Projects and Missionaires in North America
Recent Stories from North America

Ways to Involve Your Congregation in Missions

The congregation of Rose Heights Church in Tyler, Texas where Doug Anderson is Senior Pastor.

The 16-year-old was moved to tears when he heard the stories of sacrifice, provision, and miracles from the mission field as told by the worn, itinerate missionary. When the pledges were received, he had given all he could—but that was not enough. He went to the altar that Sunday morning fully expecting to surrender to the call of a full-time missionary. Instead, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly and definitively: “I have called you to be a businessman and financially support missions around the world until all have heard.” That call was decades ago. Today, that man serves as chairman of the Missions Board and has been faithful to fulfill the call of God on his life.

Not everyone in the local church has the same passion as that young man, so how does one engage the entire congregation in missions? Four ways:

Spiritually: Set aside at least one Sunday per year as Missions Sunday to focus on the scriptural mandate to finish the Great Commission. On that Sunday, present moving stories to connect them.

Emotionally: The best approach is to present an excellent video that tells the story of a person who was touched by the ministry of a missionary, followed by the live introduction of that person and the missionary. The congregation will be emotionally invested. They will desire to “do something,” so provide an opportunity to involve them.

Physically: Partner will local non-profit ministries in your community who need volunteers. Highlight the organizations that fulfill the Great Commandment to love others as yourself by doing what Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25: “As much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

Financially: It takes money. When you touch their hearts, you touch their wallets. There are seven types of donors that have been identified by non-profit experts.1 They sit in the local church, as well. We must provide opportunities to reach all seven.

  1. Those who give because it’s the right thing to do (Great Commission and Great Commandment). Most churches stop there – assuming everyone will do what is right. Those churches miss out on 86 percent of potential contributions.
  2. Those who give to make their community better. Again, partner with local organizations that help fulfill the mandate of Matthew 25.
  3. Those who give to a cause. Provide a variety of opportunities (orphan care, evangelistic crusades, missionary support, projects, and so forth).
  4. Those who give because they have the gift of giving. These folks desire accountability and a report to verify the contribution is delivered.
  5. Those who give as investors. They are looking for a return on their gift (number of lives touched or saved).
  6. Those who give because they were a beneficiary of a similar gift.
  7. Those who give for recognition. Their name on the gift or project motivates them to contribute.

Prayerfully consider strategies to involve both mature and immature believers in missions by providing a variety of opportunities that connect them in various ways.

—Doug Anderson, Pastor, Rose Hgts. COG, Tyler, Texas

 

  1. Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully by Susan Howlett. © 2010. Page 67

“WORLD MISSIONS HAS BEEN A PART OF OUR LIVES FOR MANY YEARS”

Director Dr. David Griffis and Assistant Director Dr. M. Thomas Propes received correspondence from donors in Alabama, Tom and Betty Neely, who related how important missions is, and how they have been involved for many years.

The Neelys enjoy reading globalCONNECT, a monthly insert in the Church of God EVANGEL that gives valuable information and updates on World Missions activities.

Over 50 years ago, Betty taught a group of Junior girls in Sunday School at their church in Cincinnati, Ohio. A missionary spoke at their church, and the girls wanted to do something for missions. The class contacted someone who sent the missionary’s name to the class from Mexico—Thomas Chevez. Over time, the SS class members brought extra nickels, dimes, or quarters until they finally had enough money to send to the missionary. Thomas purchased a horse to get around in the mountains to minister, and Sister Chevez sent the class a photo of her on the horse.

The impact of that missions giving produced a missionary from the Neely family … a great niece, Lily, who feels the call to missions with a Spanish emphasis. The Neelys sent her the letters and pictures kept all these years of Thomas Chevez. One of the girls in the SS class married a cousin of the Neelys and she still remembers the “Missions Horse Project.”

Since the Neelys’ initial donation in 1985, they have given over tens of thousands to the cause of world evangelization. Truly, they have lived missions giving a large part of their lives.

AN LMR PLAYS A VITAL ROLE

Have you ever asked yourself … what does LMR stand for?

Is it: lunch money receipts (LMR) or little Martian revolution (LMR), or Look, mom’s racing (LMR)?

