Getters or Givers?

Getters or Givers?

Philipians 4: [19] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I love this scripture and have quoted it so many times. I have needed its encouragement when resources were running near empty. But I think many times I have missed the deeper meaning of its wealth.

It seems we are by our nature geared to be “getters” rather than “Givers”.
This scripture is a blessing to the givers and not a mission statement to the getters. Read verses 10-18 and you will see that Paul is thanking and blessing those who took care of him in his need. These folks saw his need, felt his hunger, shared in his suffering, gave in their lack, gave strength to his weakness and gave when others forgot about Paul and his work!

So what is the lesson to be grasped with these passages? I think it is a simple one.

The Lord blesses our need of supply by how we supply other people’s needs!

We may be wondering why God, who is rich in resources, has not met our needs? On the other hand God could be wondering how we, who have resources do not meet needs in other people’s lives? How can we only see our needs and be blind to someone else’s need? In fact He gave us the resources we have to be a blessing to those who need a blessing! If we can focus on the hurts, pain, suffering and needs of those around us then we release God to focus on us! If we can release the blessing in our hand then God will release the blessing in His! This is not about getting or manipulating God in giving to us. It is about changing into givers who give because we have what others need.

Philippians 4:10-19

[10] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. [11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. [14] Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. [15] Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. [16] For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. [17] Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. [18] But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

[19] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Disaster Relief and Convoy of Hope

The tragedy in Oklahoma demands that all of us pull together to help that community. The best way I have found to assist is through Convoy of Hope. This organization is one of the most effective disaster relief organizations in the world. I have seen them at work and cannot state how impressed I am by their effectiveness.

I would encourage my friends to go to their website and donate as generously as you can. I promise you your funds will be multiplied many times with their ability to in-kind contributions. On average these folks can turn your dollar into about six dollars.

Praying for compassionate friends for the assistance needed for Oklahoma.

Convoy of Hope

Dads Leading the Family in Missions

“Dads Leading the Family in Missions.”

When it comes to leadership it has been stated that it is better to be “caught than taught!” The father in the home serves many roles; breadwinner, protector, role model and of equally importance is that of leader. Teaching children how to live and lead in their world is not the responsibility of educators from outside the home. Those responsibilities rest squarely on the shoulders of the parents. The father ultimately has the greatest impact on the children in leading them to form character and beliefs. With this in mind, dads should consider their actions so that they can look back with pride on their leadership and its effects in the lives of their children.

When it comes to missions, a father should be very intentional to expose his children to the responsibilities of a disciple of Christ: to reach others in our world with the gospel. In our fellowship we are fortunate that the Assemblies of God finds its foundation in both the gospel and the proclamation of that gospel to every lost man. This missions heart finds itself in our Christian education with lessons of why and how we reach the lost. It is also found in our children’s ministries with BGMC and youth ministries with Speed the Light. Encouraging children to participate in “buddy barrel” by making faith promises will build the child’s faith, so that God can use even a child to impact his world. What an impression for each child to have the opportunity to become a modern day lad watching his fish and bread transformed into miracles.

The same is true with teenagers and their faith promise commitment in Speed the Light’s ministry. Very few things can change a teenagers mind when he or she determines to make a difference with their missions giving. Supercharge this experience with an AIM trip to ride in a Speed the Light vehicle on the mission field and the teenager will become a lifetime mission’s giver, if not a missionary!

In the Assemblies of God, men participate in the ministry of”Light for the Lost”. This program provides literature and electronic communication, which is Gospel concentrated and placed in the hands of missionaries to reach the lost. Dads, who participate, teach their children the value of STL and BGMC giving.

Fathers should lead the way in faith promise giving when their churches have missions conventions. While it is good and scriptural to be private about what one commits in the public faith promise meeting. That process should not just be an emotional moment when the faith promise cards are passed out. It would be good for the family to discuss what each family member is planning to contribute the next year to missions. Make sure that each family member is a part of the sacrifice of the missions giving program of their church. Also, one of the parts of the faith promise experience is to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about a faith promise. This aspect should be explained so that children understand the difference between budgeting for missions giving and faith in missions giving which is beyond one’s ability to do except for the Lord’s doing something unexpected and miraculous in the family’s income. When a child sees and experiences the family making commitments based on the Holy Spirit’s leading and then sees miracles in finance they will never be the same.

