As we prepare for another Missions Conference here at North Life Baptist Church, I am more convicted than ever of the fact that while its success depends largely upon the Lord, it also squarely rests upon the intentional mindset/heart position of God’s people THAT HE BLESSES.  Are you a giver or a taker-the end results could not be more dramatic! Your mindset and mind will initiate a “ripple effect” that cannot be underestimated…souls and the glory of God are stake!
Here are the eleven striking contrasts:
  1. Takers arrive after all the preparation and a large portion of the worship are already completed; givers arrive early and poised to pitch in wherever needed.
  2. Takers wonder why the church leadership would “make such a fuss and waste so many precious resources”; givers buy up the opportunity to hear/be moved by how the Gospel is palpably on the move around the world.
  3. Takers wait for the missionaries to entertain or engage with them; givers focus on how to initiate and bless the missionaries.
  4. Takers conveniently lose their faith promise pledge card or “keep it between me and God”; givers see the Spirit-led goal of the church leadership and strive to stretch by faith to a tangible, monthly goal that helps the church commit to greater/more consistent support.
  5. Takers only squeeze in as much of the conference as is absolutely convenient; givers rearrange their lives to be all there.
  6. Takers stay in their little click of comfortable conversations/friends; givers truly work to engage their family in meaningful dialogue with the missionary delegates. (This would also involve collecting their respective prayer cards.)
  7. Takers view missionaries as a second-tier or out-to-get personalities; givers view them as the distinctive, grace-enabled heroes of the faith.
  8. Takers come and passively sit with arms folded; givers comes with open hearts to listen and open hands to give actual, sacrificial monies and prayers FOR THE CAUSE.
  9. Takers, at best, live the Great Commission vicariously through the life/lips of the missionary without personal engagement; givers say “Here am I, send me.”
  10. Takers give token applause to other families sacrificing for the Gospel; givers willingly offer their own children…that is a challenge for me as a dad to even type…and grandchildren to burn out as lights in the distant darkness.
  11. Takers view the Great Commission as something to make themselves great through increased numbers and followers; givers realize that it is ultimately not even about souls but all about the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

The only taking we should be doing is “taking the gospel to every creature.”  We cannot take what God AND WE have not first given!

May we follow the example of the early Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 8:

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.