Why the "One Voice Offering?"
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That quote is often attributed to Albert Einstein and has been used effectively in Alcoholics Anonymous for decades.
It applies to how we have been trying to fund Church Planting and Leadership Development since 2007. We have been asking for churches to raise funds for countries to support our national leaders which is at the heart of our global church planting endeavor. Since 2007, we have yet to reach 65% of our budget. That means every year we come up at least 35% short of our funding need to plant churches and develop leaders around the world.
What have we been doing? The burden of raising those funds has fallen to the efforts of our Area Directors and Missionaries who also raise their own support & ministry expenses and for the administrative functions of the mission.
After 14 years of doing the same thing it may be time to make an adjustment. The adjustment we are suggesting is a year end appeal to raise significant support for our Church Planting and Development effort. Instead of asking our missionaries to work in competition for other funds they help raise, we are asking the FMCUSA to give a special year end offering to help adequately fund our international leaders and church planters.
What is FMWM suggesting, and not?
We are suggesting:
Take a special offering sometime during the period from Thanksgiving through the beginning of the year.
Use a traditional offering during the last period of the year to designate all or part of it for the One Voice Offering (many churches do a Christmas Eve offering or a Christ Birthday offering)
We are not suggesting:
to end regular giving to Free Methodist World Missions Church Planting & Development Funds
to divert giving away from other missions giving already committed by your church
Where do we send our offering?
Send the funds collected designated for the One Voice Offering to Free Methodist World Mission, 770 N. High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214
or click here to give online.
Who benefits from the offering?
Emerging work with church planting and developing leaders in 54 Countries under the FMCUSA
Assisting work in church planting with 12 General Conferences
Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand & nine Creative Access Countries
Europe: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome & Principe, Spain, Ukraine
Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Shoreline Mission District, Uruguay & two Creative Access Countries
Middle East: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and three Creative Access countries.
How are Church Planting and Development Funds used?
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.” (Mark 4:3) Where did he get the seed? Ultimately it had to come from someone else’s harvest. Once you have your first harvest you can set aside part of the harvest for seed. The very first planting of a crop means you must get the seed from somewhere else.
When planting churches, the seed is from another’s harvest. Churches plant churches because they have the resources to invest. They plant in a new field. Whether planting churches in the US or planting churches globally we need the initial venture capital resident in a church to help start the work.
That is how our Church Planting and Development funds are used. The resources for the initial planting comes from already existing churches. They set aside a certain amount to help resource church planters in a new field.
How much does it cost to fund a church planter?
That depends on where you are planting. In some areas of the world, we don’t pay church planters. We only pay church planting trainers. In other areas we pay a living wage for their culture, which can be as little as $150 a month. Regardless of the method employed, the goal is for the new church harvest to pay for the existing church and its multiplication. We often say, “The resources are in the harvest.”
What are some specific ways we can help?
Challenge households to give one month’s church planter’s salary ($150) as a year end gift to the One Voice Offering.
As a church, set a goal to give enough to cover a church planter’s salary for one year. ($1,800)
Set aside a percentage of an existing year end appeal for the One Voice Offering.
Give away the challenge to the children. Have a contest to raise funds to help plant churches through the One Voice Offering.
Match your giving with prayer. For every $100 raised commit 10 minutes in prayer for World Missions. Request a Prayer Directory by contacting Jan Coates at Janet.Coates(at)fmcusa.org.