The State of the Plate just released a report on the characteristics of tithers.  Their report is based on a five year study of 4,413 people.  They found that 

  • 77% of tithers give more than 10% (between 11-20%)
  • 70% base their tithe on their gross, rather than net income
  • 63% started tithing in their twenties or before
  • “Tithers carry much less debt than most people and are financially better off than Christian non-tithers — 80% of ‘tithers’ have no unpaid credit card bills; 74% have no car payments; 48% own their home; and 28% are completely debt-free.”
  • Only 10-25% of churchgoers tithe, which constitutes 50-80% of a churches funding.

Reasons cited by non-tithing Christians for not tithing include the lack of finances (38%), too much debt (33%), and lack of spousal approval (18%). And yet, State of the Plate found that those who tithe are “distributed almost equally across all income brackets.”  It seems that one’s personal debt may be one of the best indicators regarding their likelihood to tithe.


HT: Scot McKnight

Do you give 10% of your income to the work of God?  Do you think by doing so you are fulfilling the Mosaic command to tithe?  Think again.  Israelites were commanded to pay upwards of ~23% in tithes, not a mere 10%.

The Mosaic Law required the children of Israel to pay three different tithes: levitical tithe (Lev 27:30-32; Num 18:21,24), annual festival tithe (Dt 14:22-27), and tri-annual poor tithe (Dt 14:28-29).  The levitical tithe was the standard tithe.  It required all Israelites to give 10% of their increase (crops, fruit, livestock) to the Levites.  This tithe was probably offered sporadically throughout the year.