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Christian young adults give more than non-Christian peers, study finds

Christian adults aged 40 or younger donate three times as much money as non-Christians over the course of a year, a new study finds.

“The study showed Christian young adults share more of their financial resources and time than their non-Christian peers” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “We found that for Christians, their faith influenced their financial decisions, and that is evident in many aspects of their life, including how they manage debt, who they do business with, where they give and their overall behavior as consumers.”

Lifeway conducted the survey with AdelFi (formerly Evangelical Christian Credit Union). Among the key findings:

  • The majority of Christian young adults believe it is a biblical command to tithe to their local church (56 percent). However, Christians also give twice as much as non-Christians to individuals or families in need ($603 vs. $261).
  • Christian young adults also are more likely to say it is important to give their time to regularly volunteer to help good causes or individuals in need than non-Christians (74 percent vs. 68 percent).
  • More than two-thirds of Christian young adults believe Christians have a responsibility to be good stewards of their finances. Although 76 percent of all young adults are likely to make financial decisions with the present in mind, Christians are more likely to also base these decisions on where they want to be in several years (85 percent vs. 78 percent).
  • At least seven in 10 young adults in both groups seek to spend their money with companies that operate in socially responsible and sustainable ways. But Christians are less likely to dig into every aspect of how a business operates if they like a product that meets their needs (27 percent vs. 39 percent).
  • On average, Christians do not have less debt. Their attitudes about requiring loans for big purchases, the necessity of incurring some debt as a young adult and that personal debt is necessary in today’s economy are all similar to non-Christians.
  • More than three-fourths of both groups seek to avoid debt at all costs. While more than two-thirds believe debt can be avoided, 75 percent of them currently have debt of some kind. The majority of young adults do not consider their current amount of debt as excessive.
  • Christians are more likely to consider taking out a loan a financial defeat than non-Christians (47 percent vs. 37 percent). Christian young adults are more likely than non-Christians to agree that lenders should approve loans only when the borrower has the ability to repay it within the term of the loan 6 (81 percent vs. 72 percent). Similarly, Christians are more likely than non-Christians to agree (87 percent vs. 81 percent) lenders should only extend loans at reasonable interest rates.
  • Among Christians, 59 percent intentionally try to purchase from companies that act in ways that honor Christ. Just less than half of Christians agree that Christians have a responsibility to try to spend their money with companies that are owned or operated by Christians. Twice as many Christians than non-Christians say their religious faith influences their financial decisions (44 percent vs. 20 percent).

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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