Well, if you know anything about Church of God World Missions, you will recognize LMR stands for Local Missions Representative, an acronym that identifies one of the most important ministries in the church today.

Christians who fail to place our Lord’s Great Commission at its highest priority, miss the very heartbeat of God. On the other hand, pastors who promote a missions-minded church witness first-hand the reality of the promises of God (Malachi 3:10).

The LMR plays a vital role in assisting his/her pastor with keeping missions in the forefront at the local church level. Promotion of mission projects, missionaries, Bible schools, orphanages, and ministry that reaches beyond one’s own city limits, is the primary responsibility of the LMR.

In 1971, Dr. Bill George created the LMR platform. Since then, Church of God World Missions has encouraged every pastor to appoint a local missions representative.

Seminars and training conferences for pastors and LMRs have been conducted cross-country, providing materials and information for effective missions ministry for the local church. This program has helped produce more than 1200 LMRs who are keeping the Great Commission at the center of ministry among their own communities of faith.

Any size church will benefit with the appointment of an LMR. Individuals like Rick Alford, who serves as LMR for the Potter’s House in Columbus, Ohio, or Bob and Lisa Davis, who serve as LMRs for the Cooper City church in Miami, Florida, have done outstanding work promoting the Great Commission globally. Doyce Connell, from Warner Robins Church of God, a congregation of approximately 50 members, led their missions ministry to new heights, which touches the lives of many worldwide.

The Local Missions Representative is the link between the local church, the mission field, and the Church of God World Missions office. He/she will assist the pastor in managing fund-raising programs, overseeing short-term mission trips, and generate an awareness of missions among church members. The LMR also provides the church with missional motivation!

With the help of the LMR, Church of God World Missions now reaches into 180 nations of the world, supporting more than 600 missionaries, 134 orphanages, and 166 Bible schools. But more important, because of our combined efforts, over 1.6 million new born-again Christians have found Christ as their personal Savior since our 2012 General Assembly.

We encourage every pastor to consider appointing a Local Missions Representative to his/her church. Church of God World Missions is ready to assist in any way possible to help you promote the work of the Great Commission.

Terrell Brinson, D.D. is a Missions Representative for Church of God World Missions. He specifically interfaces with Administrative Bishops, Pastors, LMRs, and missions donors to bring a focused look at the missionaries and projects of Church of God World Missions.

PASSING OF ANNETTE BURT

Director Dr David M. Griffis and Assistant Director Dr  M. Thomas Propes, along with the World Missions Family extend heartfelt condolences to the family of Faith Annette Burt who passed away March 16, 2017 in Cleveland, Tenn.

Before her retirement, Annette was employed with World Missions as head bookkeeper upon graduating high school. Her long term tenure was marked by excellence and dedication to her work, but she was equally remembered for her love for the missionaries and nationals who served across the globe. Annette was even a Godmother to one missionary child.

A remarkable trait was her keen ability to remember detail … she had instant recall. Annette had knowledge stored in her brain that was literally comparable to modern day computers. Anyone who ever knew her would never forget her! She was truly one of a kind.

Obituary and Arrangements

Faith Annette Burt, age 79, passed away in on March 16, 2017. Born January 4, 1938, in Cleveland, TN the fourth child of Daniel and Bessie Burt. She is preceded in death by her father, Daniel H. Burt, and mother Bessie D. (Wales) Burt, sister-in-law Pauline H. Burt, nephew Forrest Michael Burt. She is survived by her sister Urline B. Steele, of Cleveland, TN and five brothers: William Glynn Burt of Cleveland, TN; Julian Ray (Kaye) Burt of Camden, SC; Daniel Lee (Beverly) Burt of Franklin, NC; Robert Larry (Lynn) Burt of Independence, KS; Paul Neil (Linda) Burt, Sr. of Murfreesboro, TN, and numerous nieces and nephews and a god-son.

Special friends: Keith and Mary Ledford, FL; Laquetta Brummett, GA; Cornelio and Annette Castelo, Mexico; Joyce Slocumb, TN; Robert and Lynn McCall, TN; Lois Walston, TN; numerous missionaries around the world.

