Is it Tithing if You Don’t Give to a Church? LifeWay Research Finds that Christians Differ On What Constitutes Tithing

Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of one’s income to God. The principle is first seen in the book of Genesis in the Bible, was reinforced with the Israelite religious laws delineated in the Pentateuch, and reprised in the New Testament. 

But in this day and age, when there are vast number of organizations and people claiming to do “God’s work,” what does tithing look like. A new LifeWay Research survey set out to find out what Christians think today. The results are as follows:

  • 50% of Christians say giving to a Christian ministry constitutes tithing
  • 33% of Christians say giving to a person in need is considered tithing
  • And more than 1 in 6 say giving to a secular charity can also be considered tithing

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, told Religion News Service, “For many churchgoers, tithing is just another term for generosity.” The survey sampled over 1,000 American Protestants and 1,000 senior pastors. Interestingly, church members (83%) were more likely than pastors (72%) to say tithing is a biblical command that should be observed today.

–Joshua James