Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Prioritize Your Church's Mission Funding

I received an email from a pastor today: 
Reason for emailing: our church recently agreed to focus our missions support by reducing down from 13 organisations and individuals down to 6 (2 individuals and 4 organisations). We have for a long time given 10% of our income which is something we're intending to keep going.
My question is what principles you use to decide how you divide that 10% up, particularly with the individuals we're supporting? Have you got any advice you'd be able to offer?
This was my answer: 

I think that your prioritizing should be along the following lines:

  1. Biblical theological factors: your priorities should reflect the centrality of gospel ministry that is in line with the Great Commission – pioneer evangelistic ministry especially among peoples who otherwise would have little or no witness plus those who support that and ministries that complete that (‘teaching them to obey’).
  2. Historical factors: you will have relationships with people perhaps going back a long time. These should be honoured, though if people you have been supporting are simply giving out teddy bears in children’s homes I think you should look for ways to redeploy them in more suitable ministry rather than feel under compulsion to continue their support simply on the basis of relationship. Relationships are very important. But they are not absolute.
  3. Global realities: mission is now from everywhere to everywhere. Are there folk from other places, including from previously ‘receiving’ countries, who are not connected with you, share your vision and priorities but don’t have sufficient support?
  4. Missions mobilization: some money should go into growing the mission vision and wisdom of the church. That may include sending people for short trips to visit situations for that purpose.
  5. Training: God willing, the result of missions mobilization will be people coming forward to be assessed for their personal long-term involvement. That should include training, which can be costly.
I trust you will be seeking to grow the vision and commitment of the church so that you can increase your giving in the future. At least one church in Wales I know gives 50% to mission. 

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