Read about how generous giving is changing lives through the Church of the Nazarene.
The Church of the Nazarene has continued to spread the message of holiness to more and more nations during the past century. Part of that message includes an emphasis on reaching still more people with the good news that Jesus transforms our lives.
Local Churches of the Nazarene throughout the world are invited to take part in world evangelism by giving to the World Evangelism Fund (WEF). In 1982, the first year complete financial data was requested from each local church globally, over two-thirds of the churches outside the USA/Canada region were contributing to this fund, and nearly half of those gave at least five percent of their non-mission giving to WEF.
Until recently, the formula for WEF that the United States and Canada used to determine a fair contribution rarely worked well outside that region. As a result, by 2007, less than half of churches outside that region gave anything to WEF, and only one in six gave as much as five percent for global outreach.
In 2009, the denomination’s governing council approved a formula designed to apply throughout the world. As a result, more than half the churches on every region now participate in WEF. The ratio of churches giving at least five percent to the fund has more than doubled. Even in the USA/Canada Region, where there has long been strong support for shared ministry through WEF giving, the ratio of churches giving at least five percent to missions has grown by ten percentage points with the new formula.
Participation levels have risen dramatically in several regions, with five percent participation rates doubling in South America and Mesoamerica during the past decade. And in 2017, the ratio of five percent churches in Eurasia was larger than that in the USA/Canada Region.
Proportional giving to WEF is growing across the global Church of the Nazarene. Even so, economic realities limit the total amount given from many parts of the world. Many churches in parts of the world raise far less than US$100 each year. We rejoice that such churches participate by giving sacrificially to global outreach. But continued support from areas such the United States and Canada, is praiseworthy as well.
Some churches don’t use money!
Some areas of the world operate on barter economies, where church support comes in the form of goods or services rather than through money. Many of those churches do take special offerings for the World Evangelism Fund or other missions specials. Churches that report any giving in monetary terms are included as potential participants in these calculations. Otherwise, non-monetary churches are excluded from the totals and percentages for this article.
Dale Jones is director emeritus of Research Services for the Church of the Nazarene.
Holiness Today, Jan/Feb 2019