As mentioned in one of the previous blogs, “Why Giving to Global Missions Is Helpful for Your Budget,” global missions giving from a church in the best of times and worst of times is likely to compel great giving to your overall church budget. A key aspect of this is celebration and communication. You elevate what you celebrate at your churches. When you communicate and celebrate missions giving, you communicate vision and priorities to your people.
A budget is more than just a bunch of numbers on a paper; it communicates a strategy documenting the vision and values of your local church. But with the myriad of things that are being shared on Sunday mornings, how do you communicate all that is going towards global missions?
Start with Sunday Morning
A good place to start is working with your Sunday morning teachers on communication regarding global missions. A good rule of thumb for missions leaders is to catalyze something from the stage once per month about global missions. This could be anything from a sermon on global missions, to an illustration in the sermon, to a video, to an announcement. Give them something that keeps the hearts and minds of your people engaged in global missions.
When you communicate and celebrate missions giving, you communicate vision and priorities to your people.
With this communication rhythm, how could you communicate your church’s giving to global missions? It’s likely that your overall budget is something that is talked about from the stage or printed in your bulletin on a regular basis. Encourage your teachers that whenever they talk about the budget, they should celebrate the reality that a specific percentage of the budget goes towards global missions. That’s inspiring to your people.
Here's a practical way to frame your church’s budget:
In-House - Your staff and ministry expenses.
House - The cost of your building
Out-of-House - Everything that happens in local mercy ministry, church planting, and global missions.
Communicating the budget in these simple terms can help church members grasp what the basic pockets of general fund giving are going towards. If your church members know that for every dollar that comes in a certain amount is going towards In-House, House, and Out-of-House funding, it will help them clearly understand the vision of the church without getting into the weeds of what each department spends. There are very few people in your church who really want to know the specifics, so give them something simple like that.
As the missions leader, whenever you have the opportunity to be on stage to share an announcement, be sure to thank your congregation for giving towards global missions. When you celebrate a Sent One, let them know the part your church played in discipling that person, praying for them, and giving to them. Every time I get on stage, I mention that 15 percent of the overall budget goes towards global missions and thank our people for giving to our church, which enables us, together, to send people overseas.
Other Ways to Communicate about Missions Giving
Blog posts are a great way to share the stories of what has been given. Not everything your church gives to for global missions can be shared from the stage, in a bulletin, or in a church newsletter. Write up a quick story anytime you give a significant gift to a partner. Share this on your church’s social media. Shoot for writing one story per month about what God is doing through your people and how the church’s giving is helping that to happen. If you can do more, awesome! Here’s an example of a recent blog post on what our church has given. And here’s our Global Missions Facebook Page (feel free to like!)
Whatever you do in global missions, celebrate it.
Have a web page dedicated to sharing what you are giving to as a church. Share some of your main partnerships. Celebrate what your church is giving to, but also provide opportunities for church members to give above and beyond their regular tithes to organizations your church is focused on. Here's how we have laid this out as a church.
There are many other ideas that go beyond this that could be shared, like creating a prayer guide for all your Sent Ones that gets in the hands of your members or annually creating a small booklet of stories that celebrate what God’s doing around the world through your church. Whatever you do in global missions, celebrate it, not simply so the money keeps coming in, but to engage the hearts of your people deeply, give them vision for what God has given them to steward, and help them care about the nations.
Mike Ironside is the International Program Manager for Reliant Mission. Prior to that Mike was the Missions Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, for eight years, where he got to experience the ins and outs of being a sending church. He served on staff with Cornerstone 2006 to 2022 in varying roles–from college ministry to pastoral staff to being an overseas missionary sent from Cornerstone for two years. Mike is the Director of Content for the Upstream Collective. Mike, his wife, Emily, and their four kids continue to live in Ames, IA, and serve at Cornerstone.