There is a tremendous cost involved in reaching the world with the good news of Jesus. Every member of a church that embraces the Acts 1:8 Challenge must be encouraged to continually give sacrificially to missions.The key is stewardship. Good stewardship demands that we acknowledge that God owns everything. He has given us the privilege of serving as managers of those resources.
God has entrusted the church with an abundance of financial resources.These include the time, talent, energy, and expertise of each member of the church.These resources must first be released for God’s use in His worldwide mission endeavor.When Christians are spiritually motivated to give, they are able to accomplish significant things together for the sake of God’s worldwide mission.
Encouraging members to give generously to missions through the Cooperative Program and other Southern Baptist mission offerings creates a sense of being personally invested in God’s kingdom work, as well as being part of a worldwide mission effort that includes thousands of other churches.Together, these funding channels provide a solid infrastructure through which churches can give and impact the results of mission efforts throughout the world. Jesus certainly knew that our money is directly connected to the passion of our hearts. Our giving is a reflection of our true love and loyalty. No pastor should ever hesitate to encourage his members to give to missions. It is the greatest financial investment a believer can make.
Giving our resources allows us to reach beyond our isolated scope of influence by empowering others to share the good news of Jesus. Our gifts serve as the fuel that drives the dynamic mission enterprise of Southern Baptists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Giving allows us to reach around the globe with the gospel.
As members embrace the Acts 1:8 Challenge, a gracious spirit of Christian stewardship begins to grow. People who develop a strong sense of personal identity with the Great Commission are more likely to contribute financially to the cause. Personalized mission experiences lead to faithful, even sacrificial, giving.There are many resources available to promote the kingdom response of “giving.” Church members need to hear the need and be encouraged to respond. Creative planning, communication, and implementation for the mission offerings are essential. Some churches provide resources for their own mission projects through their annual church budget or through a special mission offering for that purpose.These funds may be used for training members, assisting with travel costs, and for resources and materials used on the mission field.
Many churches encourage their members to give to mission offerings during specific times of the year and in coordination with a week of prayer for those particular purposes. Other churches find strength in mission giving through a unified annual mission offering that distributes resources to the four mission fields. Either way, churches must begin to step up to a new level of mission giving as they embrace the Acts 1:8 Challenge.
Below are some opportunities for participating in the kingdom-growing response of “giving.”
Opportunities for Giving to Jerusalem
Local Baptist associations offer opportunities for churches to partner in the “Jerusalem” mission field. Associational gifts are often part of a church’s annual budget. Many churches give a certain percentage of their undesignated receipts in support of their local associations.These funds are used for staff salaries, ministry and missions programs, and for training pastors and leaders.
For more information about association missions offerings, contact your local Baptist association office.
As you consider your church’s giving to the association, these ideas may help you evaluate your level of giving.
__ Obtain a copy of the allocations of your association missions budget from your association office.
__ Interview your association staff to get specifics on projects supported by local churches through their gifts to the association.
__ Have someone from the association speak to the missions leadership team and to the church about the use of funds in the ministries of the association.
__ Use the Giving Worksheet at the end of this chapter to evaluate your church’s history of giving to the association.
Opportunities for Giving to Judea
Most state conventions have a specific mission offering for missionary work in the “Judea” mission field.The emphases for these offerings may vary from state to state, but they generally relate to statewide mission opportunities related to evangelism, church planting, and education. Some states also emphasize special mission offerings for disaster relief, children’s homes, and other such mission opportunities. State conventions are generally funded through a percentage of the Cooperative Program gifts of the churches in their state, and these special offerings.
For more information about your state’s missions offering and how Cooperative Program gifts are invested in “Judea” mission efforts, contact your state convention.
As you consider your church’s giving to the state, these ideas may help you evaluate your level of giving.
__ Participate in giving through the Cooperative Program.
__ Participate in giving to the state mission offering. Obtain a copy of the allocations for your state mission offering by contacting your state convention office.
__ Interview someone on the state staff to get specifics on projects within the state.
__ Have someone from the state office speak to the missions leadership team and the church about the use of funds in the ministries of the state.
