By Charles Johnson, Pastor of Rosewood Baptist Church in Gilmer, TX
As featured in mission:world Magazine
Rosewood Baptist Church (RBC) is located in northeast Texas in a rural setting. Over the past half century, RBC has developed a “pro-missions” culture. The church began giving ten percent of her receipts to missions beginning in 1959 under the leadership of Pastor G.W. Hullett. Systematic giving for local, state, and national departments has continued and increased since this time.
RBC reached a “low water” mark numerically in the decade 1975-85. The church actually had all the classic characteristics of a dying congregation except for two things: 1) the aging membership kept praying for the Lord to send young people to the church, and 2) the church continued to support missions from her meager means.
Today the church averages 250-275 in worship services. Thirty- five percent of undesignated offerings are given to missions. With special offerings and projects added during the year, over one-half of the total church budget has gone to support missions from locally unto “the uttermost” for the past several years.
More importantly, the Lord has blessed RBC with forty baptisms in the past associational year. In 2002, RBC entered a major building project of a 14,000 square feet worship center. There was a temptation (and even a hint to the pastor) to consider lowering the church’s mission giving to help pay for the project. Instead, a decision was made to continue fully funding missions as in the past. A fifteen year note on the project was paid off in less than two years.
Signs over the exit doors at the church building read: “You are now entering the mission field.” This reminds members that all of God’s people are missionaries wherever they go.
Fellow churches, your work for the Lord will be enhanced by generous, cheerful giving to missions. There is an old and true cliché which states: “You cannot out give the Lord.” I challenge you to claim the promise of Jesus in Luke 6:38a, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.”
Has your church registered for World Missions Day? This event will be held on February 25, and churches who register will not only receive free posters, bulletins, and a video to promote this day, but the pastor will receive a free BMA Missions polo shirt. Churches who send in their donation by May 1 will be entered in to a drawing to receive an all-expenses paid mission trip with Dr. John David Smith for one pastor and their wife or a couple of their choice. Register your church today at bmamissions.org/worldmissionsday.