Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on November 11, 2021, from President of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. You can see past messages here
Hello, friends! I hope you have had a very inspiring week and have been blessed by the Week of Prayer readings, focusing on "I Will Go to Proclaim the Three Angels' Messages!" If, for some reason, you were not able to participate, I would still encourage you to download the special weekly readings at AdventistWorld.org. It's not too late to receive a blessing by studying these vitally important messages for this very time.
As this year's Week of Prayer closes, I would like to invite you to participate in the Annual Sacrifice Offering. This special offering, collected each year at the close of the global week of prayer, is vitally important for funding missionary work around the world.
It began back in 1922, not long after the first world war had ended. Adventist world mission work was expanding rapidly, but the struggling economies in Europe and the United States posed a real problem for funding mission. Mission opportunities were available as never before, yet the crippling financial shortfalls in North America not only meant that such opportunities might never be realized, but that they might need to recall missionaries already in the field!
During the Autumn Council of the General Conference Committee, held September 20 to 27, 1922 in Kansas City, Missouri, the delegates prayerfully decided to ask church members to give a sacrificial one week's wage to cover the quarter of a million dollar budget deficit that year. Despite the difficult conditions of the early 1920s, members responded by giving more than $350,000 (that's more than $4 million in today's dollars!) over the following year to what became known as the Annual Week of Sacrifice Offering. Over the years, this offering has continued, with 100% of the offering going to frontline Global Mission work for planting churches in unreached and under-reached parts of the world and among new people groups.
Today, the global economy is facing a similar challenge to that of 1922, yet due to the explosive growth in the world's population and the nearness of Christ's return, the challenge is even greater and our faithfulness more urgent. We will strengthen the church's pioneer mission outreach ability many times over if we would just match the self-sacrificing spirit of our members in 1922.
Let's take a moment to watch this short video clip from Adventist Mission, asking the question, "What will you give up in order to reach the world for Jesus?"
Friends, the keynote of Christ's teachings is self-sacrifice. It will not be long before Jesus comes. Time is short, and there are still millions of souls waiting to be reached. In the book, Christian Stewardship, we are given the following admonition:
"The work of God, which should be going forward with ten-fold its present strength and efficiency, is kept back, like a spring season held by the chilling blast of winter, because some of God's professed people are appropriating to themselves the means that should be dedicated to His service. Because Christ's self-sacrificing love is not interwoven in the life practices, the church is weak where it should be strong. By its own course it has put out its light, and robbed millions of the gospel of Christ" (CS 54).
Brothers and sisters, let's not hold back the "spring." Let's turn on the light and reach the millions who are currently living in darkness. I invite you, my dear fellow believer, to experience the privilege and wonderful blessing of laboring with God, claiming His promises and beholding His glory as He works miracles of grace.
To give to this very important offering, simply go to: Global-Mission.org/MySacrifice
Let's pray together. Father in heaven, we ask in a very special way that you will touch the hearts of people all over the world as they consider giving a sacrificial offering for you and the mission of your church. Guide us Lord, and guide all those who are out in the field doing your work, help them to feel sustained and supported by all of us and especially by the Holy Spirit. So Lord bless each as they consider what to give in response to your love and what you have given for us. We long to see you come. Help us to use our means to hasten that coming. In Jesus' name we ask it, amen.