Mission focus is how you hit your target. Our lives are filled with missions. Why? A mission is simply that which you are trying to accomplish. We have goals in relationships, faith, family, work and leisure. And we all want to hit the target. But our chances of success are much greater if we know the W‘s:
- Ways & Means
Day 8 in our 10 Days of Purpose is about focus. And it is very intentional that this post follows yesterday’s post. Those W’s have a priority and the first one is prayer. Why? Because prayer is all about the Who (it’s His work; His mission; His glory). Everything else falls into place behind that. And even though this post is about the necessary details of mission accomplishment, the only thing I’m going to ask you to do is pray! But this will give you some specific insights for those prayers.
Mission Focus – ‘Nonspiritual’ & Other Myths
6 years ago we began our work with ROW (now it’s Mission: Hope). And after all this time I still find a fair amount of misunderstanding about what makes this work possible. And you should know that addressing this is not my favorite thing to do. But if I don’t the mission suffers.
Let’s begin with the bottom of my W‘s list and your local church. It’s a good illustration and a teaching opportunity as well!
Ways & Means is about physical resources. Believers support and sustain the ministry of the local church through tithes and offerings. From those we meet needs for benevolence, evangelism, Christian education, ministerial salaries/support, building payments, missions and missionaries. And churches use a variety of methods and structures to meet those needs.
The enemy has placed a myth (a lie!) in the minds of many believers. They think a discussion of dollars and cents is a necessary evil at best. That subject is deemed ‘nonspiritual.’ The truth, according to Scripture, is quite different.
Did you know the Bible says more (has more verses) about our worldly resources and how we use them than it does about heaven and hell combined? There isn’t room for a lengthy discourse. But one reason for that is very simple. What we think about, and how we use, the blessings we have been given tells us a great deal about our heart. I think it was Larry Burkett that used to say, You can tell what a person really believes by looking at their checkbook. That’s true.
Mission Focus: Ways & Means
We have many mission opportunities. And the missionary (that’s me!):
- Plans them
- Promotes them
- Raises mission project funds
- Equips people for mission
- Drives the mission
- Sees that the mission is accomplished
And in doing all of that I have to raise support to keep my household financially afloat. Ministry folks refer to a person like me as a ‘self-funded’ missionary.
That is structurally different than a missionary who works for a denominational agency like the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The term self-funded is a little misleading in my view. I’ve spent decades working in the local Baptist church. So ‘independently wealthy’ isn’t even in my vocabulary much less our bank account!
Our ministry is possible because people in many churches are moved to support it financially. It wouldn’t happen otherwise. Mission support requires funds for the projects and funds for missionaries. Denominational mission agencies address both sides of mission support in one process. We have to address them separately. Now that you know, here are some practical reasons to pray…
Mission Focus: Planning
There is a very specific prayer need regarding Ways & Means. There is are many categories or avenues or methods to support this ministry. But I am asking you to pray for an increase in one specific area. In doing so I’ll make some general disclosures but nothing that compromises any donor’s confidentiality.
Any and all support is needed and appreciated. Some people contribute periodically. Others do so at the end of the year. Some people see a need in a post or hear about it at church and they make a one-time contribution and never make another one. All of that is fine. Other people make regular contributions. They range from $25.00/month to amounts considerably higher.
The amount an individual contributes isn’t what’s important. The need is for predictability. That allows for planning. Individual contributions or church budget contributions of any and all sizes combine to meet the needs. So please help me fight another myth that says:
I/we don’t need to give because I/we can’t very much.
I’ll just tell you. The number of people who give less than $100.00/month is greater than the ones who give more than that. This ministry works because people are faithful to do together what God has put before us.
And if you look back over these 10 Days of Purpose posts then it’s easy to see why we need to be able to do some planning. There are more opportunities for ministry than predictable funds to meet them. That can remain a problem or we can join together to pray for a solution.
So how does one engage? Most contributions are made to Mission: Hope. Some are made to Keith Burnett Ministries. And there’s a practical disclosure here. I can’t explain it, but I can report it!
We have the capacity to receive contributions electronically. Some use that means. But for whatever reason, most contributions come this way:
- By check made payable to Mission: Hope
- Memo the check: Evangelism – Keith Burnett
- Mailed to Keith Burnett Ministries
- At PO 803, Scottsboro, AL – 35768
Mission Focus: Prayer
So will you pray for this need? Individuals can give. Churches can and do write us into their mission budgets. They make their contributions monthly. What I am praying for, and asking you to pray for, is an increase of 25 monthly donors. It doesn’t matter whether that’s individuals or church groups. You can help by doing two things:
- Praying daily – that people will respond in this way to what they see and hear
- Sharing this need – you can do this through your church groups, civic groups, and even through social media. It just requires the intent to share and then seeing how many ways and in how many places you can share this goal.
You know the need. Everything you need to share is in this post and/or this series of posts. So please help.
And our last two posts in this series are real whoppers! So please stay tuned…