The Personal Giving Plan
The Personal Giving Plan (PGP) has been introduced to much of the North American Division as a suggested systematic stewardship plan. We hope that the following explanation will give a better understanding regarding the Personal Giving Plan.
The PGP organizes nearly all church financial support into five areas:
b. Local Church Budget
c. Conference Advance Budget
d. World Budget
e. Special Projects and miscellaneous offerings
Planned giving brings all offerings together in an overall plan for systematic benevolence. Planned giving helps eliminate inequities and reduces the confusion caused by a multiplicity of competing offering appeals. Seventh-day Adventists support systematic giving as the foundation to properly operate the entire church in a responsible and balanced manner.
The tithe is the Lord’s and is a tenth of our income or in the case of a business - a tenth of the increase or profit. The tithe is Holy and is not negotiable. Offerings, on the other hand, are given systematically not on a Biblically mandated percentage but rather “as God has prospered us.” The giving percentage is left to the individual. The PGP suggests a percentage so that the church can plan its budget and carry on its mission. Some may not be able to meet the suggested guidelines and others could contribute a much higher percentage. The following list repeats the five areas mentioned above with the suggested percentages for the offerings given.
a. Tithe 10% - To support the gospel ministry of the world church.
b. Local Church 3-5% - To support the local church mission, ministry and physical plant.
c. Conference Advance 1-2% - To support the non-tithe projects of the Local Conference. This usually includes Secondary Education (Academy), Evangelism, the Youth Camp, etc.
d. World Budget 3-5% - To maintain and expand the missionary outreach of the
e. Special Projects - Funds given in this category are more discretionary to the
individual giver. Funds might go to a special appeal, a needy person, or a project of special interest to the giver. This giving category is beyond the regular systematic giving and so therefore does not have a suggested percentage.
Planned giving can be thought of as a three step process.
Step 1 Return God’s tithe
Step 2 Give an offering as God has prospered
Step 3 Distribute the offering proportionately
Each of us must decide how much we shall give...and for what. No one can make this
decision for anyone else. The suggested percentages are only intended to show the proportion of one area of need to another.
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 16:17).
The Biblical model of church mission support is stated in Acts 1:8:
“But ye shall receive power, After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me Both in Jerusalem, And in all Judea and Samaria, And unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
In our present-day application:
Jerusalem - represents the local church needs.
Judea and Samaria - represent the region or conference needs.
All the earth - represents the world budget needs.
The treasurers at the local church and the various levels of the church organization are obligated to honor the choices displayed on the offering envelope. Church auditors are instructed to see that tithe and offerings are credited as marked on the offering envelope.
After all the above information is digested, it’s still your choice - whether you give and for what. That’s the way it has always been in God’s cause. This is what makes planned giving a personal spiritual experience.