THE MISSION OFFERINGS
When we were very small we learned how to give our mission offerings in Sabbath School. I remember singing the “Hear the Pennies Dropping” song as a child. And we would enthusiastically drop our pennies or whatever we might have had into the “missionary train.”
As we grew older we found the basket, envelope, or plate being passed around in our Sabbath School classes and then as we got even older some have started giving online as well. The idea is, of course, to continue to give mission offerings.
The mission offerings are collected under two main categories in the world divisions. These are the World Budget Offering and the One (or Combined) Offering Plan. The funds are sent to the General Conference (GC). The mission offerings consist of the regular weekly Sabbath School Offering; the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering; the Sabbath School Investment Offering and the Birthday-Thank Offering. Three more offerings are added to make up the total General Conference World Mission Fund. Let’s explore the above mentioned offerings more thoroughly:
As we grew older we found the basket, envelope, or plate being passed around in our Sabbath School classes and then as we got even older some have started giving online as well. The idea is, of course, to continue to give mission offerings."
Regular Weekly Mission Offering
Mission offerings given in Sabbath School constitute the regular weekly mission offering. These funds are recognized as GC funds and are donations given for the purposes to which mission appropriations are made and are included in the annual world mission budget distribution.
Thirteenth Sabbath Offering
The Thirteenth Sabbath Offering is taken each quarter on a designated day or on the thirteenth Sabbath. A portion is devoted to designated projects in the world divisions according to a schedule voted by the Annual Council of the GC. Twenty-five percent of the actual amount of funds received by the GC for this offering will be appropriated to the designated projects and the remaining seventy-five percent to the world mission funds.
Sabbath School Investment
This offering came about to further giving to the mission program and to raise mission funds through various individual or family projects. This fund is not tied to a weekly or monthly program but the giving is based on the returns of special fundraising member projects. The funds can be returned at various times during the year. Sabbath School Investment funds are GC funds and designated as a portion of the world mission funds. However, twenty-two and one-half percent of these funds are appropriated to divisions for frontier outreach and/or large city evangelism based on regular annual base appropriations.
Birthday and Thank Offerings
This offering comes about from an appeal to the Sabbath School periodically. It would suggest that a special mission gift would be appropriate to recognize God’s blessing on the occasion of a birthday or other commemorative event for which the member wishes to express thankfulness. These funds are included with the other Sabbath School Offerings to expand the cause of missions around the world.
The allocation of mission funds is voted during the GC Annual Council budget process. The divisions of the world church show a positive trend while it is flat in the North American Division. It appears that this NAD trend is due to members giving offerings directly to a number of overseas projects such as the One Day Church projects, ShareHim, various mission trips, and other mission endeavors.