Church Throwback

5 Things That Could Happen if the Church Tithed

Only 3-5% of Americans regularly tithe. What would happen if all Christians in American tithed? What could changes could come about?

The Church in America is not so great at giving. What would happen if that changed? What would happen if all Christians in the US tithed?

Now, I know the tithe, a 10% offering, is not mandated in the New Testament. I have been hearing that argument for years. And it’s true it’s not mentioned. However, if you use that as your excuse as to why you don’t give you might what to go check your heart and your reason for not giving. While the 10% is not mentioned, giving is talked about over and over again in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Acts 2:44-47, Matthew 6:19-24, and Mark 12:41-44. In fact Jesus talks about money more than an other subject. The tithe is no longer required, but generosity is.

However this is not an article on why you should tithe, rather what would happen if we all did.

First, let’s start off with some statistics.

  • Currently Christians are giving at a 2.5% per capita/tithe. Compared to the Great Depression Christians gave 3.3%. (Source)
  • If Christians tithed the full 10% (and nothing more) between $139-$146 billion would become available for ministry work.
  • Only 3-5% of Americans give regularly to the Church. (Source)

If the Church in America tithed there would be an extra $140(+/-) billion to fund ministry work locally and globally. So what are some of the things we could do with that money?

Let’s start locally.

Launch Outreach Ministries

  • $75 Million to add 500 new prison ministries
  • $1.1 Billion to add 5,500 new family counseling centers
  • $150 Million to provide debt and financial management training
  • $100 Million to provide job training for unemployed people

We don’t need to head overseas to find people in need. There are plenty right here in our back yard. With everyone tithing the Church would have more than enough money to care for the needs of people in their church and in their community.

Fully Staff the Church 

  • $500 Million to Train 10,000 new pastors
  • $500 Million to Raise the median salary for current pastors

Many Churches are under staffed and many more pastors are under paid. With a full tithe we could train new pastors to fill the current church roles that are left empty and fill new roles created by church plants. We could also raise the median salary from $44k to $54k. (Source)

Maybe you are wondering why we need to pay pastors. Why can’t they just get a second job? The median work week for a pastor is 50 hours. That means more than 50% of pastors are putting in more than 50 hours a week. Less than 3% of pastors work less then 40 hours a week. (Source) Pastor’s have high demands on their schedule. They simply don’t have time to have another job and care for their families. And a large amount of pastors are underpaid due to the finical strains of the Church.

Bottom line, we could fully staff the current church and the church of the future.

Let’s shift gears for a moment and look at what impact the Church in America could have across seas.

Relieve Hunger, Cure Preventable Diseases, and Provide Clean Water… For the WORLD

  • Estimated price tag: $52 Billion and 5 years to fix the problems listed. (Source)

The world is filled with people dying from lack of food, water, and preventable diseases. And we can fix that. I’m not talking about making everyone rich or leveling the economic playing field. There will still be rich and poor and people in-between. But it is within our reach to stop these preventable things and raise the quality of life for people born into poverty.

We have the money and the resources to fix this. All we need to do is make the sacrifice.

Fully Fund the Great Commission 

  • Estimated price tag: $2.5 Billion. (Source)

An estimated 1 in 5 people in this world have never heard about Jesus. Of the 6,800 living languages about 1,800 do not have the Bible translated into their native tongue. (Source) Think about that for a second. Think of all the people that do not know about Jesus in the world. Woe to us who have the resources to tell everyone but instead sit on our hands.

We have the resources to accomplish this. It will take many years, but we can do it. We have the resources to put a Bible in everyone’s hands and literally tell the world about Jesus. Think of the impact a small sacrifice from everyone could make.

It Will Change You 

I have tried every excuse in the book as to why I should not be generous; it comes down to me wanting to hold onto “my” money. But time and time again God challenges me to give more. At first I resist, but after some prodding I step out in faith. With each step I take my faith increases, my relationship with God changes, and I become more compassionate, more caring. When I give it changes me.

If the Church were to tithe it would change us. You cannot give and not change. Often our money is tied to our hearts, and when we give our money to God we are actually giving our heart to God. The hearts of the Church would dramatically change if it was generous.

The purpose of this article is not to give a detailed plan of what every church should do with money tithed. I’m not really interested in debating the numbers or exactly what money should be spent on. What I am trying to show is that we could literally change the world if we all gave a little. Major world changes are within our reach; it would just take a little sacrifice from us.

Here’s my challenge, prayerfully consider this question: What would it look like for you to start honoring God with you money? How can you use what God has given you to care for others?

Maybe for you that’s to start giving $10 a week. Maybe it’s tithing 10%. Maybe you can do even more. The point isn’t to reach some number, the goal is to be generous with what God has given us. We are a very wealthy nation, and we have the potential to literally change the world.

I’ve written on my person struggle with money here: Money and God (A Honest Look at the Struggle)


What do you think could happen if the church was generous?

11 comments on “5 Things That Could Happen if the Church Tithed

  1. Yes! And thank you for the statistics. The 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 encouragement to give generously and cheerfully could be interpreted as encouragement to give beyond a tithe, because 10% was the minimum required by Old Testament Law and as such wouldn’t have been considered “generous” in the culture of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, we are still called to be generous. I think for some that means an above 10%. While for others that could be much much below. God calls different people to different levels of giving.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article. I agree 100%. I’ve heard, and believe it, 10% should be where we start when God has blessed us and we can give.
    Myself, and family have been blessed with much. However, we had a time in our lives when we did go hungry and we were cold. We still gave until we literally couldn’t anymore. Our local church didn’t help us during that time of need because it simply did not have the resources. If the people who could have given did, our church would have not only helped us at the time, but so many others as well.

