By Jeter Livingston
Imagine that you had the ability to change the course of history. Imagine you could do it right now, right where you find yourself today. Imagine that you were asked to do that incredible thing, that the very Lord of history reached out to you specifically and invited you to play a strategic role in furthering His vision and completing His goals. What would you think? What would you do?
The truth is, in Christ, you do have the ability to alter time and space. You have received that invitation; it is an essential part of the inheritance you received the moment you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is there before you; it is an integral component of your vocation as a follower of Christ. Do you understand that?
You have the ability, right now, to influence the flow of history forever.
Here at Wellspring, global mission – going across the street and around the world for the Lord Jesus – is one of our six core values. It’s our value because it is God’s value; more than that, it is a part of His very being. God is a missionary! We exist to help Him accomplish His plan and purpose, which is to restore His glory over all of His creation. It’s in our DNA; it’s our middle name (Wellspring Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance). It’s who we are; it’s what we do; it is what we value.
There are many, many ways you can use this God-given ability you possess. The particular way I want to highlight in this article is using a generous part of the resources that God in His grace has given you to steward for Him. Our joyful giving out of what He has provided enables Wellspring to be involved in what He is doing and to move forward the work of God around the world.
We change the course of history by enabling someone to live and work in Indonesia, who brings the Gospel to a couple for the first time. This couple accepts the message and become Christ followers. The way they live radically changes and people around them are drawn by the changes and exposed to the Gospel. Some of them accept it and are also changed. Their children are raised in a new worldview and live their lives based on different values. Their neighborhood is changed, their place of work is changed, their society is changed. Where their history was once about death and destruction, their story is changed to one of life and fulfillment, and the entire history of the world undergoes a radical shift. The goal of God becomes that much closer. And you are the reason for that radical shift and movement towards the end.
If you attended the recent annual meeting, you heard about changes made to how Wellspring will finance changing world history. Briefly, the changes are as follows.
1. A set amount from the general giving budget for the ministry year will be spent on missions. When someone contributes to the general fund of Wellspring, a certain percentage of that gift goes to missions.
2. Any money that is specifically designated for missions will be above and beyond our current commitments to our international workers and will be used to launch new works that God may be calling us towards, such as sending out Carissa Van Schooten.
Here is a fuller explanation of how this arrangement will work.
Wellspring currently supports, at various levels, 29 international workers (both Alliance and non-Alliance) working around the world. It also supports Alliances Missions. Alliance Missions is the fund out of which US Alliance international ministries is supported around the world. Wellspring is committed to providing $290,000 to these things during the budget year 2019-2020. That amount will be taken out of the general budget; so, if you give a dollar to the Wellspring church budget, part of that dollar will go towards the $290,000.
Supported by Wellspring, an IW working in western Africa meets and mentors a young Christian man, a member of a group fiercely attached to another religion. This young man finds other like-minded people and they band together around the Gospel. A little church is formed where there never was a church before. It grows and gains influence in the society around it and others become Christ followers. And over the course of time the history of that corner of the world is changed forever. You changed the course of history by your giving to the budget of Wellspring.
Now, when you decide that you want to give beyond your regular giving to the general budget, you can give designated money to go specifically towards missions. This second option will be used to move us forward in our involvement in Kingdom building (AKA, changing the history of the world). We will use that money to support Carissa VS for her first seven months and then either take on an ALME candidate and assist in getting them out on the field or take on a church planter to reach the growing South Asian population in our area.
(An ALME candidate is a person who has been officially accepted as a potential international worker with the Alliance and who needs two years of practical work here in the States before going to one of the 50+ areas globally where the US Alliance has workers. They would work on staff here for a minimum of two years and we will have a hand in preparing them for their future ministry, just as we are currently doing with Carissa Van Schooten.)
Carissa goes to Berlin to minister to Syrian refugees. She brings the Gospel to a woman who had never heard it. The woman accepts it joyfully and brings light into her home. Her home is changed, and her family and friends are drawn to the light she shines. Some accept Christ, and their story is changed forever. They in turn shine the light of the Gospel and what was once a story of loss and despair becomes a story of hope. You have brought about change by making it possible for Carissa to be in Berlin.
This is your opportunity to influence change. This is your moment to step deeper into the calling you have received from your Creator. This is your time to strengthen your faith and see the Lord Jesus do above and beyond what you can now imagine. Carpe Diem! Seize the moment and see the course of human history change.
For Wellspring to grow as a basecamp for global mission, we must commit to using God’s resources to accomplish God’s mission. Of the resources He has given you to steward, seek His will in what He wants you to give to this vision. Give towards the general budget. Then designate more to missions, so that the basecamp can be established and maintained.
We can change the course of human history. The question is, do we believe that? Is it a value for us and will we act on it?
(A detailed breakdown of the figures involved will be available at the Welcome desk.)