The Local Church
Many have been the calls for help from those precious “sent ones” of the various mission fields of the world. Calls for prayer, partnership, resources, and calls to come and work along side those that labor full time in lands far from their homes.
With the advent of email and web sites, now there are daily requests for assistance in places like Pakistan, Nigeria, Uganda, China, South America, and others. In essence, the call is the same:
“. . . The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2 KJV).
This ministry has until recently, given close to twenty-five percent of its gross revenues to missions. Even in the most difficult of times, we still share out of our lack, never giving less than ten percent of our income.
Sharon and I firmly believe, along with our co-laborers and friends, that it is the covenant responsibility of the local church, as well as of every member of the body, to support the work of God with at least ten percent of our income.
Satan fights the establishment of a local congregation with a heart to reach the lost and fuel missions with finances, materials and trained, equipped and sent men and women of faith.
Usually, a local church “plant” is expected to “sink or swim” on its own. The notable exception would be where, in some cases, the “plant” is partially funded by a “sending” denomination. In the case of a non-denominational type of church, such as ours, the total burden to survive is the sole responsibility and burden of the “planting team.”
Imagine what a victory, albeit temporary, the devil enjoys when he can restrict the flow of missionary support by hindering the building at home. What might happen if the Body of Christ began to work together to build debt free places of worship that train and send missionaries at home and abroad. Imagine how much money could be invested in the spreading of the gospel if there were no mortgages on church properties and buildings.
One thing is sure, we would not have made it this far if it had not been for the free will donations of other churches and friends outside this small but growing congregation. Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for each and every one who came along side to help. We will not quit believing and building, no matter how long it takes.