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!
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.
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).