How Can We Pay Up All Missions Commitments in April?

First, Some History

  '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 (estimate)
Total budget disbursements (up 88% over 5 years)
235,000
272,000
327,000
378,000
442,000
Budgeted missions disbursements (up 131% over 5 years)
48,000
(20.5%)
62,000
(22.8%)
71,000
(21.8%)
87,000
(23.1%)
111,000
(25%)
Project '84 Missions disbursements  
20,000
29,000
23,000
10,000
Total Missions disbursements (up 152% over 5 years)
48,000
82,000
100,000
110,000
121,000
Disbursements to BGC and MBC (up 144% over 5 years)
32,000
45,000
52,000
61,000
78,000

No doubt we can and should do better than this. But there are some signs of renewal and growth here. The total missions giving has increased an average of 30% per year. The giving to Conference missionaries has increased an average of 28.8% per year. Bethlehem is the 15th largest church in the BGC and ranked 7th in total contributions to the United Mission for Christ in fiscal 1983.

Of course, dollars are not the only way to judge our growing Conference support. Three of our young people will go out as BGC short-term missionaries to Japan this year. BBC always sends large groups of delegates to the state and national annual meetings. Tom Steller has been called on for MBC camp speaking engagements. I have spoken at the annual meeting, a pastor conference and a men’s retreat, and have published some articles in the Standard. We provide internships and other training for Bethel seminary students. Our church chairman serves on the Home Missions Board and our member, Warren Johnson, is an associate missions secretary. These are some of the evidences of a strong and growing relationship between BBC and the BGC.

Now, About April

Roger Fast has consulted with the Board chairmen and come up with a way to pay all of our quarterly missions commitments this month. All gifts on Easter Sunday (unless designated otherwise) will go toward foreign missions. $15,000 will do it.

But that is hardly a challenge for Resurrection Day! We should give $8,500 for regular budget commitments plus $15,000 over and above because we love and trust the Risen Christ! He rose for the sake of missions! Five of you can give $200 extra to missions. Twenty-five of you can give $100 over and above. Fifty can give $50 and 360 can give $25. That’s $15,000 for missions over and above because we know Christ will take care of us. He has resurrection power!

Let the Lord know this Sunday how much you value reaching the frontiers with the gospel! Bring an extra gift.

Going beyond with you,

Pastor John

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