__ Use the Giving Worksheet to evaluate your church’s history of giving to the state mission offering.
Opportunities for Giving to Samaria
NAMB’s primary support comes from the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® (AAEO®) for North American Missions.When churches give through the AAEO, 100 percent of their gifts are used for missionary salaries and ministry supplies.This offering is the lifeblood for missionaries in North America. It allows them to share the message of Christ, plant new churches, and strengthen other churches. Each church becomes a strategic mission partner in reaching the “Samaria” field as it gives to the AAEO.
For more information about the AAEO, call (770) 410-6321, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.AnnieArmstrong.com.
As you consider your church’s giving to North American missions, these ideas may help you evaluate your level of giving.
__ Visit www.AnnieArmstrong.com to learn specific ways AAEO supports missions in North America. You may also e-mail email@example.com, or call (770) 410-6321.
__ Participate in the annual Week of Prayer for North American Missions. Materials to support this emphasis are available by calling NAMB at (770) 410-6321, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting www.AnnieArmstrong.com.
__ Use the Giving Worksheet to evaluate your church’s history of giving to the AAEO.
Opportunities for Giving to Ends of the Earth
IMB’s primary support comes from the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® (LMCO®) for International Missions.These funding channels allow Southern Baptists to fund the largest mission-sending force in the world.The LMCO is named for Lottie Moon, a devoted missionary to China. It is an annual offering received by churches to benefit international missions. Every dollar given to this offering–100 percent–goes to the overseas budget for supporting more than 5,500 missionaries and their ministries. Funds are used to cover the costs of travel, housing, language learning, and missionary child education for these families. Giving to the LMCO allows each church to join a strategic global effort to reach the whole world with the good news of Jesus.
For more information about the LMCO, call the IMB Contact Center at 1 800 999-3113, or visit http://ime.imb.org/lottiemoon/. For promotional resources, visit www.wmu.com.
As you consider your church’s giving to international missions, these ideas may help you evaluate your level of giving.
__ Visit www.imb.org to learn specific ways the LMCO supports missions throughout the world.
__ Participate in the annual Week of Prayer for International Missions. Materials to support this emphasis are available by calling the IMB Contact Center at 1 800 999-3113, or e-mail email@example.com.
__ Use the Giving Worksheet to evaluate your church’s history of giving to the ends of the earth.
Opportunities for Giving to All Fields
The Cooperative Program (CP)The Cooperative Program is the most effective, efficient, far reaching, consistent, missionary funding enterprise in the history of Christian denominations. It unifies all Southern Baptists as strategic missiongiving partners. Each church decides how much they give to the CP through their annual budget.The funds are sent to the state convention, which keeps and uses a certain percentage (varies by state) to do work in the state.The remaining portion of funds are sent to the SBC Executive Committee, which sends 50 percent to the International Mission Board and 22 percent to the North American Mission Board.
Associations do not receive CP dollars directly; however, many states use CP to partner with and support their associations.
For more information about CP, call 1 800 722-9407, or www.cpmissions.net or www.sbc.net. You may also contact your state Baptist convention Cooperative Program Office for information.
The World Hunger Offering
When a dollar is contributed to the World Hunger Fund, unless otherwise designated, 80 cents is sent to the IMB and 20 cents is sent to NAMB to support hunger projects in the United States and Canada. That means 100 percent of your gifts are used to minister to hungry people in Jesus’ name. More than likely, someone in your state, and perhaps in your association, benefits from these hunger funds.
For more information about the World Hunger Fund, visit www.faithandfamily.com, www.imb.org/worldhunger, and www.namb.net/hunger.
Use the following worksheet as you develop your church’s strategy for the response of “giving” in the four mission fields. Prayerfully consider your church’s goals for each offering. Be sure to assign specific responsibilities and timelines for promotion and implementation.
Download this page as a PDF.
Download the entireActs 1:8 Challenge Leadership Guideas a PDF.
Download the Missions Giving Worksheet.
©2010 North American Mission Board ©2010 International Mission Board