How many churches no longer take special offerings?

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Over the past few years I have heard of more and more churches doing away with "special offerings," choosing instead to have everything go to the general fund. Wondering how widespread this is.

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Hi Wendy,  We still have 2 offerings at our Sunday morning service.  One for the budget and one for a designated cause, previously set up by the deacons.  Sometimes when there is a special need (ie. World Renew disaster relief) we'll let the congregation know that they can use the pew envelopes to donate, by writing the name of the offering on the front.

Community Builder

At our church we regularly have two offerings in the morning service, the first for our congregational budget, the second for a cause selected by the deacons.   Occasionally the second offering is for a particular ministry of our own church, but usually it's for a special cause, denominational agency, or the like.

Participant

At our church we take one physical offering, which includes both the general fund and a rotating special cause, ranging from local organizations to denominational agencies (the deacons determine the schedule). In addition to weekly giving envelopes for members, we have generic envelopes that attendees can use to designate their offering towards the special cause and/or the general fund.

We have one collection, a cause selected by the deacons. The collection for the budget is received either at a box at the entrance to the sanctuary, automated deposit, or in the budget envelope during the collection for the deacon selected cause. 

Wendy and all,

We've posted this question on the CRCNA Facebook page also.  You can read the responses here:

Yes? or No?

Does you church still regularly take up a “special offering”? If so how often?

Leave a comment or answer here: http://goo.gl/I5fqC

Posted by Christian Reformed Church in North America - CRCNA on Monday, June 24, 2013

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Community Builder

On average, we have 2 general fund or ministry funding offerings a month. well, then we also have one that is for our building debt, so i suppose that doesn't count either. so that leaves one per month in the morning and then all the evening offerings as  special offerings- ministries of local or broader interest. This became the norm about 2 1/2 or 3 years ago when the budgets and the offerings weren't quite meeting at the same point anymore. And we're still dealing with that issue as well. 

 

Wendy, as read the comments I'm wondering whether the question being asked needs some clarification:

1. Do you mean by special collections.... Those collections historically identified as second collections in contrast to collections for the church budget; and

2. When individuals speak of the church budget... Are ministry shares still built into the congregational budget or have they been assigned as a special collection.

3. As a matter of personal interest... Is it still part of the liturgy to have the deacons bring these gifts forward to the Lord in the worship service in prayer?

Guide

1. Yes.

2. Another great question! The church I grew up in made ministry shares "collection only" at the time of the Calvin College evolution debate in the 80s/90s so that people didn't have to support Calvin through their ministry shares. I always wondered how many other churches did the same.

3. Yet another great question (this topic would make a great denominational survey . . . although I suppose churches are sort of surveyed out). The church I attend now has people go up and bring their own offerings as part of worship. 

Just thought I'd share our practice. We have one worship service each Sunday and two offerings. The first offering is for the "general fund" which goes towards the church budget. (Our church budget includes denominational and classical ministry shares, so those are not collected separately.)

The second offering is a schedule set by our deacons. They recently looked at this from a whole-year perspective and identified a plan about how to allocate the second offerings. These offerings support things like (not a complete list): local community organizations, specific missionaries, a few ministries of our congregation, CRWM generally, Home Missions and World Renew as well as an offering once per month for tuition aid which provides assistance with Christian school tuition for families on a need basis. Sometimes an offering is rescheduled so our congregation has opportunity to respond to a timely need like disaster relief.

We still have two collection's in our morning service. One (budget) at our evening service. With input from our congregation, pastors and other outside requests, the Deacons research and discuss.all inputs to determine  second offering funds.

Some of our members also will specify on their checks what it's for (Gen Fund, Benevillance, Tuition etc.) and that is where it gets deposited.

As to Envelopes, that would be quite time consumming for the deacons. So far as I can tell at our monthly meetings, the two (2) collection policy we have works very well..Prior to the collection a Deacon is called to the pulpit to offer prayer and  explain the collection. .