Aaron Earls has posted on global Christianity trends in an article at the Facts and Trends blog. We Americans have a tendency to assume that the USA is the world, and so we think that what happens here determines how the rest of the world thinks and behaves. But the fact is that we are but one nation out of many, and most Christians live somewhere else.
7. Christians possess and are giving large amounts of money.
The total personal income of Christians around the world will equal close to $53 trillion in 2017. In 2017, believers will also give $900 billion to Christian causes.
Churches themselves will bring in $360 billion, while parachurches and other religious institutions will collect $540 billion. The income of global international missions will reach $53 billion.
Interesting. That’s not a tithe but about 2% of Christian income — but still a huge number. And more goes to Christian parachurch organizations (nonprofits or NGOs) than to actual churches by 50%. I had no idea …
I’ve seen reports that young ministers are preferring to go to work for parachurch organizations rather than churches — to avoid church politics, tradition barriers, and such like. But many parachurch organizations do good work but don’t do good Christian work. I mean, if they aren’t concerned with making converts to Christ, as well as digging wells and painting houses, it’s not Kingdom work and doesn’t further the cause of Christ.
So there are plenty of nonprofits that work cooperatively with local congregations to help them and do what they are called to do.I’m 100% in favor of such works. But works that serve the needy without addressing the spiritual needs of those served are no different from a secular organization in effect. I’d not give them a penny because it’s just so easy to do what you do in the name of Jesus. Which I believe is what we’re called to do.