Mission Support

Frequently Asked Questions about Mission Support

What is Mission Support?
Mission Support is the portion of your congregation’s regular financial offering that is shared with your synod and the churchwide organization. It is an undesignated gift to ELCA ministries that goes beyond your congregation. These gifts are used where the need is the greatest, and they also make it possible for the ELCA’s 65 synods and the churchwide organization to maintain ongoing commitments to ministry partners.

What guides the churchwide organization in its decisions regarding Mission Support?
Voting members from across the ELCA meet as a churchwide assembly every three years to guide and direct the work of the churchwide organization. The ELCA Church Council functions as the interim legislative authority between assemblies. The churchwide organization’s two strategic priorities are to accompany the nearly 10,000 ELCA congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission and to build the capacity of this church for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.

How does my congregation benefit from Mission Support?
Every congregation benefits as an active partner in our church’s mission to share God’s love with the world. “Stories of Faith in Action” is filled with examples of how lives have been changed because of the generosity of ELCA members and congregations through Mission Support. This money funds the work of the synods, and some of the portion of Mission Support that is shared with the churchwide organization goes to your congregation and synod in the form of services, programs, resources or grants. Typically more than 90 percent of a congregation’s offering remains in the congregation to help pay for ministries, outreach, salaries, utilities and the building—ensuring your congregation’s vital presence in your community.

What is the distinction between Mission Support and Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA?
Mission Support is one way we act as a church together; we count on one another for the mutual work that Mission Support makes possible. However, many ELCA members and congregations are called to give in other ways as well, and this is what Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA offers. The Campaign for the ELCA is a way for us to do more, together, through designated gifts to the ministry priorities we are most passionate about, above and beyond regular offerings through our congregation. Campaign gifts are tracked and spent separately from the Mission Support budget. The Campaign for the ELCA is an investment in the future of the ELCA and an extension of our mission and ministry together.

Stories of Faith in Action features images and stories of people whose lives have been touched by ministries of the ELCA. This resource shows how your regular congregational offering, shared with your synod and the churchwide organization, is changing lives.

Where Does Your Offering Go?

Presiding Bishop Eaton on Elijah, the widow and Mission Support