The Biggest Reasons Church Members Don’t Tithe

Collections plate

Churches don’t bring in money by selling services or food. They have to rely on the generosity and practice of tithing by their members. Unfortunately, some estimates gauge that the percentage of members who give to the church could be as low as 10%, but only as high as 25%. 

With so many members not giving a regular tithe, you would expect the reasons for not doing so to be many and varied. You would be right. Here are 20 reasons why people don’t give to churches.

20. Because they don’t know why giving to the church is important

worship service

Newer Christians might not understand how much is involved in ensuring the church has the funds not only to operate, but also to give back to the community and fund other valuable projects that do God’s work.

19. Because they are still growing accustomed to Christian values

Praying hands

Converts unfamiliar with Christian traditions might feel overwhelmed at what is expected of them; therefore, tithing might not be a practice they have started yet.

18. Because they feel forced to tithe

People passing offering basket

Again, newer Christians might see the practice of tithing as a chore instead of a way to support endeavors that will honor God and spread the message of Christianity.

17. Because they don’t know how the money is spent


In order to ensure members feel confident in their tithes, churches should be transparent about their budgets.

16. Because they haven’t found a “home” church

white church with red roof

Christians still looking for a regular church might refrain from giving a tithe until they have found the place of worship where they want to become involved spiritually, socially, and financially.

15. Because they’re having money problems

Empty hands

Church members who are struggling to make ends meet will find it difficult to make room in the budget for their tithe.

14. Because they believe they can’t donate enough to make a difference

silver collection plate holding pennies

Sometimes even if they can afford to tithe, Christians with lower incomes might feel their contributions can’t do as much good as the donations from wealthier church members.

13. Because they see the process as inconvenient

Person putting money in offering plate

Going to the ATM for cash or remembering to write a check for the tithe seems tedious when compared to how easy electronic transfers of funds are.

12. Because they don’t trust church leaders

Jim and Tammy Faye Baker
Wikimedia Commons

Over the decades, there have been dozens of church leaders who have misled their members, even to the point of breaking the law. The scandals can make trusting a church difficult when it comes to money.

11. Because they might have had a bad experience at another church

Woman sitting alone in church pew

Beyond the news headlines, some Christians have experienced those money scandals firsthand and refuse to give to their church.

10. Because they want their tithe to go to specific projects/funds

Two volunteers

You might come across Christians who won’t tithe unless they can make sure their money will go to the causes they want to support

9. Because they don’t like how the church uses the money given

church under construction

Perhaps a member doesn’t think the church needs a new kitchen or an upgraded sound system; therefore, he or she withholds money altogether.

8. Because they don’t see the successes that have come from members’ giving

water running over hands

If churches don’t keep their members up-to-date about the positive outcomes that have come from their tithes, some of them will feel discouraged that their money isn’t doing any good.

7. Because they support other charities or organizations

Relief workers

Some church members believe that donating to any charitable causes satisfies their Christian duty. They don’t realize that God asks that we specifically give to Him and the church.

6. Because they believe other members will give enough

Pile of money

It’s not a fair assumption, but relying on other church members who are perhaps wealthier is an action some Christians do. Unfortunately, there’s not always enough to support what some churches need to do.

5. Because they say tithing isn’t in the New Testament

Open Bible

There are debates about whether the New Testament’s mention of giving to the poor or to those in need is actually talking about tithing. Without specific guidance, some Christians believe tithing is an Old Testament rule that no longer applies.

4. Because they believe their money is their own and they don’t have to give

A woman counting money

Occasionally, not tithing comes down to just good (or in this case, not-so-good), old-fashioned “I want to keep my money” mentality.

3. Because they believe that giving spiritual gifts are acceptable instead

Man leading Bible study

Some church members believe that teaching Bible study, singing in the choir, or volunteering for projects can be equal to giving money.

2. Because their spouse manages the money and won’t allow it

Couple looking over finances

When it happens, this scenario most commonly involves the husband controlling the spending and preventing the wife from regularly tithing.

1. Because they might be struggling with their belief

Woman sitting on a rooftop "Jesus Saves" sign

People who are questioning God’s existence and the Christian faith are most likely not keen on giving to a church.

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