Do you know which offering plan your church entity follows? Has it adopted the Combined Offering Plan? How does it affect your offering distribution?
There are three different offering plans used within the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The Combined Offering Plan, whose adoption is suggested by the General Conference, was voted as an option in the Annual Council of 2002 after a recommendation by the World Stewardship Summit of 2001. It promotes the missionary endeavor of the church and supports all its levels by putting total funds collected into one pool. The funds are progressively distributed locally, regionally and internationally, according to a formula approved by each division but within the following percentages: 50-60 percent for the local church; 20-25 percent for mission work in the local field; and 20-25 percent to the GC for mission funds. Divisions making use of this plan currently include: East Central-Africa Division (ECD), Euro-Asia Division (ESD), Inter-American Division (IAD), Euro-Africa Division (EUDonly Spain and Portugal), South American Division (SAD), Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID), Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), South Pacific Division (SPD—Papua New-Guinea and the islands), Southern-Asia Division (SUD), and West Central-Africa Division (WAD).
The Calendar of Offerings is the original option. A calendar of the weeks of each year is drawn with certain offerings designated accordingly. About 26 offerings are assigned to the local church, and the others are allocated between the other levels of church organization or designations in the local field. There are six Special Offerings days for particular ministries. Divisions ascribing to this plan currently include the EUD, Israel Field, MENA, SPD, TED.
The Personal Giving Plan suggests that certain percentages of the member’s personal income be dedicated as offering to three main categories: 3-5 percent to the local church budget, 1-2 percent to the Conference Advance budget (education, evangelism, VBS, summer camps, union magazines); and 1-3 percent for the World Budget given in support of global mission needs and other items. The NAD currently ascribes to this plan.