- To promote church health
- To promote joint mission endeavors
During my tenure as your Director of Missions, I have utilized a lot of space in these “Thoughts on Tuesdays” newsletters addressing some of the major “church health” issues in our reclining and declining churches. I have written two lengthy series discussing first the need for revitalization changes needed in some of our struggling churches and, secondly, the need to make biblical realignments to many of our churches’ polity. Both of those lengthy series are completed. I suspect that many of you are weary of both the biblical exegesis and the theological discussion inherent in both of those series.
The good news is that there is no lengthy tome today.
At the Associational level, I have asked the Executive Team to allow me to focus our Associational level support upon fierce advocacy for nine particular local ministries here in Rockingham County—this is our Acts 1:8 “Jerusalem” support paradigm. Last year, the Executive Team (I believe) supported all nine of these entities. I sent everyone four videos last week on the first four of these ministries listed below:
- Lot 2540 (located in Mayodan)
- Rockingham Hope (located between Eden and Reidsville)
- Rockingham Pregnancy Care Center (located in Eden)
- Genesis ministries (located in Wentworth area)
- Hands of God (located in Madison)
- Rockingham County of Education
- Ramp Building Endeavors in Rockingham County
- Children of God ministry (Christmas season in three locations) -- planning for the Children of God ministry event this year is way behind in planning due to the virus lockdown
- Mission Serve (here) -- Mission Serve will not be hosting an event here in 2020
My rationale for supporting our local mission endeavors orbits around several foci:
- We can actually know the effectiveness of a local ministry directly as we observe it firsthand.
- Our members can volunteer and give “hands-on” ministry help.
- Our churches can see the need for special projects and can pull out all the stops to provide pragmatic help immediately.
- We can see the overwhelming financial need which each of these ministries face.
Now the downside of such focused advocacy for these nine local ministries is that such a focus effectively means that the DVMBA leadership (particularly me) will need to refrain from casting a broad net for advocacy for the many other worthy causes who are also ministering in the name of Jesus.
When I first began in early 2019 as the Interim DOM, I met with one of our pastors who said that he had 16 special earmarked offerings every year from a plethora of ministries seeking to get funding from local churches. All of the causes sounded worthy, but there was not enough money to go around, so they were going to have to make some choices and do some pruning as to what they could support.
Likewise, I personally receive requests from a surprising number of ministries which want me to give them access to all of our DVMBA churches and to give each of our 35 churches a personal encouragement to support their ministries. Some of these ministries are “multi-million dollar budget” entities with huge marketing budgets, extensive PR staffers, and with significant funds in the bank already. Some of them are well-oiled machines when it comes to fund-raising. I have chosen to not accommodate those requests for a couple of reasons:
- Our nine local agencies operate are on a shoe-string budget. If I am going to advocate for support to Kingdom ministries, I wish to advocate for those ministries which are close enough to us for our churches to get involved in “hands on” service with them and who also are in deep need of funding.
- I do not want to overwhelm our pastors with additional requests (from me) encouraging them to prayerfully consider giving to every ministry which comes down the road.