Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mission - Clarity (continued)

Should be PCUSA be sending out HIV/AIDS workers? Yes. Should the PCUSA be sending out seminary instructors and college professors? Yes. Should the PCUSA be sending out folks to build water systems so villages will have a stable source of good drinking and irrigation water? Yes. Should the PCUSA be sending out people who will serve as coordinators between indigenous churches, mission/relief organizations, other denominations and congregations? Yes. Should the PCUSA be working to end poverty and hunger? Yes. We just shouldn’t call these efforts mission! (By the way, my wife partly disagrees with me on this!)

World Vision does great work all around the globe. The web page describes World Vision as: “World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty.” What a powerful statement!

The point of this series is not to shoot holes in the PCUSA’s mission efforts! I believe that we would raise more money for doing the work of the church worldwide if the PCUSA was clear about what it is doing and why it is doing it. The church I serve is a good example. There are four churches in our area that assist people when they are having trouble paying their rent, utilities, etc. We use Love, INC as our screening agency. Our church is the smallest of the four, by far. We consistently help more people with more money than the other churches. We have people working at the local food bank. We help more families with Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas presents and Christmas dinner than any church in the area. Why do our people give so much? They give because we are clear about how the money is going to be used. The PCUSA has a “per capita” side of the budget and a “mission” side of the budget. There would be less confusion if the “mission” side of the budget was renamed “mission, relief and development.” The denominations web page could reflect these areas and communicate the good things that our folks are doing.

People will give $$$ to fund water projects. People will give $$$ to educate children and adults. People will give $$$ to improve health care for expectant mothers in Africa. People will give $$$ to train indigenous pastors and church leaders. People will give $$$ to have the Bible translated into a language that has never had a Bible. Clarity and communication are the key.


Note from Pastor Lance: We just signed an agreement to sell our house (praise God!). The buyers want to close in 1 week (it’s a cash deal). For that reason there will be no Friday edition of Full Court Presby (August 25). I have to have the septic system pumped and inspected and then getting the paperwork to the County offices ASAP. I would covet your prayers during this next week as we rush to sell the house.


At 7:24 PM , Blogger Presbyterian Gal said...

At this point in time I find myself bristling at "mission" always connected with $$. I know you have to have lovely lolly to move the train. But it seems to me that mission is not based in $$. Mission is based in an urgency of the heart, given to Christ, to help. Help whatever, whoever is in front of you and calls to your particular heart. You can do this every day. In the grocery store, when an older person needs help with their packages going to their car; with a sick neighbor who could use a healthy meal cooked by you; with someone stuck in evil traffic who would mellow by a smile from your face. It's that first step, not of money, that puts you on the course to full mission. Don't you think?


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