An examination of church attenders who regularly tithe reveals some interesting facts about their financial health.
For the first time, this year's State of the Plate report (co-sponsored by CT's sister Church Law and Tax Group) used five years' worth of data to examine the characteristics of "tithers": church members and attenders who "actively donate 10 percent or more of their income."
As it turns out, they tend to fall on the 'more' side: 77 percent of tithers reported giving between 11 and 20 percent of their income, and 70 percent donate based on their gross (not net) income. The majority (63 percent) started tithing 10 percent or more between childhood and their twenties.
Moreover, it appears that generous givers are better off financially than their non-tithing counterparts. Nearly 1 in 3 Christian tithers reports being debt free, and the vast majority (8 in 10) have no outstanding credit card bills, compared to 13 percent and 60 percent of non-tithers, respectively.
But it isn't the case that faithful tithers only give because they have excess income. Instead, the data show that tithers are distributed almost equally across all income brackets.
Tithers also carry outsized importance in a congregation. The study found they comprise "only 10-25 percent of the families in the church, but they often provide 50 to 80 percent of the funding."