Monthly Archives: September 2017

Mission-Minded Scorecard. How mission-minded are you?

If you went on a short-term mission trip last year, add 40 points
If you think eating at your favorite Mexican restaurant counts as a short-term mission trip, subtract 20 points

If you gave more to missions than you spent on sporting events or craft supplies, add 25 points
If your mission giving consists of tossing the change from your dollar that you received on a 98-cent candy bar purchase into the Salvation Army bucket, subtract 25 points.

If you pray for world areas on a regular basis, add 25 points
If while watching Travel Channel, you pray to hit the lottery so you can build a summer home in some exotic location, subtract 25 points.

If you participated in a one-day mission project (Mission Blitz, Convoy of Hope or Angel Tree), add 20 points
If you had other important plans on those days like rearranging the spare closet or counting your socks, subtract 20 points.

If you weekly volunteer at Dillon Elementary School, Carriage Town or Celebrate Recovery, add 30 points
If you live by the motto, “I’m not helping no stinkin’ kids,” subtract 30 points.

If you give two percent of your income above your regular tithe to missions, add 25 points.
If you spent two percent of your income on coffee, subtract 25 points

If you can name seven missionaries, add 15 points
If you thought Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters is one of them, subtract 10 points.

If you heard a missionary speak within the last year, add 10 points
If you heard a missionary was speaking at church on Sunday and suddenly you developed a cold, subtract 20 points.

If you have prayed over your Mission Outreach Commitment Card and how you might participate in missions this year, add 20 points.
If you ask: What’s a Mission Outreach Commitment Card? Subtract 20 points.

If you scored above 100 points you are a missions Super Star! Thank you!
If you scored below 100 point you might need to work on your missions’ acumen.
If you scored in negative numbers, be warry for the fleas of a thousand camels may infest your armpits in the coming days.

Ten Excuses on why you SHOULD NOT give to Missions.

1. If I gave to missions, I wouldn’t have my Starbucks money. I know that people are suffering in the world, but c’mon to start my day with a McDonald’s dollar coffee instead of a five dollar Starbucks Non-Fat Frappuccino With Extra Whipped Cream and Chocolate Sauce is suffering.

2.  I’m not cheerful. The Bible says you should be a “cheerful giver.” I’m not cheerful about anything. Oscar the Grouch seems like Miss Congeniality compared to me. Grumpy the Dwarf and I should be exempt from all giving.

3.  I heard if you give to missions you don’t care about your neighbors. I really care about my neighbors. I can’t remember the last time I talked to them, but they are really nice people.  At least, I think they are nice. They look nice, except for the little ugly one, what’s-his-name?  He was a goblin last Halloween or maybe he just looks that way. I can’t remember.  But I love my neighbors, so I can’t give to missions.

4.  I’m a little short on funds these days. I just paid for my three-week cruise (balcony suite, of course) to South America and my manicurist upped her weekly rate… AGAIN! Have you seen the price of caviar these days? Ridiculous.  I’m going to have to cut back.  I’d love to give, but it’s about priorities.

5.  Have you seen the new boat the Jones’ just purchased? They should give.  In fact, they should give double!

6.  I’m young. Let the old people give.

7.  I’m poor (compared to Matthew Stafford the Detroit Lions’ Quarterback). See if Matthew Stafford can stop throwing interceptions and instead throw some money toward missions.

8.  Missions? Jesus never said that we should “make disciples in all the world.” He did?   Well, Jesus never said to “care for the least of these.”  He did?   Jesus never said to “love your neighbor.”  He did? Umm… Jesus never said, “What does it profit a person to gain the world but lose your soul.” He did? Oops. Jesus never said, “Cut that guy in Michigan some slack he just doesn’t want to give any money.”  You’re right, Jesus never said that last one!

9.  If you were counting my excuses at home, you will notice that this is my final excuse and it is my ninth (not tenth) excuse of the Top Ten Excuses on Why You Should Not Give to Missions. Clearly, I can’t count.  If you can’t count, you shouldn’t give. Who knows you might give $10,000 to missions instead of the much-easier-on-the-bank-account ten bucks and boy oh boy, you don’t want to make that cheap skate, I mean, mistake!


I hope NONE OF US make any of the above excuses but ALL OF US prayerfully determine what the Lord would have us give to make a difference in the world.

Why Not Rio for the 2021 Nazarene General Assembly?

With the 2017 General Assembly in our rear-view mirror, can we start thinking about 2021? Is it just assumed the gathering will be held in Indianapolis? I like Indy. It’s a great city, but can I vote for someplace else?

75% of Nazarenes live outside of the United States, isn’t it time to seriously discuss having a General Assembly outside of the USA too?

In the past when the notion of holding a General Assembly outside of the USA is mentioned, Toronto, Canada seemed to be the first destination of choice. It’s clean, Canadians are generally nice people (unless you remind them that the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967) and technically it is not in the United States (I’ve heard that it’s a little too “American” for the “anywhere but North America” crowd, which I think bothers my Canadian friends who aren’t thrilled with such a descriptor.). I’ve also been told that there aren’t enough Nazarenes around Toronto to have the needed, money saving volunteers and that Toronto is an expensive city.

So, if Toronto is out of the running, why not Rio? Let me offer this disclaimer: I have never been to Rio de Janeiro. The Rio de Janeiro chamber of commerce did not pay me to write this blog. But the city has hosted an Olympics and a World Cup, so shouldn’t Rio also be able to handle a bunch of Nazarenes? We can’t be more trouble than soccer fans, can we?

With a little bit of checking this is what I discovered:

There are 17 Nazarene churches in Rio.  I think that should cover the volunteer quota.  There are plenty of Nazarenes in Brazil.

I checked on hotel costs. There are 27,000 hotel rooms in Rio (more than enough). The rooms seem priced quite a bit lower than in Indy. I think meals would be lower too.  Obviously, it would cost more to fly to Rio, instead of driving to Indy like I did in June, but the flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Rio is about the same ($100 more) as it is to Indianapolis. So the airfares are more (depending on your starting point), but daily expenses are less in Rio than Indianapolis.

Rio has a convention center. It has sporting arenas. It has a mission opportunity for “one heart many hands” too.  I’ve heard it’s a beautiful city.

People come from all over the world to General Assembly.  Would it be easier or more difficult for the delegates to get visas for Brazil? I don’t know the answer to that, but ask our delegates from Guatemala or the Philippines who ended up sitting at home during the General Assembly how easy it was to get a visa to come to Indy last summer. I’m not sure it would be more difficult (and maybe it would be easier).

Just like in Indy there would be costs in holding the Assembly in Rio.  Would those costs be more or less than Indy?  I have no idea.  I believe that the actual cost of a General Assembly is a secret held nearly as tight as the nuclear launch codes. No doubt there would be a cost to hosting the GA outside of the USA, and maybe it would be more.  But isn’t that the price of having a truly international church? With half of our General Superintendents born outside of the USA, let’s have our next General Assembly outside the 50 states too.

Why not Rio in 2021?