Family Money Matters: A Look at Christian Household Finances

What really matters in an economy is not what the media says, but what people's personal wallets say. As part of the second annual "State of the Plate," 750 Christian households provided an inside look into their income, employment, debt, and giving/tithing.

I'm conducting this research with Christianity Today International's Church Finance Today and Leadership journal. Based on preliminary results of this research, I've found that the average Christian family, though directly impacted by the economy, remains committed to faithful and generous giving to their church and ministries as a major priority.

Here's a closer look at four findings:

1) Income: The majority of families have either lost ground or remained flat financially this past year. For many years, most families saw their income increase. This is no longer the case as more and more families that completed the survey personally felt the effects of the sluggish economy:

- 33 percent of households said their incomes went down this past year.

- 43 percent of households saw no increase in their income.

- Only 23 percent of households saw their income increase.

2) Jobs: The negative effects of the economy are being felt in people's homes and church. Almost everyone knows someone who has been negatively impacted by the economy. This financial pain has been felt in people's immediate families, and everyone is mindful of other families in their church who are facing financial and employment struggles, too:

- 97 percent knew someone in their church who had lost a job in the past 12 months.

- 42 percent indicated they know people in their church who had to move away to find work.

- 33 percent of families had someone in their household whose job was negatively impacted by the economy.

- 30 percent know people personally who have lost their homes.

- 26 percent personally know people who declared bankruptcy.

What really matters in an economy is not what the media says, but what people's personal wallets say. As part of the second annual "State of the Plate," 750 Christian households provided an inside look into their income, employment, debt, and giving/tithing.

I'm conducting this research with Christianity Today International's Church Finance Today and Leadership journal. Based on preliminary results of this research, I've found that the average Christian family, though directly impacted by the economy, remains committed to faithful and generous giving to their church and ministries as a major priority.

Here's a closer look at four findings:

1) Income: The majority of families have either lost ground or remained flat financially this past year. For many years, most families saw their income increase. This is no longer the case as more and more families that completed the survey personally felt the effects of the sluggish economy:

- 33 percent of households said their incomes went down this past year.

- 43 percent of households saw no increase in their income.

- Only 23 percent of households saw their income increase.

2) Jobs: The negative effects of the economy are being felt in people's homes and church. Almost everyone knows someone who has been negatively impacted by the economy. This financial pain has been felt in people's immediate families, and everyone is mindful of other families in their church who are facing financial and employment struggles, too:

- 97 percent knew someone in their church who had lost a job in the past 12 months.

- 42 percent indicated they know people in their church who had to move away to find work.

- 33 percent of families had someone in their household whose job was negatively impacted by the economy.

- 30 percent know people personally who have lost their homes.

- 26 percent personally know people who declared bankruptcy.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Recent Posts
Subscribe to Church, Law & Tax
Lay Counseling Safety

Lay Counseling Safety

Manage the legal and ethical risks that arise in lay counseling and other spiritual care ministries.
Employment and Tax Status of Clergy

Employment and Tax Status of Clergy

With this tool, pastors can understand their tax status and systemize their payments.