Monday, July 18, 2011

Why I Do Missions!

If you're interested, you will do what is convenient; if you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. 
-J Assaraf

I attended Liberty Bible College for pastoral ministry. Little did I know how my world view would change at my first Missions conference. That is where I first met and heard Wayne Myers. My life's direction changed in that meeting! World Missions=The Father's Heart!

Upon graduation I journeyed with my wife Debi and two other great couples to Scotland. A thriving church was planted. I returned back to work as Assistant Director of Globe under the direction of Bob Bishop. I travelled extensively to churches promoting world missions. Many didn't have a missions vision or it was minimal at best. During these times I was making observations that guided me and the establishment of a 'Missions minded church' that I now pastor, The Vine Fellowship. Our vision statement...connecting to God, other Christians and the world defines who we are as a church and guides where we invest our time and finances.

Rescue the perishing, don't hesitate to step and help! Pro 24.11 TMB

Three things guided me these 20 years here: 1. An annual Missions Conference; 2. Involvement of the members in World Missions; 3. Care for the Missionaries during the conference.

1. Annual Missions Conference- This is what I consider the highlight of our year. We have a set date for it every year. We establish a theme, hang banners, invite missionaries, hold a 4 day conference, do Faith Promise giving, and enjoy the results. The Sundays before and after the conference are always given to Global Missions messages. I understand thoroughly that the Pastor is THE KEY to a successful Missions vision in his church. No vision + no program + no involvement=no heart of the Father demonstrated! I do not delegate missions to another!

2. If you relegate your Missions program to a budget item then your people will not have a heart for it nor be missions minded. We stress to our members that we focus on reaching the world through support of world missions. Through the missionaries we preach the love of Jesus, help feed hungry children, send students to school, teach people how to grow their own food, raise up and train indigenous pastors, plant churches, and train more missionaries to go out and do the same. We believe in and support world missions. Our people are directly involved by prayer, provision, and participation. We keep the missionaries and their respected needs before the people via Sunday, small groups, Bulletin boards, and prayer for them being incorporated on our published Church calendar. We give them the opportunity to be personally involved with a missionary through their giving. As Wayne Myers said, "Do your giving while your living that way you know where it is going!" Their participation is by attending the missions conference, meals and fellowship with missionaries, and short term trips to visit them.

3. Our care for the missionaries when they are at our Missions Conference can best be described as doting! We are compassionate, sensitive and caring to their needs. We make sure their time with us is a stress reliever not a means of added stress. We are light hearted, fun loving with them. We encourage their laughter and do fun things with them: we give them 'fun money' as they arrive to spend on what they want while with us, we take them shopping, do lunches and dinners with them and our staff, visit places around the area i.e. Dallas Cowboy Stadium, Dallas Aquarium, Ft. Worth Arboretum, Ft. Worth Cowtown, etc. We take them to game places i.e. Alley Cats, Dave and Busters, and give them game tokens and play Laser Tag, etc. When they leave we give them a generous honorarium!

But probably the biggest thing that our church does is consider the missionaries true heroes of the Faith! Standing ovations, cards of appreciation, hugs, and tears are demonstrated to them and for them! We love our missionaries!

The Vine Fellowship is committed and we do whatever it takes! Shouldn't we all???

No comments: