Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away More Money

by Christian Smith, Michael O. Emerson. Oxford University Press, 2008.


Written by sociologists, this book expands on why American Christians are reluctant to give, what could happen if they were more generous, and what congregations can do to increase generosity.


several key factors that impact religious giving, steps congregations can take to change perspectives on giving

Recommended Audience

Christian clergy and lay leader


Purchase as a book or e-book

Practical Applications

  • Transform negative attitudes towards giving by following practical steps to counteract these tendencies and better educate the congregation about the transformative effects of giving.
  • Read this book before giving a sermon on money to gain a fresh perspective.

About the Contributor

Beth Booram

Beth Booram is the co-founder and director of Fall Creek Abbey, an urban retreat center in Indianapolis dedicated to “renewing the contemplative spirit.” In addition, she is a trained spiritual director and author of several books including When Faith Becomes Sight. Beth worked for five years on contract as a resource consultant with the Center for Congregations. 


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