A Tale of Two Churches: Sending Churches Parts 3 and 4

3. The passion and resolve to reach their community is reflected in the budget of a Sending Church. Budgets say a great deal about priorities. How a family, business, or non-profit spends its limited financial resources paints the picture of what they value. If a church is inward-focused and believes its role is to keep the membership comfortable and happy, their budget will reflect this with a higher percentage of comfort and fellowship ministries. As a result, less money is set aside for missions and community ministry. This is the tendency of Staying Churches. However, Sending Churches prioritize the work of missions and community ministry and their budgets reflect their commitment to an outward focus.  Careful study of their budgets shows the value of others, those not part of the body. Sending Churches believe that ministry should be funded. Why? Two reasons. First, funding gives you the freedom to serve. When the opportunity to serve/minister comes along, money does not become the deciding factor. Second, funding provides visual confirmation to the importance of community ministry. When ministry is funded, it becomes real to the body of Christ.

4. Sending Churches intentionally schedule ministries, events, and activities for reaching their community. The key word here is “intentional.” For far too long churches have expected growth and ministry to just happen. They sit back and wait for the community to walk in the front door. This is a poor outreach strategy. Ministry must be premeditated. To reach communities, churches must move from doing things “by accident” to doing them “on purpose.” Nothing good happens by accident. Hesitancy is planning brings about certain failure. Churches must be intentional in the areas of planning, evangelism, and follow-up. Sending Churches place opportunities for service on their calendars and encourage involvement on behalf of the body. The discipline of intentionally scheduling opportunities for service and involvement moves the peg from “on accident” to “on purpose.”

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