Let me see if I heard Steven Porter correctly. Let me see if I have my math right… or rather, his math right. There are 1800 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partnering churches. If only 1000 of these churches had 100 members each that would give an additional $30.00 a year (Yes, that’s a year – not a month or a week, but a year.), then we would fully fund every missionary’s salary, benefits and missions budget for the year. That’s it. 100 individuals in 1000 churches giving an additional $30 each and our long-term mission efforts would be fully funded. That’s two quick meals or one nice meal at a local restaurant. That’s a tank of gas. That’s fifteen cups of Starbucks without the bagel or seven cups with the bagel. That’s a movie date with popcorn and a drink (so I’m told). That’s less than three dollars a month. That’s less than ten cents a day.
I’m often asked why we send money to career missionaries rather than exclusively funding our own mission trips and local mission efforts. It’s simple: our missionaries’ long-term presence in a place makes it possible for us to visit and work in a place. Contexts are rarely open and ready for mission trips and teams unless long-term preparations have been made. Our missionaries establish relationships with people that make it possible for churches to be planted, ministries to be birthed and the gospel to be deeply rooted. This type of work cannot be done with sporadic drop-ins by church mission teams.
I walked over to Steven Porter, our CBF Coordinator of Global Missions, and said, “I like your math. First Baptist Greenville is in. I know I can find 100 people who will give $30 more than they gave last year. Let’s do this.”