139 Billion for the 1.6 Billion

Sam Rainer

May 20, 2007

I ran across a list of statistics found at the Center for Missional Research website. Two stats in particular struck me:

First and foremost, approximately 1.6 billion people have never heard the eternally significant good news in this sentence: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Second, if all members of historically Christian churches in the United States had raised the amount of their giving to the minimum standard of 10 percent of income in 2000, an additional $139,000,000,000 a year would become available.

It is shocking to think that 1.6 billion people have never heard the good news. It is just as shocking to hear that so many members of churches are neglecting one of the most important pieces of worship, giving back to the Lord a portion of what He has blessed us with.

I realize that many within these churches may not be Christians or may simply be absent every Sunday, but of those who give only 3-5% of church members give a tenth of their incomes. I seriously doubt that only 3-5% of current church members are Christians. So, the rest are giving below the starting point if they give at all.

I know I am dreaming, but what if a revival of giving spread across the land? Could this additional $139 billion be used to reach the 1.6 billion who have never heard the gospel? While we must be obedient to the Great Commission and share our faith, we must also be obedient in our giving to the church. I will remain an eternal optimist. And I will never neglect preaching the gospel or the passages that address giving. What an amazing work God could do not only with the additional funds of $139 billion, but also with the softened hearts that decided to give to His glory.

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