You probably have a Christmas gift buying list.
I keep my shopping lists nice and fresh right on Amazon.com.
You might even use a gift buying budget to help you limit the gift buying damage. How else could you be expected to make your family’s Christmas wishes come true and STILL have enough money left to make a payment on your utility bill?
We all know how hard it is to add anything else to the budget. Let me tell you about someone whose livelihood fully depends on getting added to your budget. These are special people who would have to resign from their job or quit their career if too few people faithfully sent them money. This is what’s at stake when you’re asked to support what the Christian church refers to as a “missionary.”
These ‘sent’ people are called missionaries. The ‘senders’ are the local church.
The nature of a gospel church is to send and support willing and able ‘goers’ who live beyond our geographical and demographic boundaries, for the purpose of sharing and showing the Good News of the gospel to another culture. Check out what happens (according to 2 Corinthians 9) when you give.
15 high-impact results when you give to a ‘goer’ through your church family:
- You reject the urge to keep all of your own treasure to build your own kingdom instead of God’s.
- You look away from the stuff you want and acknowledge what a ‘goer’ family needs.
- You avoid the embarrassment of saying you give money to support missionaries but are not actually doing it.
- You discover the hard truth about your own heart: you either give willingly or grudgingly.
- You position yourself, as a generous sower, to reap generously.
- You confront yourself by selecting a specific amount of money to give — potentially revealing a level of stinginess.
- You think about the reasons for any reluctance you might have to giving.
- You position yourself to receive more from a God who increases the resources of generous givers.
- You remind yourself that God is your source for everything you need and own.
- You notice again that God has always given you enough to share with others.
- You boldly declare that God is a generous god who faithfully meets your needs.
- You will cause your extended church family to pray for you with even deeper affection.
- You will inspire those in need to joyfully thank God for his faithful provision.
- You perpetuate the pattern traced in the Bible where one local church gives sacrificially to multiply the success of other local churches.
- You help make Jesus famous in the hearts of those who have been depending on God alone to meet their needs.
If you belong to a gospel church family you are, by nature, a vital part of a financially supportive family of ‘senders’. Find your ‘goers’ and be a diligent ‘sender.’ If it’s easier, just add them to your Christmas list this year.
Tom and Brooke Harshberger are two of the many missionaries that North Central Church will be supporting in 2017.
Authored by NCC Lead Pastor Dan Williams | northcentral.org