Church Donations

Long-term declines in giving and church memberships can be addressed

Helping dying children in Jesus name will also help the church

Recent Gallup survey data indicates declining church membership in the United States. For the first time in more than eight decades of surveys, Gallup found that church members made up less than half of the American population.

Similar trends appear in numbers reported by a wide range of religious denominations and collected by Empty Tomb, Inc.’s The State of Church Giving series.

For example, donations as a percentage of income decreased by 31% per member, from 3.02% in 1968 to 2.05% in 2018, the last collection year.

A group of 34 Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church comprised 45% of the US population in 1968 and 33% in 2018.

The 30th edition, The State of Church Giving through 2018, not only documents these figures. Also, according to the new book, trends don’t have to continue. The proposed solution is a goal big enough to grab people’s attention, time and money.

One of the purposes offered by the empty tomb is to help, in the name of Jesus, to reduce the death rate among children under the age of five in the world. Despite declining trends, church distribution channels are often still present where the need is greatest. Empty Tomb’s Mission Match® encourages churches to design mission projects to help achieve this goal by 2025.

The New Book of the Empty Tomb, The state of the gifts of the Church until 2018: what if Jesus returns in 2025? (30th edition, December 2020), is available from Wipf and Stock Publishers.

More information about Mission Match is available at

See also Reference Resources:

For the results of the Gallup survey, see: Jeffrey M. Jones; “American Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time”; 03/29/2021: “Americans’ membership of places of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans reported belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque, up from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999” (p. 1).

For Pew survey data on the decline of Christianity, see: Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director Research, et al. ; “In the United States, the decline of Christianity continues at a rapid pace”; 10/17/2019.


Sylvia Ronsvalle
empty tomb, inc.
[email protected]

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