Charity and Missions
Contrast this, found on financial services site MintLife (HT: Tim Challies):
Missions is not only crucial for the life of the world. It is crucial for the life of the church. We will perish with our wealth if we do not pour ourselves out in ministries of mercy at home and missions among the unreached peoples. We are very wealthy in America. All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church. But we are not giving it.
In 1916, Protestants were giving 2.9% of their incomes to their churches. In 1933, the depth of the Great Depression, it was 3.2%. In 1955, just after affluence began spreading through our culture, it was still 3.2%. By 2000, when Americans were over 450% richer, after taxes and inflation, than in the Great Depression, Protestants were giving 2.6% of their incomes to their churches. Moreover, “If members of historically Christian churches in the United States were giving an average of 10% in 2000, there would have been an additional $139 billion a year going through church channels.” Now add to that the really shocking fact that of the money given to the church, less than 6% goes to foreign missions and of that amount, about 1% goes to fund breakthroughs to unreached peoples. This is not to say we should pull back on any front. The point is, there is plenty for all the breakthroughs is we live to show that Christ is our Treasure.
–John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (pg. 172)