Giving Trends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Inskeep, K. "Giving Trends in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Review of Religious Research, 36, no. 2 (December 1994): 238-244.

Inskeep uses data from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to examine giving trends and the impact of several congregational practices on giving. These data indicate that per capita giving to ELCA congregations increased over the previous decade while giving to the synods and national organization of the ELCA decreased. Inskeep concludes that neither among clergy nor among laypeople is anger or dissatisfaction with ELCA organizations beyond the congregation an important factor in predicting congregational giving to the synods or the national organization. At the same time, Inskeep records evidence of distance and disinterest on the part of laity. He found that congregational emphases on tithing and stewardship education increased giving levels, and that pledge systems also had a significantly positive impact on per capita giving at the congregational level. (SM)