A personal explanation by the founder and editor-in-chief.
THE GOOD NEWS has been made available to many other than members of the Worldwide Church of God—in fact, a year's subscription is available free (no subscription price) to any interested enough to subscribe and read—although it is the official organ of the Church. Many who are not members may have noticed we often use the term "co-worker," and may wonder what we mean. Let me explain. And let me first say that the Worldwide Church of God is nondenominational and nonproselyting. It does not solicit or urge people to become members, or to join. In fact, one cannot "join" this Church. One enters only by being baptized by the Holy Spirit into this, God's Church. Of course we joyfully welcome all whom God through Christ baptizes into His Church.
The great commission
This Church has a very great worldwide Work to which we have been called—the great commission to proclaim Christ's Gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world for a witness to all nations (Matt. 24:14) just prior to Christ's glorious return as KING of kings and LORD of lords over all nations. And, second, to "feed the flock" and prepare Christ's Bride (the Church) for His soon coming (Rev. 19:7). How is so vast an operation—so great a worldwide organization—financed? This Church is a tithe-paying Church. Its members observe God's command of tithing—and 10 percent of income is paid by members into the Church. Beside this, many nonmembers voluntarily have become regular contributors of God's tithe or their freewill offerings. Roughly, about 75 percent to 80 percent of all income for the Church's operations comes from the tithes and offerings of members— the balance from co-workers or occasional contributors. So what is a co-worker? Let me explain.
First, we do not solicit the public for contributions or financial support. But if one voluntarily sends a contribution, it is recorded at our Data Processing Center as a "donor." But when one sends in contributions or tithes two or more times in two or three months, we send a letter explaining that we have assumed he or she wishes to become a regular contributor, whom we designate as a "co-worker," and co-workers receive a regular monthly letter from me personally, telling them of the progress of the Work, and often or frequently, as the need may be, reminding them to send in their tithe or offering. However, the first letter to a new co-worker explains our policy saying that if we have misunderstood the donor's intention and he does not wish to receive these monthly letters, we would appreciate being so advised—and they will not be sent. The monthly "co-worker letters" are sent alike to all members and co-workers. This, we feel, is God's way. Moses sent a proclamation to the people of ancient Israel for a special offering for the building of the tabernacle—and the people responded over-generously. But he did not ask for offerings or contributions outside Israel, but "whosoever is of a willing heart"—that is, those who voluntarily desired (Ex. 35:5, 21-22). That was the Church of the Old Testament, but it illustrates God's way in principle. Of course Israelites paid the 10 percent tithe. Moses' request was for a special offering. This, then, explains our financial policy for the conduct of God's Work—based on the biblical example, principle and way.