As consumers in the United States shift increasingly to online banking and bill payment, their electronic financial habits are spilling over into the church.
A recent study by LifeWay Research found that 14 percent of all American Protestant churches offer online giving.
The survey of 1,003 Protestant congregations was conducted in September 2010 and sponsored by LifeWay’s Digital Church partner ServiceU. It found that large churches are most likely to offer online giving and that for the most part, electronic tithes and offerings are a recent development.
A majority (55 percent) of churches with average worship attendance of 500 or more offer online giving, along with 26 percent of congregations with attendance of 200 to 499. In contrast, just 9 percent of churches with 100 to 199 attendees offer online giving, as do 7 percent of churches with 50 to 99 attendees and 4 percent with less than 50 attendees.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of churches with online giving have offered it for two years or less. That includes 26 percent who have offered it for about two years, 24 percent who have offered it for less than one year and 16 percent who have offered it for about one year.
Nine percent of churches offering online giving have offered it for about three years, 4 percent for about four years and 13 percent for more than four years.