Pastors and parishioners agree on charity as a prime tenet of their Christian faith, but when it comes to what motivates giving, there can be a philosophical generosity gap.

A new Barna Group study found unanimity when it comes to believing generosity is characterized by “an unselfish, sincere spirit, not from a sense of obligation or of self-interest,” researchers reported.

However, while 66 percent of pastors declared that generosity is primarily a “response to Christ‘s love,” fewer than half (47 percent) of the givers in the pews agreed.

Instead, parishioners cited compassion (40 percent, compared to 30 percent among pastors), attitude (38 percent vs. 56 percent for pastors), discipline or sacrificial demeanor (22 percent each; pastors were at 36 percent and 32 percent, respectively), a sense of duty (18 percent vs. 3 percent), or even just making a “spur of the moment” decision (11 percent; pastors 2 percent) as among important motivations.

The study, conducted among 606 Protestant ministers and 1,556 parishioners in June and July 2016, also found that the younger a believer is, the more likely he or she is to give money or perform charitable acts spontaneously.

“Gen Xers” felt true generosity is “always” spontaneous 13 percent of the time, “often” 24 percent, “sometimes” 53 percent, “seldom” 8 percent, and “never” 2 percent. Millennials came in at 14 percent, 31 percent, 47 percent, 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“Elders,” generally those around age 70 or older, said generosity was “sometimes” spontaneous 52 percent of the time, “seldom” 20 percent, “often” 14 percent, “never” 13 percent, and “always” just 1 percent; their baby boomer children responded as 54 percent for “sometimes,” 22 percent “often,” 13 percent “seldom,” 6 percent “always,” and 4 percent “never.”

As for pastors, 57 percent allowed that generosity is “sometimes” spontaneous, while splitting at 18 percent each for the “always” and “seldom” categories, and choosing “never” 6 percent of the time and “always” just 2 percent.

Finally, as you might expect, pastors and parishioners were at odds when it comes to the notion that ”it is OK for members to volunteer for their church instead of giving financially.”

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of pastors chose “strongly disagree” on that question and 9 percent strongly or somewhat agreed. Members of their flocks, however, were more open to the idea: 47 percent either strongly or somewhat agreed, while 31 percent were undecided and 21 percent strongly or somewhat disagreed.