Publications

empty tomb, inc.

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Available October 15, 2014

The State of Church Giving through 2012: What Are Christian Seminaries and Intellectuals Thinking — Or Are They?
24th Edition, 2014, ISBN 978-0-9843665-4-5

SCG12_front_cover_image SCG12_back_cover_image

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2012, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominational overseas missions income, 2003-2012.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2012, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of the need for a categorical shift in the way the church in the U.S. understands money. Five realities missed by Christian seminaries and intellectuals are explored: 1) The potential of the church; 2) Pastors are preaching to congregations filled with not the poor but the rich; 3) Money is a spiritual power; 4) Bigness and the illusion of powerlessness; 5) Seminaries and intellectuals must lead.


The State of Church Giving through 2011: The Kingdom of God, Church Leaders & Institutions, Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus
23rd Edition, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9843665-3-8

SCG11 cover image SCG backcover image

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2011, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003-2011.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2011, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of the relationship of the kingdom of God, church leaders and institutions, global triage needs, and the promises of Jesus in light of the analyses in the first seven chapters of this edition in the series, in chapter 8.

SCG10 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2010:
Who's in Charge Here? A Case for a Positve Agenda for Affluence.

22nd Edition, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9843665-2-1

Topics Include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2010, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003–2010.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2010, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of Matthew 6:24: the implications for church leaders and members of the choice between God and Money, and an exploration of a positive agenda for affluence.

SCG09 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2009:
Jesus Christ, the Church in the U.S., & the 16 No-Progress-in-Child Deaths Nations, 10 Being 84% Christian

21st Edition, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9843665-1-4

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. updated through 2009, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An analysis of church member giving in recessions, 1968-2009 and 1921-1967.
  • An original survey of denominations’ overseas missions income, 2003-2009.
  • An updated review of giving potential of church members in the U.S., including all church members, and for various church populations.
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2009, cash contributions to charitable causes.
  • A discussion of Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats, in light of church member giving patterns in the U.S. in relationship to the 16 nations making no progress in decreasing child deaths among those under age 5, with 10 of those countries being 84% Christian.

SCG08 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2008:
Kudos to Wycliffe Bible Translators and World Vision for Global At-Scale Goals, But Will Denominations Resist Jesus Christ And Not Spend $1 to $26 Per Member to Reach The Unreached When Jesus Says, “You Feed Them?”

20th Edition, 2010, ISBN 978-0-9843665-0-7

Topics include:

  • An exploration of denominational leaders' approach to Jesus priorities in the context of Jesus' interaction with the first disciples in the miracle of the loaves and fish, as recounted in Mark 6:35-44.
  • Church member giving in recession year 2008
  • Church spending for denominational overseas ministries, 2003-2008
  • Country-specific costs to address under-5 child deaths in 68 countries that account for 95% of these deaths, updated to 2008 data
  • Updates of church member giving and membership, 1921-2008
  • Comparison of Evangelical and Mainline Protestant giving, 1968-2008
  • Church member giving and membership Trends based on 1968-2008 Data
  • The potential of the church to impact global word and deed need through increased giving
  • An analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008 Consumer Expenditure Survey cash contributions

SCG07 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2007:
What Are Our Christian Billionaires Thinking — Or Are They?

19th Edition, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9679633-9-6

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. through 2007, based on aggregated congregational reports.
    An analysis of the 2007 U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey Charitable giving data.
    An original survey of 34 denominations' overseas missions spending, 2003-2007.
  • Country-specific cost estimates to address eight causes of under-5 child deaths in 68 countries that account for 95% of these deaths.
  • Discussion of one organization's approach to global evangelization, and a case study of one denomination's approach to its stated goal for engaging unreached people groups.
  • A strategy for "wholesale" billionaire philanthropists (high-capacity donors) to mobilize "retail" billionaire philanthropists (supporters of multibillion dollar churches) to assist global and domestic need in Jesus' name.

SCG06 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2006:
Global Triage, MDG 4, and Unreached People Groups

18th Edition, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9679633-8-9

Topics include:

  • Church Giving and Membership Data and Trends Updated through 2006
  • Global Triage for Word and Deed Need: A strategy of global triage is suggested as a solution for lukewarm giving patterns. Although church members in the U.S. could help both unreached people groups and the prevention of under-five child deaths for a few cents a day, church members and leaders are not mobilizing to do either. Setting priorities may help church members to be more faithful and help meet urgent needs at the same time.
  • Why and How Much Americans Give: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data for 2006 analyzed by U.S. Region, Age, and Income. Also a comparison of CE, Form 990, and the tax-return based Giving USA estimates of giving for 1989 through 2004, the latest data set year.
  • The Potential of the Church: An empty tomb survey of 34 Protestant denominations' Overseas Missions Income is extended through 2006, including cents per dollar by denomination. Also: Potential giving in nine Roman Catholic Archdioceses; cost per member for global evangelization and meeting various global needs for selected church populations; an update of potential giving at the 10% level.

