World Evangelism Fund

One of the things that characterizes us as a denomination is our heart for missions.  The primary way we fund the global missionary enterprise is through the World Evangelism Fund (WEF).  But what is WEF?

The World Evangelism Fund fuels the Church of the Nazarene’s mission by combining each person’s and church’s gift together to fund ministries everywhere. Every church is asked to give a portion of their yearly funds for the purpose of making Christlike disciples in the nations.

Why does the World Evangelism Fund exist?

In 1923, the Church of the Nazarene moved to a centralized funding system called the General Budget. In 1997, the name was changed to World Evangelism Fund, but the purpose remained the same: to sustain valuable ministries through consistent mission funding. The World Evangelism Fund provides the undesignated money and mission network that all Nazarene ministries need. Your gifts create and sustain ministries, and allow ministry personnel to spread the gospel.

How does the World Evangelism Fund work?

When you give, the money comes to the General Treasurer’s Office where the funds are distributed to various regions, missionaries, and ministries around the globe. The World Evangelism Fund not only provides ministries on the ground with the monies they need, but the money is used to ensure that legal, federal, and support needs are met so that ministries are as safe as possible and can be sustained for years to come.

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Here are a few examples of ministries that the World Evangelism Fund makes possible through direct funding or the ministry network:

Read Engage Magazine to hear the stories of individuals who have been helped by Nazarene ministries. All of this work only happens because of the combined gifts of people like you!

How is the World Evangelism Fund Received?

Much of the monies received come directly from local churches as a part of the Funding the Mission plan (watch the USA or Canada video about the plan). When you donate, your church gives a tithe of that money on to the worldwide Nazarene church. The World Evangelism Fund goal for every church is 5.5% of their income for the year less mission giving.

Some churches choose to raise funds through the Easter Offering and Thank Offering for the World Evangelism Fund. These two offerings happen every year, and Stewardship Ministries provides promotional and informational resources to help churches communicate the offerings to their congregations. Churches also use Faith Promise pledges to raise funds throughout the year. We encourage churches to actively engage their congregations in understanding and giving toward mission work through the World Evangelism Fund. Many churches choose to invest more than the 5.5% goal toward ministry, and those gifts make a huge difference.

Thank You

When a church meets its Funding the Mission tithe goals, including the 5.5% for the World Evangelism Fund, it is recognized as a World Evangelism Church. All World Evangelism churches receive a special thank you for their faithful generosity to the mission. Additionally, Nazarene Missions International recognizes churches that meet their World Evangelism Fund goal at 5.7%. Click here to read more about church recognitions. 

None of the ministries the World Evangelism Fund sustains would be possible without the gifts of people like you. It is a pleasure to partner with you to take the gospel around the world. We thank you for your faithfulness to give and pray for Nazarene mission work everywhere.

This information was originally published on the official website of the Church of the Nazarene.

Recommendations from a Caribbean Missionary

In our previous entry, Cleon Cadogan shared his testimony from his time spent in Grenada as a volunteer missionary as part of GENESIS.  The primary objective of his time there was to plant and organize a new Nazarene church in the community of Content.  Within the first year of his arrival, God had done the work and this goal was met.  Now there is a thriving congregation in that community that is preparing to start another church in order to reach their island.

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As Cleon concluded his time in GENESIS, he shared several pieces of advice that he would give to anyone saying yes to a missions’ call. Here are his 15 recommendations:

1: Be sure that God has called you to the people you are going to.

2: Learn and love the people you are going to live among; be willing to drop your preconceived ideas of them.

3: Prayer support is vital to your physical and spiritual health.

4: Fasting and spending personal time with God is necessary to keep your sanity.

5: Do not let money be the factor for you not being able to accomplish your task.

6: Remember: God provides for the mission in every way.

7: Be creative in the methods you use to partner with persons who will be giving to the mission.

8: Demonstrate a level of transparency and accountability with your partners.

9: Communicate the vision clearly to your prayer partners and donors.

10: Do not fail to use varying mediums to communicate and keep in contact with your partners.

11: Listen to the needs of the people with whom you are working.

12: Let the creative juices flow within you at all times.

13: Rest when Jesus says to rest.

14: Do not forsake your friends and family for the sake of the mission.

15: Nothing should be done without consultation with God.

Seeing the Harvest Grow

Sent from Georgetown, Guyana to the island of Grenada as a part of the GENESIS initiative, Cleon Cadogan served as a volunteer missionary for two years. A month ago, he finished his primary work of planting a new congregation in the community of Content, and he has recently shared his thoughts regarding the challenges and blessings of that assignment:

Working in the Island of Grenada, the challenges were many. Leaving family, friends, and work to live in a place of uncertainty was indeed a challenge. But you must know the one who has called you is able to keep and provide for you. He can only do what He has promised if you are willing to go through the valley of shadow of death experience according to Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (KJV).  We must go through challenges to experience the power of God. One is reminded of Jesus, who went through difficulties and great temptations, and came out victorious. He (Jesus) took on the sins of the world but came through.