    I would also mention, what would happen if the church leadership gave as well. Our church gives a minimum of 12% of all tithes and offerings brought in to existing outreach ministries not run by our church. It has been life changing and great to be a part of. I think if churches would give out at least 10% of what they take in and show the members what they are doing with the money people would be excited to give, even the non-givers.

    One final note on giving. Based on the new testament, 100% of everything we have belongs to God. So giving 10% to the church is pretty minor stuff. That other 90% Christians hang on to; yea, God is wanting to use that to bless you so you can bless those around you. If you can’t proclaim and share the blessings God is laying on you, you might want to double check where those funds are being spent. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The best argument I’ve encountered against tithing is that Christians who tithe often think that the other 90 percent is theirs to spend as they please. No– 100 percent comes from God, and 100 percent is to be spent according to his will. This includes responsibility with the family budget, direct help to neighbors who need it, and sometimes support for charities not connected to the organized churches. I agree that congregations need more support from their members to do the work of the church–supporting church workers, reaching out to their communities, and sending missionaries to all nations. Many faithful church members give less than ten percent to their congregations because they see other ways their money can serve the Lord more efficiently and effectively. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another thought- what if people didn’t tithe but instead started to take care and love their neighbors? This would include spending some money as needed when those neighbors need a helping hand. I do mean neighbors as in the people who live around you and perhaps even those who you work with or otherwise see on a regular basis. We probably wouldn’t need official ministries or organized outreaches that cost money and yet many people would be reached and taken care of. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually heard of a Church that does that. I can’t for the life of me remember the name, it will eventually come to me. But out of their budget they zero to missions/outreach. Instead they take their congregation to local/global organizations, they help them out and let the congregation see the physical needs. Then they spell out the needs and challenge their people to give directly to that organization, mission, or people. It works out great for them! A very cool and different concept. They’ve estimated that their congregation gives about 24% of their annual budget, which is substantial!

      I will say one of the reasons they can do that is they have a LARGE full-time staff that work in outreach. This is not a feasible for most Churches to do this healthily. For a church to do that it would take many man hours to do well. But it’s still something interesting to look into. I’m sure there are more churches capable of doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like your comment but I actually meant it more like cancel the budget/business/paid staff completely and instead Christians would love their neighbors, help meet needs in their neighborhood, encourage other Christians around them and share Jesus with those that are already in their lives (whether through work, home, family, volunteering, etc). Instead of 10% of income going to the “church”, it would go directly to meeting the needs of people around you.

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      • There is the house church movement that does just that. There’s a lot of cool ministry that comes out of that. However there are a lot of draw back as well.

        Church is more then just helping others, though that’s certainly a pillar. It’s about a gathering of believers that help each other, meet together, eat together, learn together, and grow together. Most of that can’t happen without paid pastors. That’s why since the beginning most pastors have been paid by the church. Starting in Acts and continuing to today. The average pastor works 50hrs a week leaving little time to find work outside to find work. If we were to disband and not give to the church it would not be able to continue to do some of it’s primary missions.

        I am admittedly a little bias since I am a pastor and support my family via the church. However I think I’m in good company since the founding of the church pastors/full-time staff have been paid so that they can give themselves fully to the work of the church.

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  6. John W Reed

    I have heard this low giving statistic ever since I became a Christian 24 years ago. I have heard the same message for years and years. What could we do if all believers tithe? It is guilt talk. It hasn’t motivated anyone to give.
    Some have given because they do love the Lord but also were promised great blessing in return for giving. I know single moms, lower income families who gave way more than ten percent. For years and years. They’re still flat broke and barely making it. I know of one case where they were giving so much of their money away and not seeing much increase financially that they couldn’t afford to buy someone a new tire.

    What could we do with more money?

    more pastors? What? many of the larger churches now have so many pastors on staff I am confused by what they actually do;
    the Senior pastor
    the Associate Pastor
    the Campus Pastor
    the Tech Pastor
    the Media Pastor
    the Pastor of small groups
    the Pastor of women’s ministries
    the Pastor of Worship
    the Pastor of Fellowshipping
    The Pastor of security
    the Pastor of Maintenance
    the Youth Pastor
    the Children’s pastor

    many churches have this many and more pastors
    do we need more?

    Many like to say if we all tithed then we could eliminate hunger, and famine, and tears, and make the world happy happy happy

    I didn’t realize we adopted the platform of the DNC.
    Throwing money at schools, orphanages, feeding programs, job training etc will not eliminate any of these problems
    In other nations, one many are Godless heathen nations who worship false gods and idols and reject Christ. There is no blessing on these nations. As a result men pursue ungodliness and famine and war and pestilence is overwhelming.
    two these nations have military regimes that run them. Most of the food or resources given are procured for the govt and their military. War ravaged lands make it incredibly difficult to bring relief. And no matter how many orphanages we build, in another part of the World sadly more orphanages will be needed. It is not to take away from people’s pain or make light of their suffering, but it is like owning a pet. No matter how often you sweep it is always there and the same amount you swept the day prior. It is a fallen World. Even if all Christians gave 20% of their income away it wouldn’t eliminate suffering. Jesus said the poor we will have with us always.
    Sadly, many leaders have never seen or managed large sums of income flowing. Many leaders wouldn’t even know what to do with that type of funds. Would leaders be able to manage that type of funds?

    Christians should give and give what they can. It is not of necessity, or compulsion, or Law that we give.

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