A Positive Year for NAD Tithe

When the coronavirus shuttered church services in 2020, treasurers at all levels of the church braced for the worst. What would happen to tithe and offerings if members simply watched services from home and didn’t have a designated place and time to turn in their tithe envelopes? Would members use the online giving options that had been created?

It turns out that they would and they did, according to the year-end tithe report recently posted on the North American Division website. The year of 2020 ended with tithe of $1,093,421,650.01, a gain of $18 million compared with $1,075,010,963.32 in 2019.

Tom Evans, recently retired treasurer of the North American Division, calls this report simply amazing. People are faithfully giving, he points out. 

They are returning their tithe, but the sad news is that the combined Sabbath School and Mission offerings have not seen the same result. The World Mission Offering is off by 21.18%, and Sabbath School is down 22.14%. In 2020, the combined offering was $16,486,809.93; in 2019 it was $20,917,105.92.

In the breakdown of the NAD tithe numbers, eighteen conferences registered a loss for the year. For some, it was a small loss, less than 1%. Tithe in the Washington Conference was down 0.21%. And the South Atlantic Conference saw a difference of negative 0.22%.

There were 42 conferences that saw a gain. Again, for some it was a small gain. In the Illinois Conference it was less than 1% — at 0.13%. Northern California Conference just made it over the 1% line to 1.15%. The conferences with the biggest gains were the Mountain View Conference with an increase of 21.50% and the SDA Church in Newfoundland with 20.08%. The Alleghany East Conference experienced a large increase in per capita giving — 28.98%, but it was a tough year for the conference with a 2.75% loss in tithe dollars year over year.

In 2021, the numbers that will be watched closely will be church attendance. As more and more congregations are allowed to again have in-person services, will the membership return? Or will the comfort of sitting in one’s living room and watching a service online replace the experience of worshipping in a church sanctuary?

Evans thinks there is something to be said about being in church giving SS and mission offerings. But he praises the Lord that members continued to return their tithe in 2020.

 

The North American Division 2020 Tithe Comparison Chart:

 

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

 

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11034
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This article focused on tithe giving in the calendar year 2020 compared to the previous year of 2019. I am glad that tithe giving was still important to the members of the SDA churches and hope it continues this year and in following years. I wonder if there is data showing the membership contributions to local church expenses? Despite most local churches not being open for services some 9 1/2 months in 2020, each church still had on on-going expenses such as insurance, utilities, church upkeep, and maybe school subsidies.

Interesting. Does anyone know if the figures for the Canadian conferences are in US dollars? And if so, what exchange rate was used?

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i think the membership is going to return with a vengeance…so much of church fellowship centres around in person interaction…even something like special music isn’t the same online…

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I looked again at the Canadian conferences’ tithe contributions after reading your meaningful question. It does not state if there was an adjustment based on the exchange rates of Canadian and USA dollars. Perhaps the author of the article could.provide the information to your question. Within the last two months I have bought books covering Kenyon Township, Glengarry, Ontario, from a seller in Ontario and, of course, there was an exchange rate for someone living in California.

This is a remarkable statement of commitment, worthy of celebration.
It repudiates those who talk of weaponising stewardship.

However, the variances are quite marked; stressful for those who have experienced a real down turn. Small percentages can still represent a sizable sum to be made up from somewhere.

It would be interesting to read an analysis by someone who knows the demography of each Conference. It would also be interesting to reflect on the mortality of each territory, whether urban or rural. Much has been published about unequal impact across ethnic groups, it might be instructive to consider what whether our cohort follows national trend.

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It would be interesting to see how different age groups gave their tithe.

I also wonder if fear (due to the pandemic) was a factor in settling the tithe account, so we would not come under a curse but a blessing for paying tithe.

I also wish along with a tithe increase the Conference would follow it up with complete transparency so all can see how the funds are spent. Then offer an on-line Zoom meeting to receive questions and suggestions as to conservative funding approaches.

However I don’t expect these suggestions will ever be taken seriously??

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I believe all NAD reports are published in US dollars, but I don’t know what exchange rate they used.

I was once “stewardship director” at my congregation. The conference approved readings each week were nothing more than prosperity gospel nonsense - give and you’ll be blessed (including materially), don’t give and your life will turn to crap. It was an interesting insight for me into the moral bankruptcy of certain elements in SDA administration.

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