“Everyone is God’s steward. One receives from God more than what one gives to God.
Like good stewards, we must give according to how God has prospered us, not according to what we have left over. Give according to what we have felt in our hearts. To give is a privilege. God will provide and multiply. God wants us to give, not because God is poor or needs it, but because God wants to bless us.” —Ivette Perez, Asbury United Methodist Church, Camden, N.J.
We give so our congregations can be in ministry and mission. We also give for the ministries and missions that we only can do together, or that we do better when we do them together. Our giving through the connection of The United Methodist Church takes many forms. Among the most significant are:
Apportionments are our first mile of mission giving. They form the framework for the rest of our connectional ministry and mission. When we give our money so our congregation can pay its apportionments, we give to these causes:
• World Service Fund—The World Service Fund helps to build new churches, pay missionary salaries, expand Bible studies, provide leadership for youth ministry and much more. World Service is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. By giving to World Service, we each play our part in doing God’s work in the world.
• Africa University Fund—Africa University is the only General Conference approved degree-granting institution of higher education supported by The United Methodist Church on the continent of Africa. Men and women from 27 countries in Africa receive postsecondary education and postgraduate degrees. When we support the Africa University Fund, we nurture students in Christian values and develop visionary leaders.
• Ministerial Education Fund—This fund is essential for The United Methodist Church to continue its commitment to recruit and educate quality pastoral leadership. Helping to defray the steep costs of getting a seminary education, the Ministerial Education Fund is one way The United Methodist Church supports those called into ordained and licensed ministry. The fund also equips our annual conferences with local-pastor courses of study, continuing education and many other efforts to recruit, educate and support people called to ordained and licensed ministry.
• Black College Fund—Through the Black College Fund, The United Methodist Church helps the 11 historically Black United Methodist-related colleges and universities to maintain solid and challenging academic programs, strong faculties and well-equipped facilities. Their graduates—teachers and doctors, ministers and bishops, judges, artists and entrepreneurs—are leaders nationally and internationally.
• Episcopal Fund—Bishops are an integral part of the spiritual and administrative leadership of The United Methodist Church. We elect and consecrate bishops to speak to and from the church. This fund pays bishops’ salaries and covers office and travel expenses. It also provides their pension and health benefit coverage.
• Interdenominational Cooperation Fund—The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund enables United Methodists to have a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical and interreligious organizations. It provides the United Methodist share of the basic budgets of these organizations and pays travel expenses of United Methodist representatives to meetings that advocate for unity among the worldwide Christian church.
• General Administration Fund—This fund attends to the business of The United Methodist Church by ensuring trustworthy systems of oversight and financial accountability are executed and followed. The fund finances the administrative activities of the church, in addition to underwriting the basic costs of General Conference, funding the Judicial Council’s work, maintaining United Methodist official documents and historic artifacts, and designating historic shrines, landmarks and sites.