23 June 2010
Christian leaders sweeping money under the carpet
Most church leaders dislike talking about the need to give money, according to a new survey on Christian giving. As a result, churchgoers are being given 'an array of mixed messages' by ministers about the need to give.
According to the report "Why Christians Give - Understanding the hearts and minds of 21st century evangelical donors" churches risk losing out on large amounts of potential giving due to an unnecessary timidity when it comes to talking about financial needs and the importance of giving.
Redina Kolaneci of McConkey ● Johnston international UK, the report's author, said: "Most Christian leaders seem to believe that that they are called to 'do mission' but do not consider that raising the money for this work is part of their remit.
"They tend to sweep money issues under the carpet and fail to preach inspiring sermons on the subject of generosity."
The same is true of Christian charities, with many relegating the task of raising funds to inadequately resourced, even inexperienced fundraisers or volunteers.
In spite of this apparent timidity, evangelicals remain an incredibly generous constituency. One in four donors from the survey, based on members of the Evangelical Alliance, stated that their giving has been impacted by the recession.
However, the average monthly amount donated by respondents is 11.5% of their household income of which 6.5% is given to local churches and another 5% to Christian charities.
"This is good news for churches and charities that are prepared to rethink the ways in which they do the asking," said Kolaneci.
"Evangelicals are not a homogenous group; they have different priorities, different motivations for giving and different preferred ways of giving. Leaders and organisations need to abandon a one-size-fits-all model of fundraising to truly engage with them. For those that are prepared to make the effort, the rewards are still great."
Why Christians Give - Understanding the hearts and minds of 21st century evangelical donors is based on a survey of 2,000 Evangelical Alliance members surveyed in August-September 2009. The full report was launched on June 22nd at the Evangelical Alliance inLondon.
Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "Why Christians Give is a timely report. The church as we know it has changed. We can't take it for granted that the principles of stewardship are widely applied across our diverse church expressions.
"I believe this report is geared to educate and inform Christian leaders on this issue in a positive way. I hope it will inspire us all to act as partners with God to resource His Kingdom."
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.