Edward, a committed fellow member in my church in Maryland (USA) said, "I am using my offerings to fund a food bank initiative in a poor country, and every food bag also receives a missionary book. Nelson, a friend, and fellow pastor working in a developing country told me that he is keeping his offerings in a special bank account, waiting for the best project for which to use them.

While pondering the two cases above, I wondered what would be the most efficient way to give, use, or distribute "my" offerings. Also, I wondered how to explain why is it important to give offerings if I am already tithing. Why are offerings important in the end-time context? Should we ideally bring regular and systematic offerings to the storehouse, as we do with the tithe? If the offerings really belong to God, and not to me, is it right for me to decide how to distribute them, or are there some divine directives as to how l distribute those funds?


Here are some reasons offerings should be considered as important as tithe.

1.  God requires and expects offerings just as He does tithe. According to the Bible, both are equally required and expected by God, and the fact that I am bringing one of them will never exempt me from the other (Mal. 3:8). Ellen G. White, God's messenger for the last days, is also very clear about this subject.

2. Offerings are an expression of recognition and gratitude. David said that all things, including my income or increase, come from God, and it should be from these that I should take my offerings (1 Chron. 29:14), as well as the tithe. I am supposed to bring to Him the first fruits (the first and/or the best part) of all my increase (Prov. 39), to demonstrate my recognition that He is the source of all that I have.

1. Offerings require a more complex decision process than the tithe. To give the tithe, I need only to decide if I will comply or not with God's clear instructions about the subject (regularity, proportion, where to bring it, and how it should be used). But when it comes to offerings, there is an additional choice that is not necessary when I tithe, and it is about how much I will give.

2. Offerings can accomplish all that the tithe cannot. Even though the tithe is a very important resource, it is also very restricted and limited in its use, it can be used only as prescribed by God: for the maintenance of those who are appointed, accredited, and paid by the church to preach the gospel and their support teams (Num. 18: 21, 24).

3. Offerings, on the other hand, are considered as unrestricted, and can be used to support almost all other expenses related to missionary work around the world! As a very important end-time mission fund, offerings currently represent only about 30 percent of the Seventh-day Adventist Church finances! Imagine how much more we could do if offerings could be increased. We could expedite Jesus' mandate to preach the gospel of the kingdom, not only locally, or where we believe it should be preached, but in all the world as a witness to all the nations" (Matt. 2414, NKJV).

Although the Lord must be praised for what has already been accomplished in the mission, it is still too little compared to what we have been commanded to do. The fields are ripe; the time is short, and the need for resources are many. Who are the laborers that will come to the help of the Lord, investing in a coordinated way to save souls? I will go!

Article from Pastor Marcos F. Bomfim - Director of Stewardship Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.