Into All the World: Volume 1, Issue 9


By Dr. Garvin Dykes, President

Photo of Dr. Garvin DykesShakespeare said, “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” For many years, the standard in special missions giving in Fundamental Baptist Churches has been the Faith Promise Offering.” I still personally think that is a good description of what we do, but the name is neither sacred nor biblical. I pastored one church that simply called it the “Weekly Missions Offering” because someone had tainted the name “Faith Promise” in some way. A pastor friend calls his missions offering “BIG” – Blessings In Giving.

Whatever the name, let me share with you why I believe so strongly in the plan. I add this disclaimer first; I appreciate any way churches fund their mission support, but I sincerely believe Faith Promise Giving has many advantages. Corporate giving does not allow for the personal response to the Lord’s leading. My wife and I started giving in this manner in 1970, and our conviction about it has never changed. For 42 years we have proven God in our giving.

Missionary Highlight
Chris & Lucinda Radebaugh

Photo of Chris and Lucinda Radebaugh

Chris Radebaugh Family

Please pray for Chris and Lucinda Radebaugh. They have been serving the Lord among the Deaf faithfully in Kenya and South Africa for over 20 years. The Lord has given them an open door to minister to the Deaf in Zimbabwe.

Even though Zimbabwe is no stranger to the Gospel, there is still a great need among the Deaf. The Deaf of Zimbabwe may be classified as syncretistic Christians culturally, but less than two percent are truly evangelical according to GSEC classification (Global Status of Evangelical Christianity). There has been no church planting movement among these Deaf for years. It seems as though God is moving for these dear people. Let’s pray!

Missionary Humor

One day as a missionary was out visiting he was greeted by a boy and a huge dog. The missionary said to the boy, “does your dog bite?” “No,” replied the boy. Just then the huge dog bit the missionary. The man yelled, “I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite!” “He doesn’t,” replied the boy, “that’s not my dog!”

The faith promise principle must be biblically based, thoroughly explained and consistently taught. We must never approach it like a faith healer taking an offering. We must not rally people into making commitments, but insist that they pray until they have an answer from the Lord. The Holy Spirit still speaks as surely as He did to the church at Antioch when He said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” If we ask, He will tell us how much money to separate unto missions. He knows each person’s stage of Christian growth, the strength of their faith, and their circumstances.

Here are some of the reasons I believe in Faith Promise Giving:

  1. It is a direct and sacred way to respond to the Great Commission. This money may only be used for one purpose.
  2. It is motivated by Grace. Four times in II Corinthians 8 Paul speaks of the grace involved in giving. Grace is “a disposition in the heart created by the Holy Spirit, that manifests itself in one’s life.” This giving then is truly spiritual.
  3. It allows God to do the unusual. The Macedonians gave “beyond their power” (II Co 8:3), that is, in the power of God.
  4. It will increase our faith. Increased faith is necessary to enlarged missions (II Co. 10:15).
  5. Believers learn about giving and all giving increases. I have never pastored a church where instituting Faith Promise Giving didn’t increase general giving.
  6. Mission support will be more consistent because it is not tied to the church’s general budget.
  7. It brings great blessings and joy to the Giver. Paul said to those who had been saved, “For ye are our glory and joy.” (I Thes 2:20)

Let me anticipate one possible objection – that the offering discussed in II Corinthians was a benevolence offering. I readily stipulate that, but believe the same principle applies to missions giving. I also remind you that the entire passage is tied to missions if you follow through chapter 10. The believer, the church, and the lost world will be blessed by “Faith Promise Giving.”

Editor’s Note: Dr. Dykes has written a pamphlet entitled Five Kinds of Biblical Giving. If you would like to order copies of this pamphlet please contact the BIO Office.


By Terry Childers, African Director

Photo of Terry ChildersIf there ever was an actual catalog of problems that missionaries struggle with some would be at the top of the list (e.g., raising enough support, booking enough meetings, dealing with the loss of supporting churches, the wear-and-tear not only of one’s vehicle but of one’s family also as a result of multiplied thousands of miles on the road). Surely a lengthy list could be compiled. As I think about one problem in particular, I have to wonder whether someone would recognize the need to put it on the list. It is somewhat like the proverbial eight-hundred pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room. Obviously it is there, but, since we don’t know how to deal with such a beast, we mistakenly think it will go away if we ignore it. Nevertheless, it doesn’t go away, and from time to time the behemoth rolls over and crushes someone else.

I’m sure that you too have friends or colleagues who were crushed by this beast, but how do we guard against such a varmint when we rarely even acknowledge the reality of its existence? It is as real as the dedicated servants of God which it has destroyed. No, it’s not Satan, this time. The beast which I’m thinking about goes by the name of Missionary Attrition.

Attrition is defined as: 1) a gradual reduction in work force without firing of personnel, as when workers resign or retire and are not replaced; 2) a wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment ( Both of these definitions are applicable to missionaries. The first allows for retiring missionaries and others who leave their respective fields; the second one would explain why missionaries leave the field and do not return to it.

Opening a dictionary, getting a definition and suggesting an application is easy; as easy as it is for us to ignore this beast which continues to reduce our work force. Many missionaries are being worn down and weakened by continuous pressure. Knowledgeable brethren estimate that the attrition-rate among our fundamental Baptist missionaries is 35-40% (some put it as high as 50%), but we somehow accept it as normal. To put attrition in perspective, consider a parallel: Would we accept it as normal if half of our U.S. Military combat troops were decimated in battle? I say NOT! Then how can we continue to accept the high attrition rate among our missionary troops?

Identifying a problem goes a long way toward solving it. I do believe that some root causes are apparent, and I suggest we develop appropriate strategies that would help reduce, or eliminate their prevalence among us. Here are a couple of root causes to consider.

First, there is a lack of practical preparation. We do not consciously think of the numerous things the average American outsources on a regular basis. Our food supply, drinking water, car maintenance and repairs, computer repairs and house repairs can be listed just for starters. Few Americans grow up in a pioneering atmosphere. This includes so many of our new, younger missionaries. Ill prepared people going into pioneering situations will cause them to struggle with many things which can wear them down and weaken them by continuous pressure.

Second, many missionaries have preconceived expectations. Missionaries often go forth with the idea that they are going to change the nation to which they are being sent. Supporting churches oftentimes expect certain measurable results. When a missionary experiences betrayal or persecution, and then cannot see the results they were expecting, this too wears them down. Here’s a reality check: Jesus Christ, the Son of God did NOT change the nation to which He was sent! However, He did succeed in changing a small group of Jewish nationals – who also changed others – eventually turning the world upside down for Christ!

Baptist International Outreach is implementing a training ministry designed to help counter the lack of practical training – SMART. SMART stands for Specialized Missionary And Resource Training. Contact SMART for more information.

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