Join the 1%

Ensure your giving actually makes it to the unreached.

Join believers around the world giving at least 1% of their income directly to the people and projects reaching unreached people groups.

🧡 The heart behind “Join the 1%”

Jesus’ final command to his disciples, known as the Great Commission, was to “go and make disciples of all nations (ethne)“. As disciples of Jesus, we desire to see Jesus’ Great Commission fulfilled: to see unreached people groups (ethne) reached so that their lives and communities can be transformed by the gospel!

Fulfilling the Great Commission requires 3 things:

  1. Prayer
  2. Missionaries
  3. Money

Many Christians are aware of the prayer (#1) resources available for them to pray for the nations (pray with Pray1040!) and many are aware that they can become missionaries (#2) to the nations.

But most Christians aren’t aware of how much (or how little) of their money (#3) is actually making it to the unreached. And if they want to give, they’re not sure how to give to strategic projects that are actually reaching the unreached.

The heart behind “Join the 1%” is to

Currently, there are 11,700 missionaries serving among unreached people groups.[1]

If every Christian gave just 1% of their income directly to reaching the unreached, we could support 10,200,000 new missionaries! That’s almost 1,400 missionaries per unreached people group!

😯 82 cents? Is that true?

For every $50,000 that the average Christian earns, how much do you think is given to the unreached?

$1,000?

$100?

$20?

$5?

The answer is $0.82.

That’s 0.00164%! (A far cry from 1%!)

For every $50,000 earned, the average Christian gives 82 cents to the unreached.

On the one hand, learning that the average Christian only gives $0.82 of every $50,000 earned can be very disheartening!

On the other hand, most Christians simply aren’t aware of how little of their giving makes it to the unreached (see below) and once they realize it, it’s a pretty easy fix!

Keep reading to find out how we got here as a church and how you can ensure your giving actually makes it to the unreached by “Joining the 1%”.

⛪ When you give to your local church, where does it go?

Let’s call the average Christian, “Average Joe”.

Average Joe’s annual income is $50,000. He gives 1.66% of his income to Christian causes including his local church, parachurch organizations, and Christian institutions such as seminaries. (1.66% is the average amount Christians give to Christian causes.[2]

This means that average Joe gives $833 per year to Christian causes.

  • $500 (60%) of that $833 is given to parachurch organizations and Christian institutions.
  • $333 (40%) is given to Average Joe’s local church.

You would think that of the $333 that Average Joe gives to his local church, more than $1 would make its way to the unreached.

But the truth is… it doesn’t.

Here’s how the average US local church spends every $100 it receives:

Church giving infographic
Note: For our fact-checking friends, the numbers above only add up to $99 because of rounding.[3][4]

The vast majority of money given to local churches in the US is spent on the people within the church walls, or the church walls themselves.

Of the money that is spent on missions, 99% is spent on people and projects targeting already reached places. This means that…

Only 1% of the money spent on missions by local churches goes to people and projects reaching unreached people groups.

The end result is that for every $100 given to a local church in the US, only 4 cents makes it to the unreached.

Of $100,000 earned by Christians, $1.63 given to the unreached

The end result for Average Joe is that of the $333 he gives to his local church, only 13 cents makes it to the unreached.

Combine that 13 cents with 69 cents given to the unreached through parachurch and other nonprofit organizations, Average Joe gives 82 cents to the unreached for every $50,000 he earns.

This is why we created Join the 1%!

The vision of “Join the 1%” is to see every believer give at least 1% of their income directly to the people and projects reaching the unreached.

Your heart is for the unreached! We want to help your giving to reflect your heart and make sure that your gifts actually make it to the unreached!

money given to local church compared to Pray1040

How to “Join The 1%”

The heart behind Join The 1% is to encourage Great Commission Christians everywhere to give at least 1% of their income directly to the unreached. It doesn’t matter where you give to… that’s between you and the Lord! You could give to missionaries working among the unreached or projects reaching the unreached that you are passionate about.

For people who don’t know where to give or for people who want to support the work of Pray1040, we’ve created the Join The 1% Fund.

The Join The 1% Fund

When you give to our “Join the 1% Fund” your funds will be dispersed across projects in 3 strategic priorities:

  • Church planting movement trainings in the 10/40 Window
  • Media To Movements initiatives targeting the 10/40 Window
  • Unleashing prayer over the 10/40 Window (see Pray1040’s Roadmap)

Below are the projects we are currently crowdfunding:

No Place Left

4 Fields Training

India

Waha

Disciple Making Course

Hindi Translation

Pray1040

UPGs by Country

10/40 Window Countries

How much is 1%?

Multiply your paycheck or salary by 0.01 to determine how much of you need to give to the unreached to join the 1%!

Examples

Jack gets a paycheck for $2,000 every other week, which is $1,000 per week. To join the 1%, Jack would give $10 per week to the unreached.

Joe earns $60,000 per year, which is $5,000 per month. To join the 1%, Joe would give $600 per year or $50 per month to the unreached.

Jill earns $120,000 per year, which is $10,000 per month. To join the 1%, Jill would give $1,200 per year to the unreached or $100 per month.

Can I give more than 1%?

Yes! The New Testament paradigm for giving isn’t based on percentages. The Corinthians “gave as much as they could and even beyond their ability”.

1% should be seen as a baseline. You could give 2%, 5%, 10% or more! Some Christians even “give their age as a percentage” meaning a 40-year-old would give 40% of his income away!

If you believe reaching unreached people groups is the greatest gospel need in the world, we encourage your giving to reflect that!

Should I stop giving to my local church?

“Joining the 1%” can be incorporated into any budget and doesn’t mean you should stop giving to other Christian causes, including your local church.
If you’re going to attend a traditional local church, you should give to your local church.

But many Christians are rethinking church and discovering that the New Testament church would have looked more like a network of house churches than a large brick and mortar church. These house churches or “simple churches” would have spent very little on paid church staff, facilities, programs and dues, freeing up a much larger percentage of their “budget” to spend on missions.

Instead of spending large amounts of money on building campaigns and increasing church staff as pastors grow in popularity, simple churches can often give 80-90% of their budgets on needs outside of the (house) church walls.

Does this have anything to do with the wealthiest 1% of the US?

We hope so! We hope that 1% joins our 1%!

The term “1%” is typically used negatively by the 99% to refer to the wealthiest 1% of people in the US who own about 33% of the nation’s wealth. By comparison, the bottom 90% of Americans own 30% of the nation’s wealth. That means that the top 1% own more than the bottom 90%!

We wanted to flip the 1% script.

We wanted to make joining the 1%

  • a good thing,
  • make it about giving instead of owning,
  • and make it accessible to everyone!

Have a question?

Feel free to reach out anytime at hello(at)pray1040.com!

Sources

1. Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo, eds. World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2022)

2. Lake Institute, “The National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices“, 2019

According to the report, “The National Study for Congregations’ Economic Practices is the most comprehensive study of how congregations receive, manage, and spend resources.

3. Gordon Conwell, “Status of Global Christianity

4. World Christian Trends Table. David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson. World Christian Trends Table 20-3, lines 23-26,44, Pasadena, Calif: William Carey Library, 2001 *Experts and authors above have determined these trends hold true today as of 2022.