This morning's excellent presentation by Doug and Joan Webber of Convoy of Hope Europe made me think of a number of things I wanted to communicate to First Assembly about missions in the coming year. These are the kinds of things I have not had the chance to personally communicate because of time constraints on Sunday morning, but think you would like to know if you're reading this as a person who is a part of First Assembly.
First of all, we will have a missionary guest once a month on Sunday morning for 7-10 minute window. This will give our congregation a chance to give toward the ministry being presented. 100% of these offerings will go toward the missionary guest.
Second, we will give you the chance on two occasions during the year to make a Faith Promise. A Faith Promise is a way for you to make a statement about what you will give toward missions through First Assembly. We'd like to do this twice a year, asking you to make a "best guess" and to keep the issue in front of the congregation. Presently, we have had to cut back on the amount that we have been able to give in monthly commitments because the amount of money given to the church's missions fund in Faith Promises has declined over the years. We have every confidence that by bringing this issue before the church regularly will help to re-build a healthy amount of undesignated gifts toward missions so that we can maintain and build on the monthly commitments we presently have.
Third, as teams have gone out in the past, teams will continue to be sent by First Assembly in the future. We'd love to see perhaps 2 teams going abroad and two teams working somewhere in the US in the coming year. In the fall, a construction team will be going to Vanuatu in the Pacific to work with Indiana missionaries Gary and Lori Ellison. This morning seven people approached me with interest in putting together a team to go to Albania in the fall as well to work with Doug and Joan Webber in community building! I'm looking forward to seeing how we can partner with missionaries and touch people around the world with teams!
Finally, I wanted you to know that a Missions Team at First Assembly has already been meeting and is at work. Led by Jon Smith, Ron Clark, Kathy Morrison and Nikki Seymour and I have all begun to meet and are planning ways to build awareness, prayer, giving, and going as it relates to missions and First Assembly. I would like to thank especially Jon Smith for his tireless dedication and unquenchable enthusiasm.
Well, that's it! I hope you can sense that the passion for missions is continuing at the church we all love!