by: Dr. Steve Heidenreich
I have had the opportunity to preach hundreds of mission’s conferences across America and around the world. I always get excited to see God work through His people when it comes time to get involved in getting the Gospel into all the world. When missionaries come in and share what God has called them to do and where He has them going it gets me excited. I want to surrender and go with them. Then to see God’s people step out by faith and give so they can go and preach the Gospel to those who have never heard a clear presentation is amazing to me. When the church votes to take on the missionaries for support, it should be the beginning of a great future of accomplishing mighty things for God.
So often when the missions conference is over, everything is packed up and stored away for the next year’s conference. The church figures that writing the support check each month is all that is required. While that is very important, it is just the beginning to a great opportunity to see what can be accomplished. We must be very careful that our missions programs don’t go missing over the next year.
Let me help you with some suggestions that will help you to keep your missions program from becoming a missing missions program.
1. Realize that when your mission’s conference has ended it’s just the beginning. Now it’s time to go to work and fulfill your goals for reaching the world with the Gospel.
2. Put together a budget of your mission’s giving for the next year. I have seen many missions programs with no plan as to how to spend their giving.
3. Spend the mission’s money that has been given on missions. People have given the money to be spent on getting the Gospel to those without it. It’s amazing to me what has been called missions. The tithe and love offerings should take care of the church and it’s needs. I give my tithe, other’s offerings and love offerings to help my church, but I expect my missions giving to be used for getting the Gospel around the world.
4. I believe that most of the missions offering should be used to plant churches. I have been involved in starting churches, and there is nothing more exciting than seeing a new church started. The end result of the Great Commission is a church. If you support missionaries, they should be Church-planting missionaries. I know that there are other projects that need help, but the biggest percentage of your budget should end up in church planting.
5. Send your pastor to the mission field. The key to any missions program is the pastor. When the pastor doesn’t have a heart for a missions program, then it will go missing. I have been told by many pastors that once they went to the mission field it changed their lives forever.
6. Bring in missionaries during the year to keep the reason for giving fresh in their mind. Because so many churches forget to mention the missionaries and their missions program, we need to hear from missionaries.
7. Organize mission’s trips for your people so they can go and see what their missions program is accomplishing on the field. When people come back from a mission’s trip and are excited and talk about it, it will do wonders for your missions program.
8. This will shock most of you, but I believe that your mission’s budget should be empty at the end of your mission’s year. There is no reason to save your missions giving when billions are dying and going to Hell. We ask missionaries to go by faith, our people to give by faith and then we don’t spend by faith.
These are just a few things you can do to keep your missions program from becoming a missing missions program. I love missions and all the churches that give to missions. The most exciting missions giving churches are those who keep their missions program from disappearing when their missions conferences are over.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich