Sabbath School & Mission Offerings

World mission is at the heart of who we are as Seventh-day Adventists. Supporting missions often brings increased life, purpose and energy to Sabbath schools. All who lead or teach Sabbath Schools have the privilege and responsibility of keeping the needs of missions before the members.

A number of offerings directly support frontline mission, including:

Frequency: Weekly

These mission offerings are managed by the General Conference as they have an excellent global perspective of the greatest mission needs. Since 1913, 100% of these weekly offerings have been used to fund world mission on the frontlines. Did you know that Sabbath Schools gave their first ‘mission offerings’ in 1885 when the Oakland Church Sabbath School in California gave all its 1st Quarter offerings to aid in the establishment of the Australian Mission—hallelujah! (See Review and Herald 62:224, Apr. 7, 1885)

Frequency: End of every quarter

Since 1912, the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering has been collected each quarter on a designated day or on the thirteenth Sabbath. 25% percent of the 13th Sabbath Offerings are allocated directly to the Special Projects described on the back of the Sabbath School lesson pamphlets, and the remaining 75% goes directly to the world mission fund for other mission projects.

Frequency: Weekly

Members are invited to make an “investment” for missions by doing some money earning project, and giving the proceeds as a special offering. This investment idea was followed as early as the 1880s when some church members dedicated such projects as an acre or more of a crop, some cattle, or some cash.

In 1905, in the little town of Hamilton, Missouri, Lottie Lohman gave five pennies to five children. They bought seeds, planted them, and sold the produce; raised chickens and sold them, until the five pennies grew to $11.52 which was given to the mission offering.

The Investment Fund Offering idea quickly went around the world and new investment ideas popped up everywhere. One husband (not yet a Seventh-day Adventist) gave up tobacco and gave his tobacco money; some walked to work and gave their travel costs. Children gathered and cashed-in newspapers, bottles and recyclables. Others dedicated a portion of their time, a tree, a calf, or part of their garden. 22.5% of the Investment Fund Offerings are distributed through annual appropriations to Divisions around the world for frontline mission outreach and/or large city evangelism. The remaining funds are invested as a portion of the world mission funds by the General Conference.

Frequency: Weekly

Since 1919, members have been invited to bring a special offering as a token of thanks for another year of life or for a specific personal blessing received. These funds are included with the other Sabbath School Offerings to expand the cause of missions around the world.

“The home missionary work will be farther advanced in every way when a more liberal, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit is manifested for the prosperity of foreign missions; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off.” Ellen G. White, Testimonies Vol. 6 p.27