Research

empty tomb, inc.



Announcing:

Available: October 15, 2014
The State of Church Giving through 2012: What Are
Christian Seminaries and Intellectuals Thinking — Or Are They?

• 24 Edition, October 2014

Topics Include:

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Available: The State of Church Giving through 2011: The Kingdom of God, Church Leaders & Institutions, Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus • 23rd Edition, October 2013

Topics Include:

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Available: The State of Church Giving through 2010: Who’s in Charge Here? A Case for a Positive Agenda for Affluence • 22nd Edition, October 2012

Topics include:

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Available: The State of Church Giving through 2009: Jesus Christ, the Church in the U.S., & the 16 No-Progress-in-Child Deaths Nations, 16 Being 84% Christian • 21st Edition, October 2011

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Available: 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, October, 2010

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Available: The State of Church Giving through 2007: What Are Our Christian Billionares Thinking - Or Are They? • 19th Edition, October, 2009

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Figures and tables from The State of Church Giving through 2007

  • Figure 1: U.S. Per Capita Income/Per Member Giving as a Percent of Income, 1916-2007
  • Figure 2: Giving as a Percent of Income and Membership as a Percent of U.S. Population, 1968-2007
  • Table 1: Per Member Giving as a Percentage of Income, 1968-2007
  • Table 2: Per Member Giving, Current Dollars, 1968-2007
  • Table 3: Per Member Giving, Inflation-Adjusted Dollars, 1968-2007

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Mobilizing the Church

  • National Church Leaders Response Form

A mailing to 202 denominations resulted in a 41% return rate for those denominations successfully contacted. The statement posed read, "Church members in the United States should increase giving through their churches in an effort to stop the millions of annual preventable global child deaths in Jesus' name." Of those responding, 81% said yes, 6% said no, and 14% did not choose yes or no. The detailed text from The State of Church Giving through 1999 (published 2001) is available. The full list of the national leaders who received the mailing is available by denomination or by zip code. In the table, "Y" equals a "Yes" response. "N" equals a "No" response. "O" equals a response that was "Neither" Yes or No. Comments written by the respondents are provided as well.

  • Systems Analysis

Systems and Subsystems Analysis: A Case Study, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1998 (published 2000), considers denominational structures that work against increased mission giving, including a case study of The United Methodist Church. [PDF]

  • Two Solutions

Two Solutions for the Vacuum of Leadership in the Church in the U.S., an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2000 (published 2002), offers two strategies to encourage church members to improve giving in order to impact global need in Jesus' name. [PDF]

  • Needs Analysis

Reversing the Decline in Benevolences Giving: A Country-by-Country Needs Analysis, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2001 (published 2003), describes the need for a country-by-country needs analysis with a reference point of stopping, in Jesus' name, global child deaths. [PDF]

  • Priorities and Consequences

Giving Trends and the Church's Priorities, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published 2005), explores national and local church priorities; reviews Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches editions from 1916 through 1982 for historical perspective; discusses possible social consequences of current giving trends; and offers recommendations to encourage the church's commitment to the Great Commission

  • Will We Will?

Will We Will?, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2004: Will We Will? (16th edition, October 2006), considers topics including:

  • Will meta-denominations replace current denominational structures?
  • Is the goal of denominations to mobilize their congregations in mission outreach, or provide cathartic drama at a maintenance level?
  • Do denominations have a role in helping congregations set their priorities?
  • Is an emphasis on missions versus congregational maintenance a zero-sum challenge?
  • Will congregations in the U.S. serve as global mission outreach centers and financial discipleship centers, or succumb to Mammonism and become irrelevant to the work of God's kingdom?
  • Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions

Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2005: Abolition of the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions (17th edition, October 2007), explores various topics, including:

  • Describing Congregational and Denominational Organization regarding Overseas Missions.
  • The Church in the U.S. in the Midst of Miraculous Circumstances.
  • Potential Versus Practice.
  • A Lack of Vested Interest in Changing the Status Quo.
  • Consequences of Religion Being Practiced without Power.
  • Signs of Hope for a Movement to Abolish the Institutional Enslavement of Overseas Missions.
  • Enslavement or Freedom for Overseas Missions?
  • Global Triage for Word and Deed Need

Global Triage for Word and Deed Need, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 2006: Global Triage, MDG 4, and Unreached People Groups (18th edition, October 2008), explores various topics including:

  • A Choice Before the Church in the U.S.
  • Triage as an Organizing Strategy.
  • Is Triage for Global Word and Deed Need Necessary?
  • An Examination of the Evidence: Allocation of Word Mission Resources.
  • An Examination of the Evidence: Rate of Progress in Alleviating Physical Needs.
  • Choice and Consequence: Consequences for Church Structure.
  • Triage as a Strategy for Change.

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Potential of the Church (See also the Potential page)

The Potential of the Church, chapter 6 from The State of Church Giving through 2002 (published 2004), explores potential Christian missions giving, the positive impact such giving could have, and possible reasons why Christians do not give more.

  • Why Is There No Creative Leadership?
  • Are There Signs of Hope?
  • The Church of Thyratira and the Church of Laodicea
  • The Chicago Archdiocese and Tithing: $7 billion
  • What Is Joe Christian Supposed to Do?
  • A Korean Church That Gives 60% To Missions

The Potential of the Church, chapter 6 from The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published 2005), presents a survey of 28 Protestant denominations’ overseas missions giving, and a historical review of missions support.

