Does your church celebrate Lent and the services surrounding it? If so (and even if not), the season of Lent serves as a wonderful time to prepare people’s hearts for Easter. Participating by using the World Evangelism Fund Calendar for Lent should also serve as a time to prepare your church for the Easter Offering.
People often “give up” (or fast) certain foods or activities for Lent, acknowledging that by depriving themselves of these helps them focus more Christ and His sacrifice. The calendar offers suggestions for giving up something for a day. This will be especially good for those who have little experience with a fast.
On March 6, explain to the people the purpose of the Easter Offering for World Evangelism Fund. If possible, show the video of the Ethiopian WEF PLUS Offering described in this issue. Tell people that we also have the opportunity to give in thanks to God for our salvation and that their gifts will help people around the world know about God’s love, Christ’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort.
Distribute 9”x12” envelopes to people of all ages. Encourage people to place the money in their envelopes as they follow the calendar, and be sure and tell them they can always give more than the amount listed. (Feel free to adapt it to the currency of your world area.) Encourage them to write their thoughts and prayers on the outside of the envelope or, for small children, to draw what they are praying for.
Tell the people that they will return their filled envelopes on April 24, Easter Sunday. Let them know that you look forward to learning what they experienced during Lent and how it helped them celebrate Easter more fully.
March 9—Ash Wednesday—Some churches hold services at which worshippers are marked with ashes in the sign of the cross as a symbol of commitment to Jesus Christ and God. Read about Christ’s temptation in Matthew 4:1-11. Donate 10 cents for each year you have been a Christian. If less than a year, donate for each month.
March 10—Give up television today, and donate at least $1.00
March 11—Spend your lunch hour in prayer. If possible, fast that meal and donate the approximate cost of your lunch.
March 12—Do not read the newspaper or watch the news today. Take a prayer walk in your town, praying for the people there, and then spent some time praying for the lost around the world. Donate 10 cents for each of the times you typically would check the news.
March 13—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
March 14—Give up sweets today, and donate the typical cost of a candy bar.
March 15—Read the Christmas story today to remind yourself of the “beginning of the story.” Think about the wonder of the Advent season and compare it to this season of Lent. Give 5 cents for each Christmas carol you can think of.
March 16—No bread today. Donate the cost of a loaf of bread.
March 17—No reading for entertainment today. Give 10 cents per book you have read this year.
March 18—Fast hot and cold cereal today, and give 25 cents per type of cereal in your house.
March 19—Instead of watching videos tonight, spend the time in the Scripture and donate $1 if you own a DVD or have an online video streaming subscription.
March 20—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
March 21—No red meat today; give $1 to the World Evangelism Fund instead.
March 22—Spend at least one hour reading God’s Word and praying today. Give 25 cents for each Bible you own.
March 23—Give up dessert today, and donate the approximate cost of a serving of your favorite type of dessert.
March 24—Read the story of Jesus as boy in the temple. Pray for the children and youth of your church, and donate 10 cents for each person under the age of 18 in your extended family (or in your close friends’ immediate family).
March 25—Give up dining out today. Give $5 for the Easter Offering instead.
March 26—Donate some time to help get your church ready for visitors on Easter. Invite others to join you, and give 50 cents for each hour you volunteer.
March 27—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
March 28—If possible, eat only fruits and vegetables today, and give 10 cents for each type of vegetable in your fridge or on your shelves.
March 29—Don’t play video or computer games today. Instead, play a board game with friends and/or family, and give 5 cents to World Evangelism Funds for each game you own.
March 30—Give up snacks today. Give 25 cents for each type of chip in your house.
March 31—Read the Sermon on the Mount. After you have finished it, write down the topics of the Beatitudes, and donate 10 cents for each one you remember.
April 1—No cheese today. Give $1 to the Easter Offering.
April 2—Donate some time to help get your church ready for visitors on Easter. Invite others to join you, and give 50 cents for each hour you volunteer.
April 3—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
April 4—Give up eating chicken today. Donate 50 cents for the number of times you ate chicken last week.
April 5—Read your favorite of Jesus’ parables today, thanking God for your godly teachers throughout the years. Give at least 15 cents for each Sunday School teacher you have had.
April 6—No cookies today. Place 25 cents for each type of cookie you have in your house.
April 7—If you garden and it is warm enough, work in the garden today, donating 10 cents for each type of flower, plant, or vegetable in your garden. If it is still too cold, plan your garden and donate the same.
April 8—Give up fish today. Donate 10 cents for each type you like.
April 9—Donate some time to help get your church ready for visitors on Easter. Invite others to join you, and give 50 cents for each hour you volunteer.
April 10—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
April 11—Pass on the butter and margarine. Give 25 cents for average number of times you eat them in a day.
April 12—Read one of the stories about Jesus and a storm at sea. Think about the storms you are facing or have faced, and give $1 in gratitude for Jesus walking with you through those storms.
April 13—If possible, eat only fruits and vegetables today, and give 10 cents for each type of fruit in your fridge or on your shelves.
April 14— Give up entertainment on the computer today, and donate 50 cents per computer/tablet/smart phone you use daily.
April 15—No sodas today. Donate the cost of the number you would normally drink.
April 16—Donate some time to help get your church ready for visitors on Easter. Invite others to join you, and give 50 cents for each hour you volunteer.
April 17—Palm Sunday—SUNDAYS ARE FREE! Don’t forget to tithe.
April 18—Give up ice cream or frozen yogurt today, and donate the cost of an ice cream cone.
April 19—Spend time reading the story of the Triumphal Entry from the Bible, and give 50 cents for each plant you have in your house.
April 20—No caffeine or chocolate today. Give the cost of a cup of coffee to help fulfill the Great Commission.
April 21—Read the story of the Last Supper today. Using your imagination, think about the event from each disciple’s perspective. Donate $1 to help reach the lost around the world.
April 22—Good Friday—If possible, fast at least one meal today. Spend the time reading of Christ’s trial and crucifixion. Give $1 for the World Evangelism Fund.
April 23—From Scripture, reread what transpired in Christ’s last week. Think about all Jesus gave up just for you and give any amount out of gratitude for your salvation.
April 24—Easter—Take your Easter Offering to church and celebrate Christ’s Resurrection!
Gail L. Sawrie