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In ministry, one may encounter negatives such as who is in charge, identity crisis, unsettled hurts, and power struggles, just to name the more prevalent ones. These are just strategies that the enemy uses to distract the missionary from the bigger picture at hand: souls for the kingdom.  Michael Youssef writes the following in Conquer: Your Battle Plan for Spiritual Victory: “If the enemy can get you to debate any of the issues that are settled in the word of God, he’s two-thirds of the way through” (p. 34).  The enemy seeks to make us question each other’s motives.  He desires to use it as a means of sowing seeds of negativity, discord and confusion. Yet, the word of God reminds us in 1 Peter 5: 8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (NIV).  We must be vigilant, sober, and in the spirit of warfare for the mission that is before us. Jesus was and is our ultimate example.  We must not allow the negative to outweigh the good. Some of the tools I used to defeat the negative were prayer, writing, speaking with persons who have a heart for the vision, fasting, and equipping myself with the word of God. Without continually hearing the voice of God, you will kill yourself trying to accomplish the mission.

There were other churches that had gone into the mission area where we were located but failed to return. The community of Content is seen as a “hotspot” by the local government and has been known for “nothing good”. I guess you can say it’s their “Nazareth”.  But John 1:46 tells us: “‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked. ‘Come and see,’ said Philip” (NIV).  Even the men of old had issues with places that did not fit their status quo. However, Jesus came for all of humanity.  We will truly reflect Jesus to a postmodern society when we change the way we ARE and DO CHURCH. This does not mean the gospel will change according to our doctrinal and theological distinctives or preferences, but we must show Jesus.

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Reflecting on our time in Content, I remember that the same members of the community worked along with me and the new believers in celebrating their first community dinner. The congregation now has an established church board, ladies’ ministry, youth ministry, Sunday School, Bible study, intercessory prayer meeting, deliverance group, and they are already looking in the next six months to launch an outreach. If we are not willing to trust God, and let people develop, then we are wicked farmers who plant seeds and pay no attention to them, or plant seeds and dig them up the next day. We must be willing to see the harvest grow.

WEF and the Mesoamerica Region

A week ago I was in Panama City for our Regional Advisory Committee meetings.  One of the things that came up several times during the four days was our response as a region in giving to the World Evangelism Fund. The World Evangelism Fund (WEF) supports nearly 700 Nazarene missionaries and the work of the Church in 162 nations around the world.  WEF is the foundational funding arm of missions in our denomination.  In future articles, we will explain further what WEF is and how it began, as well as share promotional resources for the Thanksgiving Offering, one of our most significant annual methods of raising WEF support.

For the last decade, the goal set by our leaders has been for every local Nazarene church to give 5.5% of their overall tithes and offerings to WEF.  As our General Superintendents often say, the goal is not equal amount of giving (in total money raised per church), but equal sacrifice.  Imagine what could be done if all 26,000 Nazarene congregations in every one of those 162 countries supported by giving in this way.  Our reach would be exponential!

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I have been encouraged to hear that in the previous years we have seen 100% involvement in WEF by the USA/Canada Districts.  That is incredible!  Praise the Lord!  But here’s the kick in the gut: in our Mesoamerica Region we are seeing only 37% involvement.  In other words, roughly one out of every three churches in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America is giving ANYTHING to the World Evangelism Fund. We’re not saying that almost two-thirds aren’t giving a full 5.5% of their income.  We’re saying that almost two-thirds aren’t giving a single peso, or dollar, or gourde. And guess what? Outside of the USA and Canada, that 37% involvement is the highest of all other regions!

I don’t mean to drown you in statistics, but I want to put this another way:

  • 200 local churches around the world provide 70% of WEF.
  • 6,000 local churches provide the rest of WEF.
  • 20,000 local churches do not provide any WEF.

Gulp.

I cannot speak for other regions, but in our RAC meetings we united as leaders from all around Mesoamerica to commit to do our part.  Our regional goal by 2030 is to get to $1.5 million dollars given to WEF. If we do so, that is predicted to be even a bit higher than 5.5% (currently we are giving 2.7%).  Would you pray with us that we would reach this goal? We want to generously give to others just as others have generously lavished through the years on us.

I loved what Dr. Gustavo Crocker said several months ago: “Before 1990, the missions motto was, ‘The West to the rest.’ But now we have a new motto: ‘The best to the rest.’” It truly does not matter where you come from; God is calling missionaries from everywhere to everywhere.

And that also means that everywhere has the privilege of sending and supporting missionaries financially. In the Church of the Nazarene, the World Evangelism Fund is the primary way we do that.  WEF has been an amazing and successful missions strategy to reach the nations.  Now we as the nations have the honor of giving back in order to see astonishing global impact.

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7).

