What is mission support? Mission support (we used to call it congregational “benevolence”) is the money you place in the offering plate that is shared with your synod and the churchwide organization for ELCA ministries beyond your congregation. When we work together as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are doing God’s work in ways that no individual or none of the 10,500 congregations can do alone. By sharing our time, talents, and possessions generously, God’s Spirit inspires others to give generously! Your Mission Support dollars support the whole church.
In our Synod….
- 50% of all Mission Support that comes to our synod is sent on to the ELCA churchwide to further the mission of the church. More than 25% of what is sent to churchwide is sent back to the synod in supporting our local congregations. About 30% of what churchwide recieves in mission support is put towards global mission.
- About 6% of mission support is sent on to Lutherhill, Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Wartburg Theological Seminary. A portion of these gifts are also sent on to Texas Impact, Interfaith Ministries, LA Interchurch Conference, and Texas Conference of Churches.
- About 26% is of mission support is used to support congregations and their leaders in times of transition, in times of restructuring, in times of taking on a new ministry challenge, in times of crisis, in times of celebration, and in times of learning and growing.
- About 6% is used to support programs. This money goes a long ways from training coaches, to new pastor orientations, to preparing new seminary candidates, to training children, youth and family teams, and supporting teams to do work with our sister synods in Peru and the Central African Republic.
About 8% is used on the synod office’s daily operations and expenses. The synod office is the communication hub for all the programs that goes on throughout our synod and therefore a necessary part to move forward the mission of the church.
Your support makes all this ministry possible. Thank you!
But we can do better.
We know that congregational ministries have also been struggling with declines and reductions. We know that we are not immune to the wider struggels in our national economy. But at the same time, we know there is untapped capacity for financial generosity. Each year we work to engage every congregation in an annual mission support consultation.
The percentage of funds your congregation entrusts to the synod and churchwide organization for ELCA ministries beyond your congregation varies widely from congregation to congregation. Most synods expect congregations (including newly developed congregations) to contribute 10% of regular offerings as mission support (also known as benevolence or proportionate share).