Listen to the sermon, "The New Commandment"
On that Sunday, as I introduced Ken, I mentioned that he is a local missionary who our church supports. And that same morning, someone who seemed to be quite impressed with Ken and Wear Gloves had a conversation with me that went something like this:
GUY: How long have we supported this ministry?
ME: Oh, I don‘t know. Two or three years.
GUY: How come I‘ve never heard of them? This is great!
ME: Yeah, isn‘t it?
GUY: Yeah. Do you ever do anything to communicate to the congregation when we support these kinds of things?
ME: Well, yeah, I‘ve written a couple of newsletter articles about it. We actually support a lot of good things. Church planting in India, Royal Family Kids Camp, Compassion International. I think we are even one of the biggest supporters of Interfaith here in Ocala.
GUY: We really need to communicate these things to the people of the church! I think there are people who think that we aren‘t involved in anything.
ME: You‘re right.
So, let me begin with some basics. First of all, Good News Church gives away 11% of all donations that it receives to other organizations that are doing good for God‘s Kingdom. We do not spend 100% of our money on ourselves, just like we believe individual Christians shouldn‘t spend all of their money on themselves.
We break this giving up into two sets of two categories. The first set is called “Mercy and Missions.” Here are the definitions we use for these categories.
MISSIONS: The term we use to describe a ministry that primarily ministers the word of God. This includes planting churches, evangelizing people, distributing Bibles, etc.
MERCY: The term we use to describe a ministry that shows compassion meeting the physical needs of someone. This includes providing food for the poor, providing clean water in a third world country, etc.
And then of course there are ministries that do BOTH of these. For instance, a Christian orphanage that takes care of children and teaches them about Jesus would be considered both mercy and missions. What percentage is an orphanage a MISSION, and what percentage is an orphanage an act of MERCY? Well, we don‘t know. We don‘t even think it‘s super important to figure that out. Well, then why even have these distinctions? The main reason we use these definitions is simply to make sure that we are involved in BOTH of these kinds of ministries. The first category is important because we don‘t want to meet physical needs to the exclusion of the proclamation of Jesus as our Messiah and Lord. But we feel the second category is important because His kingdom is not one of mere talk, but of actions of compassion.
For the second set of categories we use the words “Local and Non-local.” Local refers to ministry done in and around Marion County, and non-local is anything else not in our backyard - places like India, Haiti, or even a college ministry at George Mason University in Virginia.
So, here is a list of ministries that we supported in the past year followed by a short description of each:
- Interfaith Emergency Services — provides for the poor in Marion County
- Royal Family Kids Camp — summer camp for neglected and abused children
- Child Evangelism Fellowship — sponsors Good News clubs in public schools
- Women‘s Pregnancy Center — shares the gospel and helps pregnant woman choose life
- Wear Gloves — ministry for homeless people Marion County
- Love, Inc - ministry that helps the poor in Summerfield, FL
- Mission India — trains people to start churches in India
- Barnabas Aid — assists persecuted Christians in hostile countries
- Compassion International — shows compassion to children in third-world countries
- Three Angels Haiti (Russ & Connie Cook) — orphanage in Haiti; missionaries from GNC
- Reformed University Ministries — serves international students with hospitality and the gospel
- Crossroads Bible Institute — Bible studies for prisoners; discipleship reduces recidivism rate
- Intervarsity Christian Fellowship — interdenominational college ministry
- The Navigators — another interdenominational college ministry
- Acts 29 Church Planting Network — plants churches similar in style and theology to ours
- Tampa Muslim Outreach — trains believers to reach out to Muslims with the gospel