As long ago as 1915, the newly formed Church Of The Nazarene’s Committee on Young People’s Societies, the local Youth Ministry branch of which was known as the Nazarene Young People’s Society (NYPS, the predecessor of NYI), desired for the Youth of the Church to take some responsibility for the funding of missions. In 1928, the NYPS set a goal of raising $100,000 for home missions.
While such a lofty goal was not met that year, the society was able to raise $10,000, and in doing so, they began what is now a longstanding tradition of the young people of the Church of the Nazarene raising money for missions. In the hopes of raising more money for mission work, the society decided to take one large offering which would be held on Easter Sunday in 1935. The offering was a success, and to this day, we take an Easter offering for mission work in the Church Of The Nazarene.
In 1940, offerings for mission projects began to increase. In addition to the Easter offering to support mission work as a whole, the NYPS also began taking special offerings to benefit specific mission projects, such as the work of the International Red Cross organization. From 1944 to 1945, several mission offerings were taken to support mission work in Alaska, to help open the work in Australia and New Zealand, and to benefit relief work in China. In two years, over $60,000 was raised for mission work.
In 1952, two separate mission projects were chosen as recipients of mission offering money. The first was the launch of Bible Colleges in Australia and South Africa, and the second was for a radio outreach project in New York City. Over $56,000 came in for those two projects. From 1956 until 1988, NYPS took annual offerings to benefit the American Bible Society. Also during that time, projects such as sponsoring the purchase of a parsonage in West Germany, creating an extension seminary in Ecuador, and raising funds for the seminary in Mexico were supported by NYPS mission offerings.
In 1989, Nazarene Youth International (NYI, formerly NYPS) decided to forego supporting the American Bible Society in favor of participating in the Nazarene-sponsored “Thrust to the Cities” offering. By 1993, mission funding was becoming problematic for NYI. In order to boost giving, the Global Youth Evangelism Offering was created. The money given in this annual offering supported the Youth in Mission program. Also around this time, NYI decided to choose a specific mission offering project to support each year. Some of the projects included supporting a radio evangelism ministry in China, funding the creation of culture specific Youth Ministry resources, and funding the translation of existing resources.
At NYC ’99 USA/Canada, the “Next Generation NYI” offering project was introduced. The goal of this initiative was to fund the development and growth of urban Youth Ministry projects in Brooklyn and Rio de Janeiro. Around this time, it was recognized that giving trends, particularly in the USA, were changing. Donors wanted to give directly to a specific need rather than contribute to a general offering. In response to this change, Jesus for a New Generation was created in June 2001 at Global Convention. This program continues the rich tradition of NYI mission offering projects yet makes giving more personal and project-specific. Now, you can view a list of projects, choose one you would like to support, and raise money that goes directly to that project need.
If you would like to learn more about how to sponsor a project, please click here.