North Coast Calvary Chapel
The importance of stewardship accountability to donors and the church congregation
- Establish missions objectives and priorities to drive and filter opportunities in effective Kingdom ministries to determine that the maximum benefit is realized from Kingdom investments. "Our utmost for His highest"
- Use a due diligence matrix/questionnaire to evaluate missions opportunities...establish levels of commitment consistent with the
appropriate allocation of resources...relationships, partners, strategic partnerships.
- Annual review of missions relationships...Consider: fruit of activity; partnering and networking within the body of Christ; communication and reporting to donors; opportunities for church staff, congregation and affinity groups for field service; consistent with current missions objectives and priorities; spiritual, organizational and financial oversight and accountability; engaged missions representation in the church; amount of church financial investment consistent with level of missions relationship; amount of administration and agency service fees; percentage of ministry's annual budget supplied by our church and major donors.
New paradigm in missiological thinking
- "Transformed people transforming our world"...diligent in pursuing opportunities to transform neighborhoods, villages, cities, people groups and nations with the "whole Gospel of Christ"...evangelism, discipleship, compassion, education, health, food, shelter, water, sanitation, job training, micro-enterprise and finance, agriculture, environmental.
- Use "channels" of culture for ministry platforms to build relationships: sports and recreation; child and family; education; music; health and hygiene; the arts; business; camps & conferences; tribal, clan, ethnic; socio-economic; vocation; entertainment. Be opportunistic for outreach and service activities around international, national and local events, i.e., Olympics, World Cup of Soccer, Super Bowl, natural disasters, public school service and community events.
- Locate where God is moving and partner there with indigenous ministries.
- Evaluate the cost/benefit of using nationals rather than sending Americans. In many mission fields it is no longer effective or efficient to send long term American missionaries abroad. The missiological model of the late 1800's and the 1900's has given way to partnering with indigenous ministries in the field.
- Partner...partner...partner! Use established "networks and movements" at home and abroad. In general, it is about seeking impactful missions opportunities where the body of Christ is working together by sharing resources and a common vision. As an example, there is a vast network using sports, operating in nearly 200 countries of the world that partner in bringing the whole Gospel of Christ to affect societal change. This network of Christian organizations shares resources in many activities that transform local neighborhoods, villages, cities and nations. For instance, in 2010, it is estimated that 5 million children, teens and families heard and responded to the Gospel through the KidsGames movement. This ministry activity is designed to strengthen the local churches. There is no institutional infrastructure, therefore, no overhead. The network/movement is known as the International Sports Coalition. KidsGames and other sports and recreational initiatives provide a platform to employ many different kinds of Christian ministries in the local culture. Thus, "a gateway to community transformation".
- Spend time in the field and develop relationships. Be purposeful about inviting missionaries to our church and exposing them to the broad spectrum of the congregation and involving them with our ministries and affinity groups. Although strategically important to educate and stimulate the congregation to opportunities in missions, appropriate guidelines should be established to manage the requests for funds appeal, distribution of materials, access to affinity groups and other missionary promotions.
- Make significant investments of resources to affect sustainable change.
- Support, develop and partner with evangelical churches at home and in the field.
- Adopt a missions culture of being "a church without walls"... be vigilant to discover opportunities to share our resources with the body of Christ and our community.
- Consider investment in all types of worthwhile missions projects, people, activities, events, medical, compassion and relief, movements, media, conferences, education and training, land and buildings, community infrastructure and vocational projects
- Partner with institutions and agencies whenever possible, but seek opportunities to invest resources directly with indigenous churches and missionaries.
- Be willing to "prune the missions tree" to avoid accumulating many shallow missions relationships...stay disciplined to strategic missions objectives and priorities.
- Review and respond to all requests for mission support. Be ready to offer counsel and alternatives to those applicants who would not, at that time, be offered financial assistance. This could be an opportunity to network them to other resources that could benefit their ministry.
- Support productive local ministries and outreaches where the congregation, affinity groups and ministries are actively serving.
- Keep the Missions Committee focused on strategy, oversight and engaged with missions projects, as well as educating and encouraging the congregation to serve.
- Form subcommittees as appropriate; prayer, education, short term serving trips, finance, events, visitation and hospitality.
- The Missions Committee should be constantly recruiting and training missionary representatives, serving trip leaders and working subcommittee members. The Committee should also be intentional in planning for Committee member succession.
David S. Engelman
Missions Committee, Chair
North Coast Calvary Chapel
December 19, 2011