Missions policies and proposals for the local church

…Every local church will want a strong portion of its budget to go “outside the walls” of that church.

…It is prudent to count all offerings that are not for the maintenance and ministries of that church as their “outside the walls” or outreach ministries — local ministries, global ministries, benevolence, evangelism in its community and area, and “walk-ins” care. These are truly missions or evangelism efforts.

…The board of oversight, with the pastor in the lead, should the the lead in setting a goal for what percentage of the total budget should be for such outreach.

…Some churches like to make a difference between ministries that are pure evangelism or missions and those that are simply charity love.

…Some churches set goals of seeing missions giving be 10% of offerings of their total budget or offerings. A few exceptional churches have made the 50% goal for money going into missions. The norm is more like 15-25% of total offerings, with a few seeing 25-40% go this way.

… The pastors and boards of oversight, often called board of elders or “the board,” should set a goal and challenge the church to increase and designate their giving so they get there. (A few churches have just one fund for giving and the leaders designate how it is distributed,)

…Church leadership must decide how to direct funds if personal designation is not the practice, or how to publicize the needs if givers designate.

…Each Sunday and home group appoints a missions captain who helps that group keep in touch with and pray for and support one missionary and one local “mercy partner” that the church supports. This makes missions more than a “program” of the church, and helps the group pray for individuals.

…One Sunday each month can be designated as a time for a 2-4 minute update and prayer for one of the ministries or missionaries supported by the church.

…It is expedient to have two small appointed teams to promote missions, and care for and serve the ones supported — one for local ministries-missions and one for global. Often there is one committee for missions, and many of these think only of missions overseas as true missions endeavors — the “salt water doctrine” is the label given to that kind of thinking.

…Prayer at staff meetings for missions is essential.

… Church leadership must decide if people can designate giving for a specific missionary or ministry, or if they allow leadership to direct money given to missions to each specific ministry or missionary.

… Local missions will usually be lean in giving if people must mark their missions giving that way, as many think only of global (overseas) missions as real missions. One way around this, when people give to a general missions fund, is to decide that 21% or 31% or whatever will go to local.

…It seems healthy for a church to adopt three or four local ministries as their “mercy partners,” designating offerings from the local portion of the missions budget. This can also include an arrangement where the church promises a certain amount of support (and volunteer hours perhaps) every year and the church has, to help with guidance, one member of the board of that ministry. Obviously, that is in the case of generous support.

It would seem a prudent way to support an existing way to support a local ministry — rescue mission, food bank, pregnancy ministry, jail ministry — rather than starting a duplicate or “competing” ministry.