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Jesus Christ clearly assigned to His Church the work of proclaiming the gospel—the good news—of the Kingdom of God, of making disciples and of caring for those whom God may call (Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20; John 21:15-17; Acts 2:39). Without His divine assistance to His "little flock" (Luke 12:32), it simply could not be done.
Christ instructed His followers to freely give as they have freely received (Matthew 10:8). God's way of life is one of giving and serving. So it should come as no surprise that Jesus told His disciples to share and spread the gospel without charge.
Yet there remains a real financial cost that somehow must be met. How does the Church meet the expensive publishing and postal costs incurred by such efforts as mailing out our three magazines (The Good News, World News and Prophecy and Vertical Thought), as well as the Bible Study Course and our many booklets, all totaling millions of copies each year?
Further, how do we defray the expenses incurred by a ministry involved in teaching and personally caring for Church members and others who are interested? The apostle Paul clearly explained that "the Lord [Jesus Christ] has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14, emphasis added throughout).
Having commissioned His true disciples to continually carry on doing His spiritual work, Jesus Christ as head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23) has provided it with a growing family of coworkers and donors. They generously support the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom.
Some are in a position to help out more often than others. Plainly, some of our readers are simply not able to assist financially, and God certainly does not expect people to give what they don't have. But there is always a way to contribute apart from finances, and that is through prayer. People praying to God for the success of the work is a very effective ministry in itself (Ephesians 6:18-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:1).
In any case, if we recognize a work to be of God, we then have the responsibility of standing behind and supporting that work. Paul stated: "We are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:9). John adds that we are "fellow workers for the truth" (3 John 5-8).
Paul also refers to the inspiring spiritual bonds that develop between those called into the "fellowship in the gospel" (Philippians 1:3-5). He further reminds us that we are "workers together with Him [Jesus Christ]" (2 Corinthians 6:1). Paul speaks of "my fellow laborers" as well (Philemon 24).
Still, on a practical level, there needs to be an effectively organized infrastructure in place to assist with the needs of our readers and those who watch our Beyond Today television program. Not a few need their biblical questions answered in a competent manner. The United Church of God has a dedicated team of ordained elders doing just that.
Though God's people are scattered, the Church has developed an international infrastructure that offers extensive resources ultimately designed to lead true Christians to fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
Where possible, this godly fellowship clearly includes worship with others of like mind on the seventh-day Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 John 1:7). Through God's blessing, a trained and educated ministry has been provided, but many more dedicated laborers are desperately needed (John 4:35; Matthew 9:37-38).
How can you help with proclaiming the priceless gospel to many others? How do you become a coworker or donor? Those residing in the United States who wish to send in a contribution may do so by mailing it to our home office. The postal address is: United Church of God, P.O. Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1027.
If you wish to make a contribution online, you may do so through our main Web site at www.ucg.org.
As we are an international organization, the postal addresses of our other offices around the world are also listed on the contact Web page.
For further information about related financial matters, request or download our free booklets This Is the United Church of God, Managing Your Finances and What Does the Bible Teach About Tithing?