Sample Missions Window

For pastors: if you’re considering having us in to do a missions window at your church, I encourage you to check out the brief video welcome we have on our website.

For pastors: if you’re considering having us in to do a missions window at your church, I encourage you to check out this brief (under two minutes) video:

If you see this text, you need to download the latest Flash plugin for your browser. attic the online

The controls work just like a VCR–hit the play button (>) to begin the video.

If you can’t get it to work (or can’t even see the arrow), download the latest Flash plugin for your browser.

That’s basically what we do for a missions window (without the soundtrack and the cool graphics effects).

If you have us in to do the whole service, I generally do the missions window and then preach a practical message for your people unless you ask me to do otherwise (some pastors prefer that I share about missions or about Chi Alpha the entire time).

How Are Funds Used?

A donor recently asked me how funds given to our ministry are used. I thought that was a pretty reasonable question, and so I thought I’d post the response on the site.

A donor recently asked me how funds given to our ministry are used. I thought that was a pretty reasonable question, and so I thought I’d post the response on the site. This is going to be long–I’ll make it as short as possible, but because we’re talking about money I want to be precise.

Technically, all funds given to our ministry are actually given to the Assemblies of God, the denomination with which I am a minister and which sponsors Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. The Assemblies of God promises to disburse gifts in accordance with the wishes of the donor and in accordance with Assemblies of God policies.

So what relevant policies does the Assemblies of God have?

1) Missionaries are assigned an amount of money that they must raise. This is commonly known as a missionary budget.

2) This budget has two components: the personal budget and the work budget.

3) The personal budget covers salaries and benefits (insurance and retirement). For home missions, the Assemblies of God categorizes ministry assignments into one of three cost-of-living indexes. Because Stanford is in Silicon Valley we fall into the highest cost-of-living bracket. Personal budgets are monitored very closely and are adjusted only under extreme circumstances.

4) The work budget covers everything else: things like outreach materials, Bibles, office supplies, meeting space expenses (decorations and rental fees, for example), music equipment, retreat expenses, and ministry-related travel expenses. Really anything that helps us achieve our mission of ministering to Stanford students, faculty, and staff.

5) By Assemblies of God policy, until missionaries fully raise their assigned budget they are not allowed to launch their ministry. This is because the Assemblies wants missionaries to succeed, and as a denomination we’ve learned through painful experience that one of the best ways to guarantee long-term success is by requiring full funding up front.

6) Also by Assemblies of God policy, the money that comes in goes first to support the missionary financially and then to support the missionary’s work. In other words, if only 75% of funds come in one month then it’s the work budget that gets shortchanged instead of the personal budget. This is according to the theory that a mission can survive without office supplies for a month, but if the missionary gets evicted because they can’t pay rent the mission will suffer much more lasting harm.

7) Once a month missionaries are issued a check from the Assemblies of God. That check contains only what has been given that month up to the amount of the assigned personal budget. There is a 5% administration fee taken off the top. Incidentally, that’s an incredibly low administration fee: I’ve seen other missions organizations with rates as high as 20%!

8) The work budget and any excess funds sit in designated accounts. When the missionary has a work expense (say we mail an evangelistic CD-ROM to every student on campus), we pay it out of our own pocket and submit that expense to the Assemblies for reimbursement. We are reimbursed if and only if there are sufficient funds available. That reimbursement is tacked onto next month’s check alongside the personal budget.

9) Here’s the bit to remember: the personal budget acts like a cap whereas the work budget acts like a springboard. We cannot receive more than our assigned salary, but we can receive a theoretically unlimited amount for ministry expenses (as much as people are willing to give). We are responsible to document each ministry expense and demonstrate to the Assemblies of God that it was a legitimate use of God’s money.

So here’s the bottom line: money given is used to pay the minister first and any excess is used to pay for ministry expenses.

We also have answers to other common financial questions and an article on the Biblical model for funding missionary work and a step-by-step guide to making a donation.

You can see all the articles related to giving to our ministry.

Now You Can Give Online!

The Assemblies of God now supports online donations to our ministry.

In breaking news, our ministry can now receive donations online!

Elsewhere on our site, we’ve also got a brief overview of the missionary funding process in the Assemblies of God, along with a look at what the Bible has to say about missionaries and money.

So take a look and consider giving online via our secure server!

Ministry Wishlist

Want to make a one-time gift? Here’s what we can use it for!

DISCLAIMER: this information is on our website because some people actually come here looking for it. Other people get horribly offended at the mention of money and donations online. If you’re not of the former, chill. Just filter out this message and look at some of the more entertaining stuff on this site.

You’re still here? Good. 🙂

Sometimes people are more interested in making one-time donations than in becoming a monthly partner (and sometimes monthly partners want to make a special gift).

If that’s you, then here are some needs that we have in our ministry.

Expensive Items

$10,000,000 to establish a ministry center near Stanford.

Yeah, it really would cost at least that much. We’d be looking at purchasing an existing religious center or a business propert adjacent to campus and then remodeling it.

Failing that, $1,000,000 to purchase a home near Stanford.

