Trends in Our Denominational Giving

Here is a report to our workers which merits careful study, contemplation, and action.

By CLAUDE CONARD, Statistical Secretary of the General Conference

Here is a report to our workers which merits careful study, contemplation, and action. The growing dis­parity between tithe increases and mission offerings is a matter for concern. The rensedy lies in the hands of the rank and file of our workers. Ours is a world 'task. It will not be finished in one division until it is finished in all divisions. We must not let the mission vision dim-Editor.

Contributions to the work of Sev­enth-day Adventists in 1941 were the largest in their history, amounting to over sixteen million dollars. This sum was an in­crease of $1,979,058.61 above 1940 Or 13.9 percent. Of the $16,205,388.19, $9,467,574.28, Or 58.4 percent was tithe ; $4,303,444.96, Or 26.6 per cent, mission donations ; and $2434,368-95, or 15 percent, home offerings. Seventy-three per cent of all funds received in 1941 came from North America, and 27 per cent from other divi­sions. This tabulation shows this distribution:

Throughout the world field in 1941 each church member paid an average of $31.13 in tithe and mission and home offerings. In North America the per capita average was $61.8o ; and in other fields the annual contribution from each member was $13.31. The table below shows these per capita yearly amounts: (See PDF for figures)

In nearly the entire world, the year 1933 re­corded the low mark since 1922 in tithes and offerings paid by Seventh-day Adventists. In 1933 each member paid $22.50 on an average, as compared with $31.13 in 1941-an advance of $8.63 a member, or 38.4 percent. In North America each member paid $24.85, or 67.3 per cent more in tithes and offerings in 1941 than in 1933. Where $1 was paid in tithe in North America in 1933, the average member paid $1.87 in 1941. For each membership dollar of mission offerings in 1933, $1.40 was paid in North America in 1941; and for home offerings, $1.60 for each $1. Comparisons of average tithe and offerings per member for the year 1933 and 1941 are shown in the table of World Field Comparisons on the next page.

Each Seventh-day Adventist church member in the world contributed to missions in 1933 an average of 60.8 cents for each $1 of tithe paid. In 1941 his mission donation was 45.5 cents for each $1 of tithe. In North Amer­ica by itself, from 1921 to 1933 each church member who paid $1 tithe also con­tributed an average of a little more than 65 cents to missions. During the eight years since 1933, the average church member's contribution to missions was 51.5 cents for each dollar of tithe in North America, but in the year 1941 it was only 46.8 cents, which is the lowest annual level recorded in twenty years.

The following tabulation gives the average yearly membership tithe and offerings for the periods noted, and the number of mission offer­ing cents for each dollar of tithe for the world field and for North America. While contribu­tions to missions have shown some growth in recent years, the increase in mission giving has not kept pace with the larger inflow of tithe from almost every part of the field.

A simple subtra,:tion between the top and bottom lines of the table above shows that for each $1 of tithe, Seventh-day Adventists in the world field gave 161/2 cents less mission offer­ings in 1941 than the average which they con­tributed during all the years from 1921 to 1933. The average was 62 cents from 1921 to 1933, and only 45.5 cents in 1941. In North America alone the difference during this period was I872 cents.

It is a bit hard to realize, but nevertheless borne out by the figures, that if our good people had contributed as liberally to missions in 1941 in proportion to their tithe as they did during the thirteen years up to 1933, the foreign mis­sion fund would have benefited a million and a half dollars more than was actually paid in 1941.

God freely gave His Son for the salvation of the world, and His rich blessing will be showered abundantly on those who faithfully offer themselves and their substance at this time to the cause of lost humanity.

(See PDF for tables)

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By CLAUDE CONARD, Statistical Secretary of the General Conference

February 1943

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