  • Per Capita Giving to International Missions
  • Denominational Overseas Missions Income, 1916-1927
  • Denominational Overseas Missions Income, 1924-25 and 2003
  • Changes in Denominational Priorities
  • Potential for Overseas Missions Funding
  • Potential Giving at 10% of Income in 2003
  • Positive consequences of Increased Overseas Missions Giving
  • Can Congregations Allocate More to Missions?
  • Two Maryland Congregations Focus on Africa
  • Antioch Presbyterian Church, Chonju, South Korea
  • Re-Imagining Missions
  • Will the Potential Be Realized?

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Perspectives on Faith and Money

The following papers consider various aspects of the spiritual implications of faith and money. The documents are provided in PDF format [PDF] or html [html] as noted. A link to download the free software to read PDF is available on this site under "Printing Helps."

  • Theory, Giving

A Unified Theory of Giving and Membership, an excerpt taken from The State of Church Giving through 1993 (published 1995), considers five denominations in terms of changes in membership compared to per member giving to missions. [PDF]

  • Theology, Scripture

The Theological Implications of Church Member Giving an excerpt taken from The State of Church Giving through 1995 (published 1997), considers writings by Luther, Calvin and Bonhoeffer, as well as Scripture, on the implications of discipleship and grace. [html]

  • Theology, Philosophy

A Trilogy of Papers: A Framework for Considering the Existence of God and the Universe, includes an introduction and three papers (click for more detailed descriptions). The papers include:

  • Introduction which provides a context and overview. [html]
  • The Marble Exercise, designed to engage the imagination as a means to explore the related ideas. [html]
  • A Treatise on the Irrationality of the Existence of God and the Universe, raising questions of prayer and the existence of evil. [html]
  • Causation: Observations and Dialogue, an exchange of ideas on the topic of causation.
  • Theology, Technology

"Excerpt from Chapter 5: Evaluation of the Church in the U.S.A." was written in 1982 as part of a typescript that was later published sans this chapter as The Hidden Billions: The Potential of the Church in the U.S.A. This chapter explores the relationship between the level of spiritual commitment and a willingness to accept technology similar to that described in Revelation as the mark of the beast. [html]

  • Theology,Technology Update

Charagma Watch, (July 22, 2003) An Annotated Update of "Evaluation of the Church in the U.S.A." (1982, 1983) is a document that reviews technological developments and the possible relationship to the Mark of the Beast as described in Revelation. [html]

  • Endowments Analysis

The Future of Congregational Giving: The Need for Creative Church Policy, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1997 (published 1999), develops a mathematical model to compare the efficiency of distribution through endowments with immediate distribution to address global need. [PDF]

  • Catholic Giving

An Exploration of Roman Catholic Giving Patterns, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1993 (published 1995), develops a model that takes into account three factors that are different between Catholic and Protestant organizational structures and that could produce different patterns of giving. [html]

  • Discipleship

A Profile of the Lukewarm Church Member is an excerpt from a presentation that presents telltale signs of the Christian who is neither hot nor cold. [PDF]

  • Discipleship

A Deleted Analysis of the Church in America. [html]

  • Lifestyle

Can Religion Influence the Middle Class?, an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1996 (published 1998) asks if religion is having an impact on the values and ethics of middle class American church members. [html]

  • The Lukewarm Church

Quotes from national leaders are collected in tables from The State of Church Giving series. These comments highlight the present condition of the church in the United States, and the need for change.

  • Recession

Church Member Giving and Recession Years, 1968-2005, an update of an earlier report, considers church member giving in the six recessions that occurred in the 1968-2005 period. The analysis found that church member giving declined in three recessions and increased in three during the 1968-2005 period. It may be observed that church member giving does not necessarily decline in a recession.

Church Member Giving in Recession Years: 1970, 1974, 1980, 1982, and 1990 an excerpt from The State of Church Giving through 1990 (published 1992), compares church member giving in first-year recession years and finds no clear pattern of decline or increase. [html]

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Philanthropy Measurement

  • Consumer Expenditure Survey Analysis

Analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey 2004 Data of Americans' Giving [html] reviews giving by categories:

  • Age, Region, Income Charities and other organizations; churches, religious organizations; educational institutions
  • Disparity in Reporting of Philanthropy

Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2003 (published October 2005), reviews national media reporting of philanthropy estimates in the United States, and provides recommendations to improve both reporting and estimates. [PDF] The chapter includes:

  • Recommendation:

"Reports of philanthropic giving need to be adjusted by population and income, as are other national statistics. The Associated Press told the American public that a fundraising industry estimate of giving rose 5.0% in 2004, while the percent change in the industry estimate of individual giving, when adjusted for population and income, was actually -1.6%" (p. 71)

  • "The Key Role Played by the Associated Press" (p. 76-77).

Table and Chart regarding the Disparity between Associated Press Reports on Aggregate Charitable Giving Levels, and Giving Adjusted for Population and Income (pp. 78-81).

"Detail for 2005 regarding the Associated Press Headline and Lead Sentence Focus on Aggregate Charitable Giving Data, Unadjusted for Population and Income" (pp. 81-89).

  • Update of Disparity in Reporting of Philanthropy

Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2004 (published October 2006), includes an update through 2005 of national media reporting of philanthropy measurement. The chapter also includes the Consumer Expenditure Survey 2004 Data of Americans' Giving. [PDF]

  • Report Card on the Measurement of Philanthropy

Chapter 7 of The State of Church Giving through 2002 (published October 2004), reviews various national measurement of philanthropy efforts, giving the combined efforts an "F." [PDF]

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Tidbits

The following articles are brief reflections by John and Sylvia Ronsvalle from empty tomb, inc.'s Opportunities Newsletter.

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