It is a privilege to receive awards which express appreciation for one’s missions giving. Maybe the greatest joy is not the receiving of an award or even the joy of giving the gift. For even the scriptures teach, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I think the greatest joy in this life is to experience your children receive recognition for something you influenced them to love and participate in, by your leadership as their dad! Proverbs 22: 6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Sir, you may be developing the next greatest missionary of our culture; lead them well!

Suggestions To Pastors From Missionaries

Suggestions to pastors and missionary support.

Please return the phone call from the missionary.

It is okay to say you cannot put them in your budget.

Have the missionary for a window in your service.

Interview the missionary in front of your audience. This way you can control the time and information your church receives.

Don’t shift responsibility to the board for missionary support. If your church is board driven know those limitations and you be the decision maker to the missionary.

Let the missionary address a small group or a Sunday School class.

Give him a off night and announce for those who would like to attend of the opportunity.

If the budget will not allow for monthly support then consider giving the congregation opportunity to give a one time offering.

Remember you are the doorway to missions in your church. If your heart is open then God will open the hearts of your people.

Consider bringing Greene & Raley in to help you move your missions forward and enlarge the missions awareness of your church.

Suggestions to Missionaries to Pastors

Suggestions from pastors to missionaries

1. Sometimes we cannot schedule you to speak.

2. If we don’t get to the phone we are not avoiding you. We really are busy, real busy.

3. Scolding or chiding us because we were difficult to connect with will not make us very receptive to helping you.

4. If we cannot schedule you to speak are there other options?

5. When you speak please plan to tell us about your call, your country and the need. We really do not want you to preach just tell stories that connect.

6. The longer you talk after 20 minutes the less our people will give.

7. Don’t forget to say thank you to the children for BGMC, youth for STL and men for LFTL.

8. Spend some time with our children and learn their names. They need ministry hero’s. Those stories you tell as you share a meal are never forgotten.

9. Don’t speak negatively about other missionaries, programs, pastors or leaders. You will only hurt yourself.

10. Be filled with enthusiasm about the work of the Kingdom. People who are challenged by an exciting message are liberal in their giving.

Helping the Missionary

Best ways to assist missionaries in funding their support to get to the field.

Our prayers are being answered as hundreds of young men and women are answering the call to missions. The scriptures says in Matthew 9: 37 *Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; [38] therefore *pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to *send out laborers into his harvest.” We are seeing the fruit of our prayers. Now we must go further than prayer! We must fund and release those God has sent to us to send. The harvest waits for the workers and the workers are waiting on the ability to go.

The Ten best ways to fund our missionaries to get them to the field!

1. Pray specifically for those missionaries in your state or district.

Pray for their safety in travel. Pray for their preparation for the chosen field. Pray for their families. Pray for their children. Pray for favor with people of means. Pray for favor in the country they will work in. Pray for miracles in their work.

2. Post their names and pictures somewhere in the church as unfunded missionaries so the church can pray for them. A spot on a wall, a place in the church bulletin or on the video announcements.

3. Give recognition of their call and financial challenges publicly when praying for the other needs of the church.

4. Use your influence to open a door for them to present their vision to a friends church.

5. At sectional or district meetings have the missionary to accompany you and when you greet your friends introduce them to your friends.

6. Consider dropping a budget item in your church that you could do without and give that amount to the missions budget for the missionary support.

7. Have one fund raiser, one special offering designated as a Senders Fund to get the missionary some help for funding. (AGWM has a senders fund designated to help funding for missionaries who need a Little extra help.)

8. Do one less missions project and designate it for the boots on the ground rather than the special project.

9. Send the missionary a monthly card, text or email letting them know you are standing with them in prayer.

10. Don’t judge their difficulty in raising their support as an indication that God may not have called them. It could be that the enemy is fighting because they will shake the powers of darkness once they get in the harvest God has called them to work. Believe in them- believe with them- believe for them!