The State of Church Giving series published by empty tomb, inc. is now available through Wipf and Stock.
The empty tomb series documents church giving and membership patterns in the U.S. over multiple decades. The most recent edition, the 26th in the series, updates data through 2014.
Seven chapters consider different aspects of the changing data patterns of the church in the U.S. The numbers indicate declines over decades in both giving as a percent of income and membership as a percent of population. Even so, giving to religion remains the largest charitable category among Americans.
The eighth chapter puts the giving and membership trends into a larger context, including Jesus Christ’s statement, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, NIV). The introduction to chapter 8 reads:
“Church people in America are a power bloc.
“Church people in the U.S. have been misusing their power …
“Without understanding the truth, the church will continue to weaken. Many people have tried to explain why there is a decline in the church in the U.S. They offer various theories. None account for the unceasing declines in virtually all traditions of the church.
“The affluence spreading across the U.S., in an especially broad way since World War II, has run rampant over church members, who receive little or no guidance from church leaders also trying to ride the wave.
“This chapter will explore these themes and consider a solution: repent and mobilize.”
Wipf and Stock Publishers, based in Eugene, Oregon, describes their mission in part: “We believe in voice and breadth. From biblical studies to classic theology, poetry to history, our authors are experts, scholars, and artists. By combining innovative technology with academic excellence we are able to produce affordable books of enduring value.”
The State of Church Giving through 2014: Speaking Truth to Power is the 26th edition in the series published by empty tomb, inc., and was released in October 2016.