When it comes to missions, what is a church to do? Of course, that is something that each church must decide for itself, but the three ways to be involved in missions have always been to go, to pray, and to give. Rather than picking one or two of those, a church needs to be involved in all three ways: giving, praying and going.
At our August executive board meeting, I had the privilege of presenting certificates to two of our churches (see photos below), recognizing them as the top giver and top per capita giver to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering last year.
Your church doesn’t have to be the top giver to make a difference. Each church can set a goal and have a part in this important offering that provides more than half the money used by the IMB to take the good news to the ends of the earth.
There are other special missions offerings your church can share in: the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the BGCT and SBTC state missions offerings being received this month.
In addition to special offerings, your church can give to missions on a continual basis through the Cooperative Program. One check to your state convention lets your church share in state, national and international missions and other Kingdom efforts of Southern Baptists. Your state convention keeps a portion and sends the rest to the Southern Baptist Convention.
What about associational missions?
Associations are not included in the Cooperative Program. To partner with Trinity River Baptist Association your church sends a separate check to TRBA.
There are 46,000 churches in the SBC and thousands of churches in your state convention. But financial support for our association comes from only our 41 member churches. That is why your associational gifts are vital to our work here at TRBA.
As we continue to broaden and expand our TRBA ministries this next year, please be sure to include associational missions in your church budget.
If you are giving a fixed amount, please consider moving to a set percentage of your undesignated receipts. Consider at least 3%, or follow the example of more than a third of our churches who give more than 3 percent. Just this week I heard from one of our churches that has voted to increase TRBA support from 4% to 10%.
And as your church grows, continue percentage giving. Don’t cap your giving at what you consider a “significant” amount; give a “proportional” amount so we can all share in the mission — not with equal gifts but with equal sacrifice.
Is giving enough?
Giving money to missions is a good start, but can never replace the other two means of involvement: praying and going.
Missions begins at home, and our going can be to the house next door as well as the village on the other side of the globe. Each believer can be a fount of the Living Water of Jesus Christ, overflowing into the lives of those around us.
And the foundation of missions is prayer. Don’t neglect praying for our counties, our state, our nation and our world. They all need Jesus so desperately.
Partnering with your church,