Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Embracing your inner giver

In missions we talk about goers and senders. Goers are people on the field planting churches, facilitating community development, training nationals or even working in administrative roles. Senders are people who pray, mobilize, work out logistics and give money so that the goers can stay gone and finish their work.

The purpose of this brief article is to encourage Christians to take ownership of the giving aspect of mission involvement. Giving money to missions may be less public, less glamorous, than actually going overseas, but it is no less important than physically being on the field.

Rarely are Christians discipled to be disciplined and intentional missional givers, whether that giving is directly to missionaries or through church mission committees. So, then, what can we do to train ourselves to take our role as givers seriously?

    • Begin by remembering that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21). With this in mind, think of how you can mold your heart to become more generous. Practice disciplines to align your heart with God’s.
    • Next, give regularly, whether that’s monthly, every other month or quarterly. Whether or not you believe the principal of a tithe carried over from the Old Testament to New Testament times, God still deserves our first-fruits.

  • Also give one-time gifts. These one-time gifts might be to causes you already support, but they also present a good opportunity to look for new places to give. Consider adding an offering to part of your Easter, Christmas or birthday traditions.
  • Continually look for new giving opportunities. If a friend or family member sends you an appeal, give it serious consideration. If a missionary you don’t know visits your church, give them a listen. Seek out ministries that match you and your family’s interests. If Southeast Asia is your niche, look for new teams headed in that direction. If you’re a musician, look into Operation Mobilization’s music outreach. If you’re a writer, remember the importance of translation efforts.
  • And plan regular increases in your giving. Even if it’s only $5 a year, it will help establish the discipline. Again, whether or not you believe in the principal of a tithe, ten percent is a good place to start. Set goals for yourself; try to get to 20% by the time you’re 30 years old or 50% by the time you’re 50. Look to the example of generous and sacrificial givers such as R.G. LeTourneau and C.T. Studd. Studd gave away 90% of his income and lived on 10%.

Let us as Christians become world Christians and realize the importance of supporting, of giving, to expedite the coming Kingdom of God. Let us take on our role of giver in earnest, looking forward to how we can be part of a new well in Africa or a new church in Southeast Asia, eager to increase our own generosity year by year.

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