Money Burning If just American Christians gave a tithe (tenth), the world would be changed. I've been reading a rather amazing book, entitled, Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away more Money. It's not a lot of fun to read. It's a bit depressing. But, it's also insightful, incisive, and a real encouragement to me and my colleagues to preach and teach on giving. It will bless the life of each giver, and help change the world in Christ's name.

Smith and Emerson estimate that American Christians give away 1-2% of their income on average–based on after-tax income. If they met the tithe on after-tax income, it would free up another 40 Billion dollars for Kingdom purposes.

What would you do for the Kingdom with that much money?

Based on their analysis, here's what that 40 Billion Dollars could do (Imagine your own list):


Global Missions


Sponsor 150,000 new indigenous missionaries and pastors in nations most closed to foreign religious workers


the resources being spent by all global Christians on Bible
translating, printing, and distribution to provide Bibles in the native
languages of the 2,737 remaining people groups currently without Bible


50,000 needs-based scholarships of $7,000 each per year for deserving
Christian seminary and Bible school students in Africa, Asia, and Latin


into four different languages (Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese),
publish, and distribute 20,000 copies of 100 new titles per year of the
best English-language Christian books for reading in Asia, Africa, and
Latin America

1,500 new Christian ministers to work in hospitality, evangelism, and
discipleship with foreign students studying in U.S. universities

the organizational infrastructure of a major Christian research and
advocacy organization fighting against contemporary economic and sexual
slavery worldwide


Provide funds to help build, expand, or upgrade 75,000 church and ministry buildings in Africa, Asia, and Latin America


the organizational infrastructure of a major Christian research and
advocacy organization fighting for religious freedoms worldwide


Finance 350 new Christian radio stations broadcasting Christian programming into the least evangelized regions of the world


1,000 new interreligious study groups and travel tours per year to
promote grass-roots mutual understanding and communication,
particularly between Christians and Muslims around the world

Quadruple the total resources being spent by all Christians globally on missions to evangelize the unevangelized world

Global Development and Relief


5,000,000 grass-roots, micro-enterprise economic development projects
per year in poor countries worldwide that employ revolving loan funds
for needy entrepreneurs to purchase tools, materials, and equipment to
start or expand micro businesses, which they pay back as their
businesses grow


Completely close the funding gap on resources needed by the current global campaign to eradicate polio worldwide before 2010


1,000,000 new clean water, well-drilling projects per year in the
poorest nations (25% of the world's population drinks unsafe water),
dramatically improving the health of tens if not hundreds of millions
of people per year


Finance 10,000 comprehensive faith-based programs of AIDS/HIV prevention, education, and medication in sub-Saharan Africa


Provide full resources needed for a global campaign to prevent and treat malaria worldwide


Supply 1 heifer or 4 hogs (as needed and appropriate) to 4,000,000 needy Christian or other families worldwide per year


Provide food, clothing, and shelter to all 6,500,000 current refugees in all of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East


the organizational infrastructure of a major Christian think-tank and
advocacy organization working on creative means to reduce poverty and
hunger worldwide


Quadruple the current annual operating budget of Habitat for Humanity


Double the current annual operating budget of World Vision, which serves 100 million people in 96 nations


funding to Christian organizations worldwide that provide free and
subsidized eye exams, vision care, glasses, limb braces, and
prosthetics to 1,000,000 of the poorest and neediest people of the world

Sponsor 20 million needy children worldwide through Christian organizations providing them food, education, and healthcare

Quadruple all resources currently being spent by all Christians globally on medial missions work

U.S. Christian Ministry and Church Finance


Hire 10,700 new Christian youth ministers to evangelize, disciple, guide, and counsel U.S. teenagers


the salaries of 50,000 of the most needy U.S. church pastors by an
average of $15,000 each, to provide for proven needs and to increase
incentives encouraging the best and brightest young adults to consider
callings to ministry


Fund 500 new Christian Prison ministry organizations providing evangelism, discipleship, and education to prison inmates


into English 200 per year of the best Christian articles and books by
foreign language writers for publication and sale in the United States
and other English-speaking nations


the refitting of the heating, cooling, and electrical systems of 20,000
of the most desperate and inefficient U.S. church buildings per year,
including the installation (where appropriate, in 1/3rd of the cases)
of new PV solar electric generating systems


5,500 new Family Counseling and Support organizations in the United
States and major cities worldwide to bring affordable Christian support
and counseling to families, marriages, and individuals in trouble


50,000 new, trained, church-based adult Christian educators for the
re-education of U.S. Christians in theology, discipleship, and ministry


the organizational infrastructure of a major Christian think-tank
working on Christian perspectives and moralities of new biotechnologies
and emerging medial ethics


the organizational infrastructure of a major Christian research and
training center addressing Christian views on mass media and media
production and consumption


the hiring of 45,000 church-based U.S. ministers to the elderly whose
mission would be to provide Christian friendship, care, and support to
millions of the most isolated, abandoned, disabled, and lonely aging
Americans in their homes, nursing homes, or apartments

300 cross-race immersion programs around the United States to provide
Christians opportunities to live for 2 weeks in different race
environments, to learn and build relationships toward more profound
racial reconciliation

U.S. Economic Stewardship & Diaconal Ministry


financial and debt management training to 200,000 U.S. Christians per
year who are deeply in debt, to help them get on solid financial ground
in order to be able to make positive financial contributions in the


Provide church-based jobs training and career counseling to 100,000 unemployed or welfare-dependent Americans per year

25 new U.S. regional faith-based organizations that would provide
assistance and subsidies to pay heating and utilities bills to the most
needy of the poor and elderly in the United States

U.S. Christian Educational and Scholarship Development


Pay down the mortgages of 500 Christian middle and high schools by $30,000 each to reduce debt burden and interest payments


Provide needs-based scholarships of $15,000 each per year for 10,000 needy U.S. Christian college students


Provide needs-based scholarships of $15,000 each per year for 3,000 needy Christian seminary students preparing for ministry


research and writing fellowships to 150 of the best Christian scholars
per year to work on scientific and humanities scholarship informed by
Christian perspectives that holds promise for influencing higher
education and academic scholarship


101 $2 million contributions per year to Christian seminaries, divinity
schools, colleges, and Bible schools for building campaigns, capital
improvements, endowment building, or other demonstrated needs

Provide graduate school scholarships for 300 of the most promising Christian Ph.D. students per year in various fields of study