a single category of the overall church budget. These tactics were more effective in the past with earlier generations who were comprised of more committed stewards. (There are still some exceptional churches experiencing success with these efforts.) Overall, stewardship development must precede funding development. You need to elicit more participants in obedience-based (not need-based) giving. Train your people in biblical principles of stewardship that are a part of our primary occupation (stewards of the Lord) regardless of our vocation. Encourage them to begin by practicing the tithe principle as firstfruits giving to Christ—an acknowledgement of Gods ownership of all, accountability for all, and trusting Him to sufficiently provide. Then encourage sacrificial gifts beyond the tithe principle as a demonstration of love for Christ, His Church, and spiritual rather than material priorities (2 Corinthians 8, 9).