In his book I Was Wrong Christian writer Dennis Prince identifies several ways in which Christian generosity can be seen in the world today (1). Prince’s research suggested the following:
- (67%) of charitable giving comes from the 38% of Americans who go to church weekly.
- They give 3.4% of their weekly income. Those who attend church only a few times a year average just 1.4%, and those who don’t attend average 1.1%.
- Do Christians confine their giving to their own churches and religious bodies? No. They do give to their own churches (which pass on a great deal to the community) but they give generously to other nonreligious organizations as well. Researcher Virginia Hodgkinson found that two-thirds of the money donated to nonreligious charities comes from church members.
- Christians separate into two broad groups – conservative (evangelical, Bible believing) and liberals. Conservative Christians gave more than the liberals, and the more conservative they were, the more they gave. That study is a bit dated (1997), but a 2005 UK study, “How Christians use their money and why,” published by Christian Research, reinforced the main points. It reported that on average, [evangelical Christians] give 7.5% of their income to churches and a further 3% to Christian charities. Kolaneci’s research suggests they also give about 1.5% to secular charities (2).
Prince explains what encourages this generosity from Christians: “…when there are needs, the wallets of Christians are easiest to open. Why is this? Most Christians are driven by faith in Jesus Christ, inspired by His story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37) who rescued a beaten-up guy on the side of the road. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise” (v. 37). They are doing that. And it’s a reflection of God at work in them. God is big and warm and generous, and those who walk with God inevitably pick up His characteristics” (3).
1. Prince, D. 2013. I Was Wrong: Why the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Called It Quits… and Other Trouble for the New Atheism. p. 49.
2. Stafford, T. 1997. Anatomy of a Giver. Available.
3. Prince, D. 2013. Ibid.