What is Alabaster
The Alabaster Offering provides funds for property and buildings around the world. While we understand the church consists of the people of God and not a building, buildings erected for the purpose of ministry help provide a sense of permanence, functionally enhance ministry efforts, and convey an attitude that the Church of the Nazarene intends to "put down roots." Alabaster funds help provide land for many Work & Witness projects, and the entire Alabaster Offering goes toward the purchase of land and construction of churches, schools, medical facilities, and homes for missionaries and national workers.
How Are Alabaster Offerings Received?
The Alabaster Offering gets to the mission field via several avenues. The most widely used is the Alabaster Box. Individuals are challenged to regularly contribute the cost of items they desire but do not need. The boxes also serve as reminders to pray for those people who will benefit from Alabaster buildings.
In September and February, the money is collected. Sometimes a "march offering" is received with individuals carrying their boxes to the front of the church and pouring the money into a large offering container. The way an offering is received is as varied as the world areas in which the Church of the Nazarene has a presence; however, it is always accompanied with a spirit of rejoicing.
Many churches receive regular offerings throughout the year that are designated as Alabaster funds. (This is often a part of the Faith Promise plan for missions giving.) However, the semi-annual offerings should still be received, allowing opportunity for giving by those not participating in other ways.
Alabaster should be well-publicized. All ages are encouraged to participate with leaders educating local churches as to the need for centers of holiness evangelism around the world.