By Carol Norris
From its beginning in 1973, Academy Christian Church”s leaders and members have emphasized missions. The program”s successes are due, in part, to the formal, documented policies and systems set up to help with decision-
making and the ongoing operations of the mission team. These mission policies include a purpose statement, financial and selection policies, and responsibilities of the missionary, the church, and the team. There are also questionnaires for missionaries and organizations that request support; their responses are evaluated against set criteria.
Mission support is an integral part of ACC. We believe missionary work is vital to the expansion of God”s kingdom. Our church leadership team commits 15 percent of total annual giving toward missions. The largest percentage of the mission budget is allocated for foreign missions, with the rest going to colleges and domestic and local ministries.
Over the years, ACC has initiated various programs to raise mission awareness, to engage the congregation in mission activities, and to attempt to sustain interest in missions, with varying degrees of success. The chart below shows a few positives and negatives for some of those activities.
Maintaining interest and involvement in missions is a constant challenge, since other church and nonchurch activities vie for people”s time. Overall, while the highest percentage of financial support goes to foreign ministries, the highest percentage of congregational participation is with domestic and local ministries. But no matter how many people are involved, the goal is always to involve more.
Carol Norris serves with Academy Christian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.