he Seventh-day Adventist Church is known worldwide for its mission outreach, and your mission offerings are the workhorse of these efforts. These offerings do the heavy lifting, the foundation laying, the repair, and the renovation of the basic structure of the church’s work around the world. Without the mission offerings, all the other structures and systems built upon it could crumble.
Your mission offerings are like a life-giving river with distributaries flowing around the world, carrying refreshing water to mission fields.
Sometimes we want to give to a specific project or put our offerings toward something special that stirs our hearts. We see the results. We feel satisfied.
Giving to the mission offerings may not be as glamorous as giving to a specific, well-advertised project or program.
But wait! If these projects didn’t have mission offerings to sustain them, they would never happen.
So, what happens to our tithes and offerings? Well, when we return 10 percent of our income as a tithe to God, the Adventist Church uses it to support pastors and evangelists, as well as some teachers and other workers involved in spreading the gospel.
On the front lines of mission, the tithe is not used to fund orphanages, schools, or health programs, and it doesn’t cover miscellaneous operational expenses either. The mission offerings covers these expenses!
You see, our mission offerings fund what can’t be funded through the tithe. So when mission giving falls, work gets cut back worldwide. Mission projects falter. The movement stutters. None of us want this to happen, so our mission offerings help ensure that mission work operates continuously around the world.
Want to see how our giving impacts people around the globe? Mission 360° magazines and TV programs, Mission Spotlight, and the Mission quarterlies offer regular updates on mission work worldwide. These stories take you to dozens of countries to see what Adventists are doing in places you may have never even heard of.
And what about the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering, which began in 1912? For many years, it was an overflow offering. Once money was raised to meet the budget set to fund the mission program, any extra—the overflow—was used to support a special project chosen for that quarter. However, during a recession in the 1970s, there was no overflow offering. So church leaders voted to always send 25 percent of the offering collected on the thirteenth Sabbath to support specific projects for each division on a rotational basis.
Through your Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings, you have helped build schools, dormitories, hospitals, clinics, and church buildings; launched mission boats; and set up shelters for children’s Sabbath Schools, printing presses, universities, and more—altogether, more than a thousand projects. And because tithe money can’t be used for buildings, the Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings have frequently been used for construction projects.
All of this could never have happened without the Holy Spirit’s leading and your regular, faithful support of the mission offerings. We encourage you to join Adventists everywhere to prayerfully consider what you can do to keep a faithful river of mission offerings bringing life-giving water to mission fields around the world.