According to a new study by Empty Tomb Inc., a Christian research agency, giving to traditional Protestant and evangelical churches has fallen to the lowest level in decades. The study says this is not due to the poor economy. Rather, it indicates that people are cutting back as they see how their tithes and offerings are typically misused by churches. It seems that folks are fed up with all the money grubbing for ego-buildings, staff who are increasingly detached from real ministry, and life-sucking programs that don’t really advance the Kingdom of God.
In reporting on the study, the Washington Post concluded that “American churches are spending more on themselves”. The article goes on to conclude that “bottom line: U.S. churches seem to be more concerned with their own needs and their own desires over the needs of others.”
Exactly. When “church” becomes so self-consumed that its primary mission is advancing itself and its pastor, rather than advancing the Kingdom of God, then – as good stewards of the resources God gives us – it’s time to ask some hard questions.
So, is it time to finally starve that beast and let it die so God can bring forth authentic church? For me, and apparently a growing number of other believers, the answer is yes.