A number of years ago, a web article circulated around about mission giving, and it caught my attention. I remember reading these words from that author, “The world will never be brought to Christ unless we bring Christ to the world.” That still inspires me today about my own personal mission efforts. I truly am an ambassador for Christ, even though I may never be “called” to live and minister in a foreign land—“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV).
Recently, I was challenged by a disturbing email that I received from one of our national overseers. He wrote:
We receive $500 per month from our International Offices. It is a great help . . . just for your knowledge a rented apartment in (my city) is $600 per month. We are living in such a difficult situation and would like you to see. I felt that if the Harvest Partners know our life in (my city) and about the ministry, they may not be the same as the past . . . Our prayer is that God will send someone to (my nation) as we are in the family of COGOP . . . Our greatest desire is to know each other, and know the end-time harvest ministry of COGOP in (my nation). I’m always ready to invite our Harvest Partners at anytime . . . Thank you for, I believe, you will listen to my inner voice! God bless you and guide you always.
As I read this dear national overseer’s words, I could hear the desperation penned from his heart. I couldn’t help but cry out to the One who is this precious leader’s provider. It’s heart-touching, true accounts such as this that answers the question for me, “Why mission giving?” And, the answer compellingly comes, “Because giving provides for the mission.”
The Word of God teaches, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21 NIV). So, if the Bible teaches that individuals should be wise with what God has entrusted to us, shouldn’t we also be wise when we give back to Him?
Personally, I give to missions because of the call within from my heavenly Father. God’s divine mandate is to take the Gospel to the world. Where I cannot go, I can help to send. At a time in my life that I cannot go, others like the leader mentioned can through my prayers and giving. Yes, because God has beckoned me to respond, I must answer for I can do nothing less than God commands—and one such thing He commands is that I love my neighbor as myself.
And, I also give to missions because of the call from without. All around each of us are hurting, crying, lost, and dying people. The only healing balm is for me (and you) to share the love of Jesus Christ. Can you not hear the petitioning voices crying from every nation and neighborhood of our world? If you can, then that’s the call from without which challenges a greater commitment to missions.
During this upcoming mission drive and throughout the entire year, let’s strive to become a people like the Macedonian church account—their joy was so great that they were extremely generous in their giving (2 Corinthians 8:2). Why mission giving? Because giving provides for the mission.