What are some relevant factors in thinking about a church missions budget?
The Bible teaches that our love for the gospel is verified in part by our love for supporting gospel work beyond the sphere of our own church (see 3 John). Therefore, we should discipline ourselves to give faithfully to advance gospel work beyond our local church. With that in mind, here are a few ideas that might be worth considering.
- Encourage your congregation to grow the missions budget if your church budget grows, not just in total dollars but as an increasing percentage of the whole.
- Use your money to help build deeper relationships with a few workers by supporting fewer missionaries with more money.
- Look for ways to cooperate with other churches, and not just do your own thing.
- Try to make sure that the missionaries and organizations that you support in your budget are known to the congregation as a whole, and not just the leaders of the church.
- Be disciplined. Find a few things you really understand and are committed to and support them in a big way. Resist the “missions creep” of continually adding more good things to your budget, which dilutes your commitments and relationships.
- Consider setting aside money to help your supported missionaries visit and spend time with your congregation. This will benefit them and your members.
- Consider using part of your budget to help send your own members on short-term trips with the goal of ultimately sending some of them out long-term.