I am writing on behalf of the pastors who serve on the Foursquare Missions Committee to communicate a vision and a promise we believe the Lord recently gave us at our committee meeting this past March. The Holy Spirit brought great unity as the Lord confirmed to each of us on the committee His plans to restore, revive and resource our global ministry with vibrancy and new life. His promise was sure; our response is essential. We sense the Lord put on our hearts to share a special challenge. We submitted our idea to the Foursquare board of directors and were given the go-ahead to present this missions challenge to you before we meet at Connection 2011 in May.
The Missions Committee has been working with new Foursquare Missions International (FMI) Director Dr. Jim Scott and the FMI staff to clarify the mission and refocus the vision of FMI for a new season of ministry. This task is both challenging and rewarding! Challenging, in that our efforts have been made difficult by the serious downturn in regular giving to the FMI Global Fund Rewarding, as we are already seeing greater missional clarity and have made many important structural realignments that will make us more productive at reaching the world with the gospel.
One of the most significant changes to report is that the board of directors approved that the tithe on the tithe (that is, 10 percent of the general fund church tithes) will now be directed to the FMI Global Fund. This enables the process whereby the increase in giving by our churches will go 100 percent to the mission field, assuring that all giving truly helps advance the work of the ministry and the spread of the gospel to the nations.
At our last Missions Committee meeting, we discovered that several of the pastors on our committee had sensed the Holy Spirit’s leading to challenge all Foursquare pastors to an increased commitment to FMI giving. As we began to share our hearts with one another, we realized that there was a common “word of the Lord” stirring in our hearts, and that we should share this call with the rest of the U.S. Foursquare pastors.
A key component of this vision is the clarity of God’s call to us to believe beyond ourselves! Beyond what seems possible, beyond individual efforts and beyond our local church goals. We are to believe beyond the constraining borders of doubt for a million possibilities! And, one million is our target for an unconstrained belief—a new level of faith that ignites us all beyond ourselves! In manageable perspective, 1,000 gifts of $1,000 turn into the $1 million! We believe the Lord has called us to this goal, as $1 million is translated into its true value—individual lives being impacted for Christ! This challenge is carried out in a two-fold process:
First, pray with your council and congregation about increasing your monthly giving to the FMI Global Fund in the 12 months following Connection 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. We have a Faith Promise Card for all credentialed ministers to fill out. On that Faith Promise Card, please write the monthly and/or annual amount that you are committing to give above the amount your church already gives. This commitment to give your “above and beyond” gift will extend over the 12 months following Connection 2011, beginning in July.
Then, at one of the main sessions during Connection in Columbus, we will receive all of these Faith Promises. If you are not able to attend Connection this year, you can mail it in, or submit your commitment online by visiting 4sq.ca/faithpledge. We will also plan to have Faith Promise Cards available at Connection. We are confident that, if everyone increases their giving to FMI as the Lord leads them to, we can all make a big difference!
Second, bring a special FMI offering to Connection to give along with your Faith Promise Card. We feel that God is pleased with an element of “faith-filled seed-sowing” and that the special offering will add an immediate impact to our collective sacrifice of faith.
The fields are ripe, and the world is hungry for the gospel. Together, we can do more than we have ever done in the past and even more than we can imagine if we are willing to take fresh bold steps of faith! Let’s not limit how God can use us, as well as our congregations, to spread the gospel across the globe.
I pray that you will prayerfully consider your part in this missions challenge. Let’s see what God will do with the “loaves and fish” we joyfully offer to Him.