BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. — According to an international survey of 10,000 Adventists conducted by the Andrews University Center for Statistical Analysis, 76% of Seventh-day Adventists feel their own denomination is too expensive.
The survey results pointed unequivocally to the fact that Adventists, regardless of their nationality, struggle to meet the financial demands of their own church.
“Most respondents indicated an acceptance of tithing as a biblical concept but the frustration with additional financial obligations was obvious,” said Dianne Rosario, PhD, lead researcher on the project. “By the time you factor common essentials like church offerings, endless bake sales, private church schooling and high-end watches, being an Adventist is pricey.”
Pacific Union College-based Sociologist, Alexandra Smith, PhD suggested that apart from taking steps to slash the price tag of Adventist schooling and Adventist Book Center (ABC) products, the Church should be upfront with potential new members about the cost of membership. “A frank financial disclosure conversation should be part of any responsible baptismal preparation,” said Smith. “Baptism itself may be free but rest assured that all kinds of bills will follow.”
In response to Smith’s suggestions, the Church is developing a “Bill Me Later option” that will allow new members some assimilation time before financial obligations hit.
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