If you haven’t yet read this article about Mars Hill’s “Global” Fund I encourage you to do so.
Wow – it’s all I can say. That this happens in large, aggressive churches is not surprising to me. The surprise is that these leaders were so bent on raising money off the backs of global ministry that they actually put down on paper that there approach should not be “communicated to the public.”
Another phrase that really jumps out to me is this one:
“highly visible, marketable projects such as mission trips, orphan care, support for pastors and missionaries in the third world”
What this communicates is something I hear at churches and conferences: senior leaders are desperate to find “sexy” projects that engage the pew sitter. I fully understand and embrace this desire to get the average Christian engaged globally. Unfortunately, doing this is not always the best thing for the Great Commission.
If you are pastoring a (large) church you have a platform to make a positive change in reaching the world for Christ. I would argue that the best approaches are often not the enticing projects that can be used to raise a lot of money. Take a hard look at the motivations for mission in your church and don’t waste that opportunity on short-term solutions. There are ways to focus your resources and leverage them to both build vision in your congregation while simultaneously doing “real” missionary work.