Our Heart is Global

I believe one of the greatest injustices in our world today is the unequal distribution of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Nearly forty percent of the current world’s population has never yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and this reality should stir us to greater action.

Although it’s difficult to determine exactly what each church gives to global missions, the best information available says that the average church in America gives less than 3% to “missions”. The local church can help change this injustice by becoming more intentional and strategic with our current missions’ model and how we engage our churches in participating in the Great Commission.

Ten years ago, River Valley Church decided to take this Great Commission more seriously and become much more intentional about it’s strategy to engage the church in this Great Commission.

At the time, the church had just given a little over $70,000 to support a couple dozen missionaries and sent a few short-term missions’ teams.  Fast-forward ten years to today.  River Valley now gives millions and millions of dollars annually to support over 270 missionaries and organizations, sends nearly fifty short-term missions’ teams every year and currently has a vision to raise up 500 long-term missionaries willing to give at least a year (hopefully a lifetime) of their life to global missions’ efforts, mostly among the unreached.

So how does a church go from giving $72,000 to missions to giving millions annually?  How does a church go from sending a couple short-term teams to one a week? How does a single church raise up 500 long-term missionaries to go to the hardest-to-reach regions of the world?

Our model is simple: lead by example, show the need and opportunity first-hand and provide a means for greater generosity.

Firstly, we lead by example by committing the first 10% of the church’s income towards the monthly support of long-term missionaries. If we teach the tithe, we should lead by example not only personally but also within our churches.

Secondly, the passion for missions has to move from the head to the heart. The best way we’ve found is to show the need first hand through our volunteer short-term missions trips, which we call Global Teams.

Finally, the third major part of our global missions model is a visionary plan for annual missions projects above and beyond the tithe, which we call Kingdom Builders. This is an annual list of projects that make an impact globally, locally and for future generations.

Through all this, I believe we live out what Jesus’ gave to us as His first priority, when he spoke his final words, Go into all the world and preach the gospel.

About the Author

Global Project Pastor

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