This article was written by Bob Fielding, Consultant for Chaplaincy & National/International Missions, at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
Electricity! Transportation! Rent/Mortgage! Clothing! Food! Formally or informally, we all “budget” for these living expenses and others.
Do you budget your giving to the Lord? And more to the point of this article, do you budget missions giving?
Most Arkansas Baptist churches receive these four “special” Southern Baptist missions offerings:
- Dixie Jackson Offering for Arkansas Missions (September)
- Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (Mother’s Day and/or Thanksgiving)
- Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions (Early Spring/Easter)
- Lottie Moon Christmas Offering ® for International Missions (Christmas)
These vital special offerings augment what your state, national and international ministry partners receive from the Cooperative Program. Each year, thousands are impacted for the cause of Christ due to the work of your Southern Baptist state, national and international partners. Most often, members of local churches are directly involved in these ministries.
Many churches receive these offerings separately, using the time periods noted. Some churches have an annual global missions emphasis or celebration. As part of that emphasis they receive one annual offering (some spread it across the year) and then divide the offering using a formula that distributes the funds to many or all of the above ministries, and other causes both internal (example: mission trip scholarships) and external. There are other missions giving systems out there as well.
If your church does not traditionally receive these offerings, you can give directly by mail or online in most cases.
The question is: are you budgeting for missions giving beyond what you give to your church’s general fund/operating fund? Let’s say God leads you to give $50 per month to missions over your regular giving. That’s $600 per year or $11.53 per week. God will also show you how to divide your missions budget between your partners mentioned above. Just ask Him! You may have local or other ministries you want to support as well, or even budget for a future mission trip.
Ponder this word from our Lord Jesus, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 7:38 NASB)