At the time of her death she was retired as head bookkeeper from the Church of God World Missions. Annette was a 1955 graduate of Bradley High School. She graduated from the National School of Business in Cleveland, TN. Between 1955-57 she worked as PBX operator and officer clerk at Bradley Memorial Hospital. From 1957-60 she was Assistant Bookkeeper at the Church of God General Offices. She worked from 1960 until 1994 as Head Bookkeeper for World Missions, Church of God International Headquarters.

She was a lifetime attendant of North Cleveland Church of God, a member since March 1950. She was an officer and worker in Young People Endeavor (YPE). She taught Sunday school classes at different times and served as secretary of Sunday school department. A member of the Geneva Circle she served as President, Vice President, and Secretary. She was a charter member of the Crusader Choir and a member of Unity Sunday School Class at North Cleveland Church of God serving as long-time secretary-treasurer.

The Remembrance of Life Service will be conducted Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. from the North Cleveland Church of God, Dixon Chapel with the Reverend Dr. Robert McCall, Reverend Mack Streun, and Reverend Dr. Mark Williams officiating.

Interment will follow in the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens with Clayton Strain, Steve McCall, Joseph Harold Webb, Mark Belk, Mike Belk Wayne Slocumb, and Bill Ballinger serving as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers will be members of the Unity Sunday School Class and Geneva Circle.

The family request, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Unity Sunday School Class Ministries at North Cleveland Church of God.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 P. M. Monday at the Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee Chapel who has charge of the arrangements.

MONTANA NATIVE AMERICAN MINISTRIES: A Higher Purpose for Living

Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live” (Ezekiel 37:9b).

The mission of the Montana Native American Ministries and Four Winds Ministry Center is to offer a higher purpose for living and equip lives by giving hope and an expected end through Jesus Christ. The ministry is overseen by founders and directors, Ron and Kathy Countryman, and their son, Justin and his wife Jessica Countryman. The Four Winds Ministry Center is located in Big Timber, Montana.

The nights in Montana are usually cool all year long. That’s why blankets and coats are needed on a regular basis, and ladies from a church in Texas hand-knitted hats and scarves. A church in Alabama provided blankets and backpacks, as well. This winter it was not uncommon for the temperature to be 38 degrees below zero at the ministry center. Brrrrrrh!

At the close of last year, MNAM delivered $3,000 worth of new clothes and blankets for the children on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. For the Boys and Girls Club at Lame Deer, the children were provided with 105 new winter coats, 50 pairs of winter pajamas, 300 wool blankets, plus 48 sets of hand-knitted hats and scarves. The Dull Knife Day Care at Lame Deer was also given 25 pairs of infant/toddler pajamas and 25 blankets. As you can tell, staying warm is a priority in these parts!

All the items arrived just days before a season of bitter cold and snow … over 20 inches of snow with winds creating 10 foot drifts. Temperatures dropped to 38 below with a wind chill factor of 60 below zero. None of this assistance to help stay warm could have taken place without the faithful help of their supporters.

Project number 065-0503

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Pentecostal Theological Seminary Joins Send Light to the Cities Effort

Acting on an invitation to speak at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary during an emphasis on missions, World Missions Director Dr. David M. Griffis presented the Send the Light to the Cities project during a chapel at the seminary. He spoke for a time as to how the Lord opened his mind and heart to focus on these urban areas where the most people are gathered.

Blayne Waltrip, long-time missionary and teacher on missions, acted in accord with Dr. Michael Baker, Chancellor of the Division of Education for the Church of God, to fulfill the emphasis for the school.

Dr. Griffis explained the strengths and needs of each of the cities to the students and faculty. He declared, “We will evangelize the cities, and will plant birthing churches that will train and send pastors to plant other birthing churches.” In the subsequent message, Griffis directed attention to the “risen Savior.”

At the close of the service, Dr. Baker addressed how the Seminary would invest in the Send the Light to the Cities endeavor. He asked the students and faculty to unite in giving $1,000 for each of the 10 cities in the initial presentation of the project. Dr. Baker further cited how investing in worldwide ministry would be a blessing for the ministry of the Seminary.