SCG05 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2005,:
Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions

17th Edition, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9679633-7-2

Topics include:

  • An analysis of church giving patterns in the U.S. through 2005, based on aggregated congregational reports.
  • An analysis of the 2005 U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey Charitable giving data.
  • An original survey of the 34 denominations' overseas missions spending, 2003-2005.
  • A discussion of denominational structures in relationship to the support of congregational overseas missions.
  • An exploration of the potential for church members in the U.S. to impact global and domestic need through increased giving through their congregations.

SCG04 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2004:
Will We Will?

16th Edition, 2006, ISBN 0-9679633-6-2

Topics include:

  • Update on Church Member Giving and Membership Trends through 2004
  • New Survey of 2004 Overseas Missions Support in 34 Denominations
  • Calculated Per Member Cost Per Day to Address Global Evangelization and Physical Need for Various Church Populations
  • Roman Catholic Potential Giving in Eight Archdioceses
  • A Proposal from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. to Increase Giving to 0.7%, Applied to The United Methodist Church
  • Consideration of the Effects of the Unified Budget in One Denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Why and How Much Americans Give
    This chapter includes a comparison of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the Internal Revenue Service Forms 990 series, and the IRS charitable deductions-based Giving USA estimates for total contributions in the U.S. The chapter also includes an analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey charitable giving data for 2004 by Age, Region of Residence in the U.S., and Income Levels.
  • Will We Will?
    This chapter considers: the role of traditional and meta-denominations; the process of disintermediation between denominations and congregations, and the possibility of reintermediation; the practice by denominational leaders of cathartic drama rather than practical mobilization for global needs; and the institutional enslavement of overseas missions as a consequence of the unified budget.

SCG03 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2003
15th Edition, 2005, ISBN 0967963354.

Topics include:

  • The Potential of the Church
    An empty tomb survey of 28 Protestant denominations' Overseas Missions Income for 2003 (including 146,000 congregations). A comparison of Overseas Missions Income in the 1920s and 2003. An update of potential giving at the 10% level, and the potential of the church to impact global need in Jesus' name.
  • The relationship between membership growth and Overseas Missions Income.
  • Church Giving and Membership Data Updated through 2003
    Updated and confirmed giving data from 1968-2003. Analysis of evangelicals and mainline Protestant giving trends, 1968-2003 trends in membership and giving patterns, and giving and membership from 1921-2003.
  • Giving Patterns and the Church's Priorities
    A review of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches series, 1916-1982 editions, to explore church priorities. A discussion of dynamics defining current church priorities, especially regarding the prime directive of the Great Commission.
  • Measurement of Philanthropy
    A review of national media reports on national philanthropy data. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey charitable giving data.

SCG02 cover image The State of Church Giving through 2002
ISBN 0-9679633-4-6.

Contains a detailed 20-year update of empty tomb's Yoking Map® and the Fourth Annual Measurement of Philanthropy Report Card. Also, a discussion of why church members do not give more, exploring the practice of idolatry in the context of the Apostle Paul equating greed with idolatry (Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).


bsgw cover image Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church
(Baker Books, 1996): What are the dynamics at the congregation level that contribute to declining church member giving? This book reports on a three-year study by empty tomb, inc. The project included encounters with hundreds of local congregations, a nationally-distributed survey as well as interviews with over 40 national church leaders.


atease cover image At Ease: Discussing Money and Values in Small Groups
(Alban Institute, 1998): Well known for their innovative writings on churches and money, the Ronsvalles of empty tomb, inc. team up with U. Milo Kaufmann to present their newest work in this field: a method for making people comfortable about the difficult issues of linking money and values. The method is based on congregational small-group discussions that create support and trust to help individuals identify their fears and worries, as well as their attitudes on stewardship and support of the church. A series of questions leads participants by steps to new and increasingly probing conversations about these issues.


phf cover image The Poor Have Faces: Loving Your Neighbor in the 21st Century
(Baker Book House, 1992): Building upon their church giving research, the Ronsvalles reflect on the potential of the church to impact global and domestic needs. Sharing experiences from their local ministry outreach and global interactions, they suggest that although people truly want to help their neighbors, people often feel overwhelmed by the world's extensive problems. In response, this book realistically looks at the church in America's unique resources, challenges Christians to adopt a personal, biblical view of stewardship, and lays out a viable plan of action to significantly reduce desperate world and domestic conditions and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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