Earlier this week, our Coordinator of the Learning Community Team, Mark Walked shared about missions misconceptions. He says, “Missionary work is not easy. But sometimes we make missions look even more difficult for ourselves because of misconceptions about what missions is. When we fix our own misconceptions first, we may find ourselves much more fit for missions than we first thought.”
International missions. You might consider going, and then again, you might not.
If “we’ve got enough to do right around us,” as some have said, then why should we spend the energy and resources to go to a foreign place and spend so much money and learn a new language and culture? In fact, isn’t it a waste of resources to do so when there is such low-hanging fruit that is close by, where you already know the language and customs, and the Bible is already accessible? That’s a good question. A really good question.
I share this story from a place of extreme gratefulness to God…I had a traumatic experience flying as a young teenager, and it has left its mark on each of my flying experiences since. Two common themes for me in going was facing my fear of flying and leaving my children at home. As a parent of young kids, I have wrestled with having both my husband Jim and I leave the country together (on the same plane)! Both themes weave a web of fear that has kept me, at times, caught in its sticky threads. I’ll share the story of my trip to Ethiopia in March 2017.
In May 2016, as I watched Milton be released as the first National Director of the Association of Vineyard Churches Brazil and Elba Dolan released to work with Milton overseeing the Northern Amazon Region and its Vineyard churches, my heart was full of gratitude for what the Lord has allowed me to observe over these many years. The Vineyard Movement in Brazil is alive and thriving with over 100 churches spread from the remotest parts of the Amazon to the largest cities in southern Brazil. The Xingu Mission has done a wonderful job in planting churches and raising up leaders, and now the Brazilian Partnership has the privilege of coming alongside the indigenous Brazilian Leadership Team as they take responsibility to plant churches and raise up new leaders.
One of the things we’ve found is that if a church can’t fully participate by sending someone on one of their partnership’s short-term trips, they can easily feel disconnected from the larger vision of the partnership. A smaller church often says, “We just don’t have the resources to participate in a partnership.” And yet...
How does a local church get started in offering a “pockets of giving”? Bubba Justice shares his experience, “It typically begins with a very low-key offering time where we share both our vision and heart for what we're trying to do, without inserting any guilt or pressure. And the people have responded with generous giving. In fact, it always amazes me how…”
Money plays a large role in expanding ministry especially in the area of missions. Cutting Edge spoke with Inverness Vineyard (Alabama) Senior Pastor Bubba Justice about money and missions. Bubba is an anomaly among pastors: He entered into ministry after spending 10 years working in the financial field as both an accountant for a “Big Six” accounting firm and as a company CFO. He enjoys talking about missions and money from the pulpit and with other pastors. He is now functioning part time as the VUSA national coordinator.