WOW and praise God for an incredible year at Cross Church! And, Thank You Cross Church Family, for all you do to “Reach Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ”. This is the missional statement of Cross Church and it is our VISION for the year ahead. This is the first week of our new Ministry Budget year. Our Ministry Budget is the funding source of the ministries of our church that allows us to reach the world for Jesus Christ. This year’s Ministry Budget adopted by Cross Church is $18,100,000. That means our operating needs as a church are $348,077 weekly for the next 52 weeks. The growth of our church and our now five campuses calls upon us to meet this budget need. More importantly, the VISION of our church to reach a lost and hurting world with the hope of Christ’s love should motivate all of us to support this need. Cross Church needs the support of every attendee and each gift matters – from the smallest to the largest. Each matters to God. Pastor Floyd said recently, “What God has given to us biblically and missionally, we must refuse to lose financially.” So, let’s all give together to achieve our VISION for the glory of God alone.
Cross Church, we have some great days ahead of us. For the City is a weeklong emphasis in our community to show the love of Jesus Christ to the people of Northwest Arkansas. The highlight of the week will be a powerful worship service on Sunday, October 25, as we celebrate what God has done during that week and honor all of the first responders that serve our area. So, invite your friends to our Sunday services as we express our gratitude for these heroes of our communities. This is exactly the kind of outreach our Ministry Budget funds as we do things like this for our communities.
Church Family, it is incumbent upon us to understand the incredible stewardship God has entrusted to us – His Children. Jesus said in Luke 12:48, “…Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more”. We are so blessed as a church and as God’s children. Let’s all do MORE for our church and for the Kingdom of God – because Jesus Christ alone is worthy.
Cross Church, Thank you again – I believe in you.
Executive Leader of Finance
Many Pastors in today’s church struggle with balance in some areas of ministry and life. Family time, staff issues, church leadership, and budget issues all cry out for our attention and require balance in order to be healthy. Have you ever considered balance within your Global Missions Ministry?
From 28 years of leading Missions Ministries in local churches, I have learned the value of balance in Global Missions. It seems that church and mission leaders tend to lean toward their own strengths and desires rather than a biblical approach to Global Missions. I prefer to lead God’s people to a biblical model that allows them and the church to maximize their strengths and abilities. This model also allows you, the Pastor or Missions Leader, to lead with confidence and conviction rather than lead by consensus!
So, what is the model I have used for all these years? It comes straight out of Acts 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 3:6…wow that was simple. Let me explain what a balanced Global Missions Ministry will do for your church.
Balance keeps your church focused on lostness…the Acts 1:8 model
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Jesus taught us to bring the gospel message to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. I call this Geographical Balance. There are a few of truths to consider within this model.
1. Geographical balance allows my church to always have opportunities in places for first-time mission goers and those who are “hard core”, or what I call humorously, “repeat offenders”. Places like Mexico, Central America, Brazil may be technically “reached” by missiological definition but are still incredible places for a person to “cut their teeth” on missions. If we only go to the Middle East countries & the 10/40 Window, we will potentially limit our involvement, especially for the first-time participant. Ensure balance for all levels of mission participants.
2. Geographical balance demands that I have a strong effort in my own “Jerusalem” first! You will often hear me say, “At Cross Church we will not sacrifice Northwest Arkansas on the altar of the world.” What I mean is we earn the right to go abroad. If we will not be faithful to bring the gospel to those in our own cities and neighborhoods, why would we have the privilege to go around the world? This is a simple gospel stewardship issue. At Cross Church, we presently reach about 1,500 people outside our campuses each week in community missions. We are partnered across America through church planting in 16 different SEND cities with the NAMB strategy. We also have active, ongoing partnerships in 14 nations around the globe from Mexico to the Middle East…that is Geographical Balance.
3. Geographical balance should always focus your church toward lostness. Whether it is in your own city or a city like Dubai, the focus on all our efforts should be lostness. I don’t believe in using missions as a “spiritual vacation” or only a social ministry platform. Everything we do on our church’s Mission Journeys locally and internationally should include a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a challenge to trust Him alone for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
Balance allows your church to include everyone…the 1 Corinthians 3:6 model
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6
Paul taught us that as we are bringing the gospel message to the world geographically, each person has a role. I call this Balanced Evangelism. This is how Balanced Evangelism will help your church.
1. Balanced Evangelism helps us to understand the various pieces of evangelism. Many understand evangelism to be when they share the Four Spiritual Laws and someone trusts Jesus immediately. Well, we must always remember in order for fruit to appear, someone sowed a seed, and someone watered and cultivated that seed. But ultimately God caused that seed to become fruit. There are three elements to Balanced Evangelism. They are sowing, watering, and reaping.
2. Balanced Evangelism gives every member an opportunity to use their gifting in Global Missions. Pastor, always ensure there are opportunities in your mission efforts for people to sow the seed of the Word, water the seed that has been sown, and harvest the fruit from seed that has been sown and watered. Our ministries give people opportunities to simply sow seed in ways like prayer walking, Bible distribution, and simply inviting people to an event. We also water the seed by doing VBS in existing churches, leading Bible discussions under Mango trees in Malawi Africa with Muslims who want to know more about Jesus, and leading Pastors’ Conferences. Also, we go to places that are ripe for the harvest of souls and call for the masses to respond to the Gospel message. This approach allows for the church member to see where their talents and gifts can best be used and opens opportunities for mass participation. Pastor, please don’t get in a rut of simply doing the same thing and only one thing year after year…give balance to your evangelism.
For the Pastor and Missions Leader, balance is the key to most of our lives and ministries. Balance is also the key to your church’s Global Missions Strategy. Both Geographical Balance and Balanced Evangelism will keep your church focused on lostness and involve as many of God’s people as possible. If Cross Church or I can assist you in bringing balance to your church’s Global Missions Strategy, please feel free to ask. Contact me at email@example.com or @missionman2818 on Twitter & Instagram.
Minister of Global Missions, Cross Church