HANNIBAL – “You can’t afford to just let missions happen in your church,” said Jeff Anderson, pastor of Calvary Baptist here. “You have to be focused in pursuing it.”
That’s the attitude that has led the church to increase its giving to missions across the board, particularity in Missouri.
One of the ways their giving is through the Missouri Missions Offering (MMO). The Rheubin L. South Missouri Missions Offering funds three ministry areas: sharing the gospel in Missouri, sending Missouri missionaries and starting churches across the state. Some of the ministries receiving MMO funding in those three areas include: multicultural evangelism, sports evangelism, Christian Women’s Job Corp, Christian Life Commission, Disaster Relief, Missouri Partnership Missions, collegiate summer missions, hunger relief, Baptist Builder’s and Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. Ten percent of the MMO funds raised in each association across the state go back to fund missions through that associational office.
“The Cooperative Program is distributed as best it can be, but there are still needs out there,” Anderson said. “Mission offerings like MMO make up that need. We are very, very committed as a church to a several-pronged approached to missions, and MMO is one of those prongs. There are missionaries and ministries counting on us and Calvary is not going to let them down.”
Other “prongs” that Calvary uses to live out the Great Commission: supporting missionaries directly, the Cooperative Program, financially supporting those in the church that go on mission and lastly each of those going on mission as individual Christians around the world and it their own back yard.
“If you only give, you’re not obeying the Great Commission,” Anderson said. “It says to ‘go.’
“It is very easy to forget there is a mission field here at home, but it’s also very easy to not let that be forgotten. All you have to do is look around, and MMO goes to a lot of those ministries.”
Calvary recently created a missions budget outside of their normal operating budget and on top of their Cooperative Program (CP) giving. The church urges members to give throughout the year to the missions budget of fourteen categories including MMO, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, World Hunger, Operation Christmas Child. Anderson said they also do promotions during the traditional seasons for certain offerings like MMO in September and members give designated gifts beyond their weekly or monthly gifts.
Their goal for the missions budget was $37,500, but Anderson said the church of 325 will probably give $55,000 to missions this year beyond CP. Last year the church gave approximately $6,000 to MMO, and this year Anderson estimated it will be close to $8,000.
“We had already built in increases to Lottie, Annie and MMO from last year, but now we’re going to end up redistributing more of those funds,” he said.