Giving Through The Advance
What is The Advance?
The Advance (short for The Advance for Christ and His Church) is Methodist “lingo” for designated giving to specific projects through the United Methodist Church. It’s one way for people to direct their dollars to specific needs they feel called to support, whether it is disaster relief for victims of a flood, tsunami, or earthquake, or proactive projects that seek to bring education, health care, community development, or transportation and communication systems to those in need.
The Advance is an official, second-mile channel for designated giving in The United Methodist Church. The Advance is called second-mile giving because the first mile for United Methodists is what we call “Ministry Shares” in West Michigan. (These used to be called “Apportionments, and still are in much of United Methodism.)
Regardless of what they are called, ministry shares that support benevolent projects locally and beyond put in place a missional outreach system that is one of the most effective in the world. United Methodists do not agree on the specifics of all things, but we consider our call to transform the world through the sharing of our gifts and graces to be something that unites and strengthens us.
The Advance is called designated giving because it is a way for individuals, church groups, congregations, districts, and annual conferences to select specific ministries to support. Every penny of every dollar goes directly to those projects, because the “overhead” has already been covered through regular United Methodist offerings and the One Great Hour of Sharing offering that is received on the first Sunday of March.
Each project supported through The Advance is called an “Advance Special.” It is given a number, and when offerings are designated with this number (for instance, on a check memo,) they are directed specifically to this project through the Conference Treasurer, who forwards these to the Board of Global Ministries.
In order to balance our giving in several key areas, we encourage churches to reach out into the world through what we call the “Six Lanes of the Advance.” To learn more about the “Six Lane Highway,” click here.
Click Below to view the list of Advance Special Projects that the West Michigan Conference Board of Global Ministries is currently supporting.
History of The Advance
Although the guns had been silenced when the delegates gathered in Boston for the 1948 General Conference of the Methodist Church, the suffering and destruction wrought by World War II had not ended. Christians everywhere were called to help rebuild a physically and spiritually broken world.
Delegates adopted a “Quadrennial Plan for Christ and His Church,” which called for a voluntary “Worldwide Advance” stewardship drive. It was launched with a global preaching mission led by the Council of Bishops. In 1952, the Advance for Christ and His Church became a regular program of the Methodist Church, and in 1968, with the merger of the Methodist and the Evangelical United Brethren churches, The United Methodist Church.