Christians worldwide make trillions of dollars in annual income, opening up the potential for a sizable amount of money to go toward good causes. But with thousands upon thousands of Christian organizations out there, choosing where to give can be overwhelming.
The Bible actually provides historical examples of giving to a specific cause—the advancement of the gospel. And the need is still present today.
Missions organizations receive about $45 billion in donations each year, which accounts for only 6.4% of all donations toward Christian ministries. Organizations that focus on taking the gospel to unreached people groups only receive 1% of that $45 billion.
More than 40% of the world’s population is unreached with the gospel, and yet only 1% of mission funds are designated for reaching the billions of unreached peoples. Giving to charities that don’t focus on the unreached should not necessarily decrease. But there is a need for increasing contributions toward reaching those who have never heard the gospel.
Giving to Great Commission work was established early in the Church’s history. If believers today followed the biblical examples of the first century Church, more gospel work could take root in the least reached places on Earth.
Supporting Jesus’ Ministry
Jesus was raised in a working-class family, where he likely learned to be a carpenter. But during his ministry, he didn’t rely on a traditional income to live. Rather, he received support from those he encountered. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and others supported Jesus and the disciples “out of their own means (Luke 8:3).”
Likewise, Jesus taught His disciples to receive support from those who were willing.
“‘Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.’” -Matthew 10:9-11
This support not only allowed the disciples and Jesus to fully focus on ministry without the need for additional income, but it offered a way for others to be a part of this ministry—including women, who were not given as many options to play a role in society.
Supporting the Spread of the Gospel
In the early years of the Church, Paul and the other apostles relied on gifts from the first believers to spread the gospel. Paul’s letters to the churches often encourage and even admonish toward giving.
Paul wrote a heartfelt thanks to the Philippians for being the only church to support him at one point (Philippians 4:15-19). In his second letter to the Corinthians, he described how the Macedonian churches had such generosity that they gave beyond their ability and even “urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people (2 Corinthians 8:4).” He even encouraged churches to assist other gospel workers (Romans 6:1-2).
The support of first-century churches allowed the gospel to advance and take root beyond where Jesus had traveled. These examples set the model for how churches today should approach giving to God’s mission.
Give to the Mission
More than 3 billion unreached people will not have access to the gospel unless believers use more of their resources to reach them. As you prayerfully consider how the Lord wants you to steward your financial resources, take into account the great need to take the gospel to the unreached.
Your generosity can be the key to reaching the world with the gospel.
You can help reach the world with the gospel by becoming an East-West Multiplier. Multipliers give monthly gifts that continually shine the light of the gospel among the unreached.
Learn more about how you can multiply your gift to make a greater Kingdom impact.