The Common Good
May-June 2000

Prosperity Doesn't Equal Generosity

by Ryan Beiler | May-June 2000

A new report shows that the current economic boom is not finding its way to the
collection plate.

A new report shows that the current economic boom is not finding its way to the collection plate. Data from 11 Protestant denominations revealed that their percentage of income giving was lower in recent years than during the depth of the Great Depression.

Co-authors John and Sylvia Ronsvalle of empty tomb inc. (a Christian service and research organization, blame the decline in part on churches’ tendency to give priority to "the preservation and upkeep of their institutions." To revitalize church giving, they suggest that "Church leaders could offer a fresh and compelling vision for impacting world need in Jesus’ name" through "immediate investment in global need."

Moreover, they propose a moratorium on gifts to endowments, offering statistical evidence that immediate investments in human beings have more long-term benefits than traditional endowment models.

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