From February 17 to March 6, 2023, the South Philippine Union Conference's (SPUC) Stewardship Department hosted the Stewardship Enrichment Caravan, which focused on biblical principles of offering while encouraging the full-scale implementation of regular systematic giving in the local church.
Directors of Stewardship, Pastor Jibil Samba, Stewardship director for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), and Pastor Michael Capapas, Stewardship director for the SPUC, led a team of stewardship leaders from conferences and missions within the union territory to meet with church elders and board members. The meeting dealt with strategies for closing the gap between tithes and offerings and achieving parity. Finally, they discussed the implementation of systematic giving and how to encourage church members regarding the value of returning tithes and giving offerings.
Capapas emphasized that regular systematic giving is a churchwide initiative, not just something one church member does.
The caravan, themed, "10% or more, COP For Christ, I Will Go," is part of the department's strategic plan from 2022–2025. Last year, the department concentrated on a multiyear campaign to encourage local churches to increase their offerings. In fact, the Baan Riverside Church in Butuan City has been hailed as a success story that other churches can emulate.
The department is focusing on the implementation process this year. Local churches will have to reevaluate their tithes and offerings in April, create their own systematic giving, and practice giving their offerings. Among the ordained elders, a stewardship leader will be chosen. In stewardship-related matters, he or she will collaborate with the treasurer.
According to Capapas, offerings are critical in funding ministries to spread the third angel’s message, which reaches unreached people groups and remote locations around the world. It is critical to remind church members how their offerings help the Adventist Church's global mission.
In the following months, during the implementation phase, the Stewardship Department will award certificates of recognition to churches with high Combined Offering Plans.