The Survey Says – “Proof That Christian Leaders Are Extraordinarily Generous”
Can I be transparent?Â I despise most Christian surveys.Â The reason is simple.Â They never seem to have any good news.Â Â Their dataÂ gives theÂ impression that the sky is falling.Â The surveys tell usÂ there is no hopeÂ and Jesus is, at best, asleep at the wheel or, at worst,Â no longer in control.
Most Christian surveys imply that Satan is winningÂ and ChristiansÂ should batten down the hatches.Â Then we should wait for our lives to endÂ orÂ the rapture, whicheverÂ comes first.Â ThereÂ is simply is noÂ chance of redemption.Â Frankly,Â I have always felt that part of the reason for this was people needed to justify their position and/orÂ promote books becauseÂ negativity sells.
Well, using www.SurveyMonkey.com,Â IÂ asked the readers of this site to participate inÂ anÂ Anonymous Survey On Church Giving.Â IÂ had been conditionedÂ to expectÂ a depressing picture of Christianity.Â We are toldÂ not to expect much fromÂ Christians.Â Well, the resultsÂ are in and they areÂ SHOCKING AND ALARMING!Â ALARMINGLY GOOD!
ThreeÂ years ago I was in a meeting with a group of Christian creativesÂ discussing the phrase “generosity”.Â I stated that much like the word “stewardship”, thisÂ term would soon become stale and needed to be repackaged.
IÂ felt that an organization on the leading edge of creativityÂ should consider using the phrase “sacrifice”.Â I said, “The sense I get is most Christian leaders are already generous, so what’s the next step?Â Sacrifice.”
One ofÂ creativesÂ responded, “I agree thatÂ most Christian leaders are generous but sacrifice will never sell.Â Most people don’t want to think about sacrifice.”Â Â Despite my efforts, the idea died due to lack of traction.
I wantÂ you to remember that conversation as youÂ read the following results of this week’s survey.
Here is whatÂ my research tells us:
- 80.3% of those surveyed held staff or volunteer leadership positions at their church.Â That makes sense because this is a website designed to invest in leaders.
- AÂ SHOCKING 85.3% of the responders state they give at least 10% of their pre-tax income to their local church.Â Even though most of the respondents are in leadership, this isÂ an incredible number!
- As you would then guess, 92.1% state that tithing is biblical.Â Sorry grace givers!
- 60.5% claim toÂ carry very little if any personal debt.Â Â However, 17.1% (basically 1 out of every 5) stateÂ their personal debt was stressful or significant.
- 69.3% claim that their personalÂ debt load has no impact on how much they give.Â Â That speaks to theÂ current level of faith, trust, obedience, responsibility, and Christian discipleship.Â Great job!
- When asked what percentage of their incomeÂ they give to charity, an INCREDIBLE 46.1%Â said they give MORE than 10% to charitable causes.Â This is tangible proof that Christian leaders are extraordinarily generous!
- 81.6% says the majority of their giving goes to their local church rather than spreading it around.Â Once again, sorry grace givers!
- What is most exciting to me is 75% of the respondentsÂ described themselves asÂ ”Excited” or “Very Excited” about their church’s vision.Â The Kingdom is advancing!Â It also appears the level of giving and where it goesÂ is in direct correlationÂ toÂ level of excitementÂ for the church’sÂ vision.
- Interestingly, whether or not a pastor should know the giving records ofÂ church members is basically split right down the middle.Â 47.3% for and 52.7% against the pastor having that information.
- I love Christian leaders!Â And anyone who communicates anything other thanÂ great respect and admirationÂ for them is simply wrong.
- Christian leaders are arguably the mostÂ extraordinarily generous leadersÂ around!
- The time for calling Christian leaders to generosity may be over.Â This survey shows that the large percentageÂ is already there.
- Therefore, theÂ next step in the Christian leadership journey is not generosity.Â It is sacrifice.
- However, there is a need in churches for a multi-layered communication strategy on finances.Â Â Not everyone is a leader at their church.Â Regular attenders still need stewardship educationÂ from people like Joe Sangl.Â TheyÂ should still be discipled with generosity language.Â But for leaders, theyÂ need to be challenged to move toward sacrifice.
Finally, I want to say how proud I am to be part of the Christian leadership community.Â As a whole, we areÂ an extraordinarily generous tribe.Â We are not robbing God.Â We are keeping our personal debt levelsÂ low.Â We are giving more than the tithe to fund ministry, relieve suffering, serve the poor, and facilitate eternal life change.Â We love pastors and give our lives to the fulfillment of great vision.
The survey says,”Christian leaders are extraordinarily generous.”Â Â As a result, the survey also says, “Christian leaders should now focus on and move towardsÂ sacrifice.”
Is there work to be done?Â YES!Â But don’t let anyone tell you the sky is falling.Â Don’t let anyone tell youÂ there is no hope.Â God is still doing an amazing work through Christian leaders and I am proud to be one of you!
What are your thoughts on the survey?
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