Again, it really would cost that much. We’re currently renting about five minutes from Stanford and there’s a home across the street on the market for $1.1 million. And it’s not a really nice house–housing prices are just ridiculous here. This matters because the nature of our ministry is relational, and so we have students over all the time. If we had a home within 15 minutes of Stanford we’d be better stewards of God’s money (not spending it on rent) and we’d be able to up the quality of our ministry to students radically. We’d have more students over more often and accomplish more in the way of discipleship and modeling. Plus, we’d be able to host other ministers in our house for a week or two at a time and expose the students to them and their ministries, thereby increasing the likelihood that students would “get it.”

Midrange Items

$6,000 to set up a multimedia studio.

This would cover a digital video camera, a dedicated computer for video-editing, and the software necessary to do high-quality videos. With such a studio, we could create high-quality training videos for college ministries across America. We could also do some neat stuff in our large-group meetings at Stanford.

$500 for a smartphone.

This would help Glen be more organized–and he needs all the help he can get!

Inexpensive Items

Anything from Glen’s Amazon Wishlist or Delicious Wishlist.

These are almost all books or other resources useful for ministry. Of course, some are just random.

If you would like to purchase any of the above items, either give online or just send a check for the amount needed to
  Chi Alpha #2650299
  1445 N Boonville Ave
  Springfield, MO 65802

Also be sure to email us and let us know what you’ve done so that we know the purpose the funds are designated for!

Pledge Forms Online

Our pledge form is now online in PDF format.

You can download our pledge form

as a PDF file. The form is around 110k.

If you can’t open it on your computer, download the free Adobe Acrobat viewer and try again.

If you don’t know what a pledge form is or why you would want to fill one out, check out these pages:

How Missions Is A Partnership
The Biblical Basis for Supporting Missionaries
Questions and Answers About Support-Raising
How to Partner With Us

How Missions Is A Partnership

Why we are convinced the term ‘partners’ is more Biblical (and healthy) than ‘donors’.

I sometimes conceptualize missions as a stool supported by three legs: proclaimers, providers, and pray-ers (or for a completely different set of labels we could use intercession, investment, and involvement). Without any one of these legs, missions simply cannot be sustained.

Which leads into my point… you may have noticed that we prefer the term ‘partner’ to ‘donor’ in our conversations and in our writing. This preference emerged from a study of how ministry was funded in the Bible. A crystal-clear conviction emerged: God considers those who contribute financially to ministry to have a share in that ministry! Consider, for example, 3 John 8:

Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth.

Echoing the same theme, Paul says the Philippians are sharing in the gospel (Philippians 1.5).

This is why we talk about building a support team rather than raising funds. The emphasis is on the relationships and not on the money.

Even more significantly, however, it forces us to remember that those who decide to aid us financially are, in actuality, joining us in our ministry: they become co-workers with us.

How so? Think of it this way: your money is a representation of your life: it is what you get in exchange for time at work. By giving of that, it is as though you were taking time and serving on the mission field!

It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. We all have a part to play in the Kingdom of God. Some of us work in office buildings, some of us work in homes, and some of us work in churches, but we all work together. All are necessary for God’s work to go forward.

The Biblical Model for Funding Missionary Work

A summary of the biblical precedents for missionaries soliciting funds so that they can devote themselves to full-time ministry.

How should missionaries be paid? Biblically, there can be only one answer to this question. As Paul says, the Lord has commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel (1 Cor 9.14). The teaching is very explicit. There are many examples of this principle being practiced in the Scriptures. Here are just a few:

  • First and most significantly, Jesus’ ministry was funded by some of those who heard Him (Luke 8.1-3), and He taught the disciples to rely on others while ministering (Matthew 10.5-15).
  • Second, Paul requested that the Roman church financially support Phoebe, one of the ministers at Cenchrae. (Romans 16.1-2)
  • Third, Paul himself received support and was grateful for the support he received: Philippians 4.10-20 (people frequently assume that Paul always supported himself by making tents. Actually, that was the second-best option for him. See Acts 18.1-5, where Paul began by making tents and quit as soon as it was financially feasible to do so. See 1 Corinthians 9.1-18, where Paul’s whole point is that the Corinthians owed him support: he concludes the letter by telling them that he hopes to stop by and that he hopes they will provide for him to finish his journey in 1 Cor 16.5-6. Also see Romans 15.20-24, where Paul asks a church he has never visited before to fund him on his journey to Spain.) In addition, Paul explicitly teaches in Galatians 6.6 that Christians are obligated to provide for the needs of ministers.
  • Fourth, the apostle John encouraged his friend to support a band of missionaries in 3 John 5-8.
  • Fifth, the whole Levitical system in the Old Testament (the Levites were ministers) is predicated on the financial support of ministers by the rest of God’s people (Numbers 18.21-24 is a representative example). See Nehemiah 13.4-11 for how outraged Nehemiah was that the Levites had to go earn wages in another fashion.

In summary, there is an extremely strong Biblical case for missionaries raising financial support from the Body of Christ.

Which bring me to my point: we’re missionaries and we need your partnership! If you’d like to support our ministry financially, here’s how.

Incidentally, the word that we prefer to use when discussing financial supporters is partner. That word was chosen very carefully. If you’re curious, read about how missions is really a partnership

If you still have unanswered questions about supporting missionaries, you might be interested in our answers to common questions about supporting missionaries.