Let Me In

By Scott Armstrong

I have been reflecting recently on the way that we evaluate and train our Genesis missionaries.  As a team, we tinker with the content of our workshops and attempt to provide hands-on experience that will also prepare them for their two years in a different culture and in an explicitly urban context.  However, the thing that keeps coming to my head is: What good is training if the missionaries do not have a deep desire to love the downcast and brokenhearted around them? That is something we cannot teach or motivate into them.

The great news is that, in almost every case, our Genesis missionaries are passionate about serving others.  This is not a service that comes on their own terms or with their own demands; they all possess a profound love of God and neighbor.  I have recently heard stories of our missionaries arduously cleaning entire apartment complexes in nearly 100º heat, holding sick and malnourished children, and embracing and weeping with abandoned single mothers.  This type of ministry requires a compassionate willingness to walk with any needy person through every hellish thing they are going through.

I recently read this surprising story from G.K. Chesterton, the renowned Christian thinker and writer:

A man who was entirely careless of spiritual affairs died and went to hell. And he was much missed on earth by his old friends.  His business agent went down to the gates of hell to see if there was any chance of bringing him back.  But though he pleaded for the gates to be opened, the iron bars never yielded.  His priest also went and argued: ‘He was not really a bad fellow, given time he would have matured.  Let him out, please!’ The gates remained stubbornly shut against all their voices.  Finally, his mother came; she did not beg for his release.  Quietly, and with a strange catch in her voice, she said to Satan: ‘Let me in.’  Immediately the great doors swung open upon their hinges.  For love goes down through the gates of hell and there redeems the dead.” (Quoted in Ronald Rolheiser’s The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality)

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Our missionaries have not signed up for an easy assignment, and they certainly know they will not be on a two-year vacation.  There is something else that calls them to the lost, the last, and the least.  Evaluation and training are essential, but when I receive reports like I have recently from their work in the urban landscapes of our region, I know something deeper than basic training has compelled them.  God’s love has taken them to the gates of hell, and they have asked to enter.  And because of it, God is transforming hell into heaven right in the heart of those cities.

*For more information on Genesis, or any of our missionaries, please visit us at: www.mesoamericagenesis.org. You can also download our mobile app for Android or iOS.

Mission or Missions?

Scott Armstrong

Recently the Board of General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene made a subtle, but significant, change to the name of our missions sending arm of the denomination.  What was “Global Mission” will now be known as “Global Missions.”  As of September 5, 2018, this shift has been made, all materials have been changed, and new logos have been introduced.

Some might wonder if adding an “s” to the name is just semantics.  However, that small adjustment is designed to help differentiate between the overall mission of the entire Church and the specific missions entity of the Church. As Christians (and Nazarenes) everywhere, we are sent in mission, and that mission is global in nature:

            —“…That my salvation would reach to the ends of the earth…” (Is. 49:6)

            —“Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt. 28:19)

            —“For God so loved the world…” (Jn. 3:16)

            —“And you will be my witnesses…to the uttermost parts of the earth…” (Acts 1:8)

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Missions typically refers to the emphasis within the greater church that focuses on the mobilization and support of missionaries to other cultures.  Thus, Global Missions is a more appropriate title for the missionary sending branch of the denomination.  Again, mission is not relegated to a specific program or sub-ministry of the Church.  It is for all of us, everywhere, at all times.

This change affects our ministry in Mesoamerica perhaps more so than other ministries.  After all, the name of our ministry has been World Mission, and now Global Mission, for 18 years.  Nevertheless we are adopting these changes with open arms and will now be known as Global Missions Mesoamerica as well.  The purpose remains the same: Discover, Develop, and Deploy missionaries from our region to the world.

If you have any questions please leave a comment in the section below.  And let’s pray that God would guide us as a Church in His mission in the coming days.

Working with God – Global Mission 2018

At the end of September 2018, the annual Global Mission Mesoamerica retreat was held in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  During the four days, field coordinators of this ministry gathered with Scott and Emily Armstrong (regional coordinators) to enjoy a time of reflection, prayer and conversation about how to improve and advance in discovering, developing and deploying more missionaries.

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IMG_9832 3During the four days, Claudia Cruz, Maria Eugenia Rodriguez, Marc Versil, Luz Jimenez, Freya Galindo and Dario Richards shared about what God is doing in each field: Mexico, Haiti, Northcentral, Central and Caribbean, respectively. Praise the Lord for calling so many to the mission field!

God’s voice was heard in different ways, especially in the times of prayer. The team entered the retreat time with a willing heart, desiring the Lord to lead in every idea, dream and decision. The plans for this ministry are many; however, each coordinator knows that everything is in God’s hands. Together they recognized the great privilege to not just work for God, but instead to work with Him in the harvest.

On the last day, the group interceded for the 34 countries that form the Mesoamerica Region, for all field and district leadership, and for the local churches. We invite you to join in prayer as well for Global Mission, asking God to continue raising up more missionaries through this ministry to impact the nations.