Faith Promises, Hobbies, and Priorities

hobbiesRecently we had the opportunity to hear a missionary couple share their ministry report at a church dinner. The husband of the couple, who came from a business background, shared how one day he decided to re-prioritize his giving to missions. Before he was a missionary, he felt convicted on how much money he spent on his hobbies (hunting, fishing, golfing, etc.) in comparison to the money he gave to the Lord’s work. From then on, he decided to match every penny he spent on his hobbies with his giving to missions as a faith promise. To this day, even as a missionary, he and his wife support numerous missionaries throughout the world.

A pastor friend of mine recently awakened me to the fact that most hobbies of adults are at least $1,000 to start. Add it up: Golfing, hunting, fishing, biking, music, sports, and the list could go on. How much time and money goes into these things?

Have you been challenged by this idea? I know I’ve been. I lament the thought of all the money I wasted on luxury and self-indulgence in this life. Don’t get the idea that hobbies and creature comforts are sinful – they are not – but, I continually think of the scene at the end of Schindler’s List when Mr. Schindler learned that the war was over. He was overtaken with deep sorrow because he realized there was nothing more he could do to buy freedom for Jews in the Nazi death camps. Although the war was over, Mr. Schindler came to the haunting realization of how much more he could have done. That unforgettable scene shows Mr. Schindler, a wealthy business man who had given so much, looking at his car in deep regret as he estimated its value by how many people he could have set free, or even the ring on his finger for at least one or two more.

Although we serve a sovereign God who will bring all of his own to himself (John 6:37), I don’t think it is a stretch for us to imagine ourselves on the last day looking back on our lives and assessing our priorities. Will we be able to say that we strove to give it all for the kingdom?

Where are we now?

Currently we are unofficially at 45% of our support. Unofficially means that although 42.5% registers on our account, the other 2.5% is promised to us by new supporters. We are thankful for what the Lord has done, but we are praying and striving for the balance to come in as soon as possible. We are coming up on our one-year anniversary of becoming MTW missionaries. It would be great to get past the halfway point before then.

Currently we are itinerating around to different churches, but most of a missionary’s support comes in from individual donors. I cannot stress enough that if every one of our friends pledged something, we would be on our way to the mission field. To learn more about what you could do, please Contact Us. Before you write a check, please read Fair Winds first. Please take time to read Who Should Support the Great Commission? as well. If you truly cannot give any money, but want to do something, please read Five Things You Can Do. On-going pledged support is what we truly need to be able to minister in Cherokee. We would love to sit down with you and talk about what the Lord is doing and how you could actively be a part of it.

All for the Kingdom!

Fair Winds

Hello friends,

As the year comes to an end, the Lord is blessing us in big ways as people are generously giving to our mission. This post is to help guide your giving in a way that will get us to Cherokee quicker. I have tried to make this post as short and sweet as possible. Not sure I achieved it, but please take a few moments to read it.

Types of Giving: One-time, regular, or pledged?

Allow me to give an illustration of what the different types of giving can do. Picture one of those 17th century sailing ships taking a long voyage across the ocean.

Carving of sail ships in Old Indian Meeting House in Mashpee, MA

I couldn’t resist using this picture I took of this carving from the balcony of the Old Indian Meeting House (est. 1684) in Mashpee, MA.

One-time gifts are comparable to gusts of wind in the sails, which provide extra push to move the ship forward—always helpful, always welcome. They cover various costs, e.g. initial and additional training, communication costs, support-raising travel expenses, etc., and they also close the budget gaps resulting from the occasional shortfalls in the pledged-giving responses. No matter how big or small, all one-time gifts are essential to the big picture!

Regular and pledged giving are like fair winds that are continually filling our sails keeping us on course—pushing us forward and sustaining our voyage. No amount is too small.

What is the difference between regular and pledged gifts?

Regular gifts come from friends who want to help by giving on a fairly regular basis, but have not committed to an amount or schedule. Those gifts are like repeating one-time gifts: they come in at varying amounts at varying intervals; we are not sure they will happen again; but they are always helpful and appreciated.

Pledges are what we can bank on. A pledge is a commitment that says, “I will give this amount and you can expect it every year for at least four years, either monthly, quarterly, or year-end.” This kind of giving will enable us to know we will be sustained throughout the journey. The most important things about a pledge is that it is predictable and dependable. Once we receive 100% or our pledges, we set sail.

Important note: Your actual giving does not have to begin the day you pledge, but pledging now will determine our start date in Cherokee. You may pledge now and start giving once our pledges are tallied at 100%.

Although very large one-time gifts have come in, we are still at 32.5% of our pledges. Our goal is to be at 50% before year’s end. One percent of our monthly need is $98.50. Average pledges are about $66, but any amount is helpful.

— If every one of our friends made a monthly pledge of $30 today, we would be packing our bags tomorrow! —

We truly consider it a privilege to be called to Native American ministries with the Cherokee.  We are asking you to prayerfully consider joining us in planting a church among the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. To get on board, visit our Giving page. We cannot do this without you.

All for the Kingdom!

Patrick & Regina