New American Bible Society Study Finds Practicing Christians Are More Generous
American Bible Society today released the eighth chapter of their 11th annual State of the Bible report, which recognizes cultural trends in the U.S. regarding spirituality and Scripture engagement
American Bible Society today released the eighth chapter of their 11th annual State of the Bible report, which recognizes cultural trends in the U.S. regarding spirituality and Scripture engagement*. Today’s release, Generosity and the Bible, reveals that the more a person practices their faith through church involvement and Scripture engagement, the more likely it is that they will be generous with their finances.
“Our research shows that Practicing Christians are generous across the board—whether that means volunteering, helping a stranger, or financially supporting a church or nonprofit. The connection, I think, is clear: those who acknowledge God’s generous grace to them in turn tend to model faith-motivated generosity to others,” said John Farquhar Plake, PhD and Director of Ministry Intelligence for American Bible Society. “While Scripture engagement doesn’t explain all aspects of generosity, those who regularly read the Bible and actively practice their faith tend to be more generous than those who do not.”
The findings come from a survey conducted by American Bible Society in January 2021, in which data was gathered from 3,354 online interviews with American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In December 2021, American Bible Society will release one final chapter from the State of the Bible research study. The first eight chapters are currently available to download at StateoftheBible.org.
Generosity encompasses financial giving as well as contribution of time, talents, prayers, and encouragement.
- Higher income earners give significantly larger financial donations, but lower earners tend to give greater proportions of their earned income to charities (page 183).
- Those who are most generous report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, regardless of their financial circumstances (page 187).
- The Church is a catalyst for generosity in America. The more frequently people say they attend their church, the more money they are likely to donate to charities (page 188). Overall, nine out of 10 churchgoers (86%) donated to charity, compared to only 50 percent of those who do not attend church (page 189).
- Bible readers are generous givers. Broadly speaking, Bible Users** are much more likely than Non-Bible Users to donate to charity. In fact, 80 percent of those who meet the qualifications of a Bible User give to charity, compared to 52 percent of Non-Bible Users (page 190).
*For descriptions on how Scripture engagement was measured and reported, please see page 30 of the ebook available for download at StateoftheBible.org
**Bible Users are individuals who read, listen to, or pray with the Bible on their own at least 3–4 times a year, outside of a church service or church event (p. 197).
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