Font Size » Large | SmallGod has instilled a passion for giving to missions into our church’s makeup; it’s part of our DNA. It is something His Spirit implanted in the hearts of our people. As He brings us ideas of ways to make missions more of an emphasis, we implement them: Will with Marcial Morales Chauala, a staff member at Puente de Amistad. We emphasize our vision as a church nearly every Sunday (to the point of the leadership feeling guilty about overly stressing it): Love God. Love people. Go serve. Our missions emphasis is a fruit of living out all three phases of our vision. The third Sunday of the month we receive two offerings. The second is our missions offering. We make this highly visible through PowerPoint, and we highlight how our MVP and other missions outreach giving will be designated. We consistently encourage short-term missions trips. During the main service we commission and pray for everyone who goes on a trip. Usually we give trip participants a short time to share when they return from a trip. Videos or other visual props help capture people’s attention. We make it easy for people to save for these trips. We set up an account to which an individual can donate as often as they want either to save for their own trip or to contribute to another person’s trip. We are not controlling people. If someone has a heart to go on a trip that is not a church-planned trip, we get behind it and endorse it as long as it fits with our vision. We do have a form the person must fill out to get board approval. A couple of guys from the team witnessing to some local men. God has brought us many different people through the years whom He has used in our church body to further missions. We look for people with missions-minded hearts. But we hang on to them loosely! Two years ago we sent two families from our church to the mission field in Tijuana, Mexico. This was a total of ten people. Since we are a church that averages 110-130 people per Sunday that is nearly ten percent of our people! We constantly host fundraisers for missions trips and mission projects. We tell our people not to feel guilty if they don’t have it to give. We tell them up front, “If you don’t have it to give and God hasn’t spoken to you about it, don’t give!” If at all possible, we host Open Bible missionaries when they are itinerating. People will give to people they know. If your people have a relationship with OBC missionaries, they will give to OBC missionaries. That is why the two families out of our church have good support from our church. Our church knows them very well. Refuse to listen to the lie that if your church gives heavily to missions, you will have fewer “pieces of the pie” to support your local church ministry. What we have found is that the more you give to missions, the more you have to do ministry with on your local level. We tell our people that although we may not be the “big dog” on the block (although I hope we are not a poodle or a wiener dog!), we are on the block and we do have a bark and a bite. We can do something for missions. It may not be what some big church does, but we can pull our weight. Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, said, “Don’t fail to do something because you can’t do everything.” There is something that needs to be said about the pastor’s role in a mission-minded church. Leaders must constantly talk about missions. Your talk reveals what is in your heart. If missions is in your heart, it will come out of your mouth (Matthew 12:34). About the Author Will Hunsaker is lead pastor of First Church of the Open Bible in Clear Lake, Iowa. Will with Marcial Morales Chauala, a staff member at Puente de Amistad. How Are Other Churches Doing Missions? Plan and Pray “I am always amazed and thankful for what God does!”Terry Reilley, lead pastor, Creekside Open Bible in Martinez, California We Promote In September we announce our upcoming annual Harvest Offering that will be collected the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We “show and tell” about the past year’s giving investments: local outreaches, local and global missions projects, church plants, missionaries, and local schools. We prepare to “do it again!” and see God move in and through us. We Pray and Prepare We ask people to pray and prepare for the offering. We encourage them to make it a family affair, to get everyone involved. We emphasize we are not making faith pledges, just making faithful preparations for the offering. We Ask People to Give We ask people to give sacrificially, give util it helps! We receive only one special offering a year. People love that! The ONE has focus. The ONE has purpose. The ONE is large. People engage and plan for it! We tell people there are no other special offerings, so pray about THIS ONE and prepare to give! We Receive Offering The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we collect our special offering by asking people to come forward to give – thankfully and sacrificially. This is a huge celebration event. Then each Sunday until the end of the year we continue to collect the offering. Missions Blitz The pastor must believe in missions and give to missions or it will come across as hypocritical.”Spencer Keroff, lead pastor, First Church of the Open Bible, Des Moines, Iowa“We host a Missions Blitz every year during which I interview several missionaries, giving them each a ten-minute time frame. This focused event forces missionaries to think of their very best stories, engages our congregation, and allows our people to meet several missionaries at once. We make sure to invest enough money in this event to make sure it screams, ‘This is special and important to God!’ We set the theme for the year ahead of time, determine a goal, and implement Faith Activation cards.