CAMERON – Driven by a desire to reach their Missouri neighbors for Christ, the congregation at First Baptist Church, Cameron, dug deep and gave generously to the Missouri Missions Offering (MMO) in 2014. More than quadrupling their goal of $4,000 and increasing their 2013 offering by eightfold, the church of about 240 gave a total of $18,954 to missions efforts in Missouri.
According to Pastor John Sconce (pseudonym used for security purposes), this outpouring is the fruit of a three-year emphasis on reaching out not only to the lost around the world, but to those around us.
“The church has always been very missions minded. We take trips to different countries during the year, and we even have a former pastor serving overseas,” Sconce said. “We meet our goals for Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, but for the last three years we wanted to stress home.”
As one step in achieving this goal, the church turned to the MMO. The MMO funds mission work ranging from an evangelism tent at the State Fair to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and from summer collegiate missionaries to Disaster Relief projects.
Utilizing the MMO as a means to reach out at home, the church found itself at a crossroad in the very first week of giving. One family from the church gave a sizeable amount which exceeded the church’s goal for the entire year. Sconce encouraged the church to continue giving even though they had met the goal, and the church responded. Rather than stifling the generosity of others, the family’s gift stoked the fires for the whole church. When the total came in at the end of the year, it was clear that God had done something special.
“It’s a joy to watch. When you gain that momentum, it becomes its own machine. You don’t really even have to do much,” Sconce said.
Their generosity towards the 2014 MMO is only the latest generous act of an historically open-handed church. The church regularly gives 12-13% percent of its budget to the CP, usually totaling around $45,000. Sconce hopes the church’s CP giving will continue to grow over time.
“I would love to see our church, even if it is a percentage a year, to continue to increase our CP giving,” Sconce said. “We need to evaluate things so that we can maximize everything that we have and steward our resources properly.”
Sconce also noted that the church recently exceeded its Annie Armstrong goal by 15-20 percent. He beamed, “It is fun to be a part of a people who want to see the gospel penetrated into the world.”
For more information about the MMO, visit mobaptist.org/mmo.