Not too long ago, I was reminded of a question that church people sometimes ask: “What does our church do to support missions?”
I want to answer this question in two ways. First, I want to answer the spirit of the question. That is, I will give the answer that the question-asker is looking for. But secondly, I want to answer the question a little more literally, to use this as an opportunity to remind us that mission isn’t something our church just “supports.” We want to be missionaries ourselves!
So, let me start with the first answer: Since January, Good News has given away over $25,000 to people and organizations who declare the Gospel, show compassion in Jesus’ name, or both. Those of you who have contributed to Good News Church this year, you’ve have had a hand in supporting the following ministries:
- Royal Family Kids Camp (a summer camp for abused and neglected children)
- Interfaith Emergency services (a local compassion organization that provides food, clothing, and shelter to people in need)
- A missionary family in Haiti, Tony & Tracey Herrera
- A missionary family in Barcelona, Spain, Heather & JR Duren
- A church start-up near Jacksonville, Florida, Riverbend Community Church
- A church start-up in Pasadena, California, Prism Church
- The Ocala Women’s Pregnancy Center
- Good News Bible Clubs in local elementary schools
- Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
- A pastor family, Matt and Amy Bowles, as they begin to work with International Students at George Mason University
- A missionary family spending a year in Uganda, Tim and Bev Ochs
- An informal group of people (some from our church, others not) on a mission trip to Haiti
So, yes, our church supports missions.
But let me also take time to say something else that is important. We don’t just support missions. We are a mission. We believe that Good News Church is a mission outpost in Marion County with a mission to influence people to love God, love each other, and love people who don’t know God yet. We don’t have a Missions Committee, or an Evangelism/Discipleship Team, as if those are side projects separate from our main mission. We are on a mission to lead people to Christ, and to grow in their relationship with Him!
So, yes, please rejoice that God has enabled us to give away money to these worthy causes (listed above). But let’s not think that we can just live our lives however we want as long as we send some dollars to some Christian workers across town or across the ocean. We are a group of missionaries trying to complete our part of the Great Commission here in Ocala!