Our World Missions Offering, with a goal of $2 million, helps bring the Good News of Salvation to people around the world.
But it also brings the love of Christ to your neighbor up the street, to the kids at the local school, to a lonely shut-in longing for an hour of companionship.
The missions offering raises money for five different areas of ministry—from missionary work in distant lands to church plants across the U.S.; for Next Generation missions for Prestonwood students; partnerships with local ministries; and for PowerPoint Ministries, our broadcast ministry that reaches the world with the Word of God.
International Mission Board – 30 percent
The largest slice of the pie, 30 percent of the money donated, helps fund the work of the International Mission Board, said Minister of Missions Mobilization Josh Rolf.
“It lets us be involved in the lives of missionaries who are putting their lives on the line to take the Gospel to the most difficult places on earth,” Josh said. “The International Mission Board is laser-focused on the unreached peoples of the world.”
Prestonwood also has a partnership with a pastor in South Asia, an extremely dangerous place but one desperate for the truth of the Bible.
“In the last 10 months, that pastor has planted 150 churches,” Josh said, raising the total in that corner of the world from about 300 to 500 churches in less than a year. “That’s work that Prestonwood is directly involved in.”
Prestonwood sends six teams a year on short-term mission trips to help with that work.
A portion of the money from the missions offering “is used to bring in some of these pastors, to train them and create more Timothies, and they are transforming their communities,” Josh said.
Much of Christian mission work is a continuation of something someone else started, Josh said.
“But in this region (of South Asia), there’s no work there to build on,” he said. “We’re starting the fire in places where there’s never been fire before.”
Prestonwood also partners with a church member’s ministry in South Sudan, one of the most dangerous places in the world, Josh said.
“We come alongside them to help with the programs they started,” he said. “The money we give to that partnership is helping to plant churches for refugees who have been fleeing for their lives—dozens of churches, something like 100 in this last year alone.”
A portion of the World Missions Offering goes to these fledgling local congregations, Josh said, “helping to get the churches planted, but also building schools and water wells to help the entire community.”
National Church Planting – 15 percent
Prestonwood is deeply involved with church plants across the U.S. as well through our Prestonwood Network.
“The mission of the church is to glorify God, to introduce Jesus to as many people as possible,” said Teaching Pastor Jarrett Stephens. “We believe the way to reach the most people is through church planting in high population cities.
“We partner with these pastors and help them start churches,” he said. “We have a great partnership with the North American Mission Board, which assesses all of the church planners.
“We now have close to 40 church plants in almost every part of the country except the Southeast, and we have partners in New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta,” Jarrett said.
In most cases, he said, Prestonwood comes alongside a church that has already been planted.
“We are just one of a lot of supporters,” Jarrett said. “But from us they get a lot of coaching and prayer and mission teams. For a young church, prayer, mission teams and coaching are the top three things.”
Some of those churches eventually become part of the Prestonwood Network, which gives them access to Prestonwood and its ministry team, Senior Pastor Jack Graham’s leadership and his sermons, and retreats that take place four times a year, he said.
“They feel like they’re doing it on their own—that’s what most of these young pastors would say. But we have a relationship with them that provides support in all sorts of ways,” Jarrett said. “That’s a big part of what the network does.”
Missions Partnerships – 20 percent
In addition to international and national mission efforts, Prestonwood also provides help to ministries serving much closer to home through the World Missions Offering.
Carter Morris, a Prestonwood minister during the formative days of the North Campus, saw the needs of people all around him and left the church to serve as President and CEO of Grace Bridge, a charitable agency founded by Prestonwood member Charles Loper that provides food and other necessities, primarily in Collin County.
“When I left my staff role at Prestonwood, the church served right alongside of us,” said Carter, who attends the North Campus with his family. “And the people of Prestonwood have remained faithful.
“And really, over the last 24 months, we have seen the financial benefit of the missions offering, through disaster relief and by providing money for food at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It’s a multifaceted relationship, and it’s consistent,” Carter said. “We ask other churches in the area to make the same kind of commitment to us, because we can’t do what we do unless people are there to help.”
The vision for Grace Bridge was meeting physical needs —mostly through its food bank—and sharing the Gospel, he said.
“We want to ignite a revival among the people who serve with us, and in the people we serve,” Carter said.
Mike Beeson, Director of Local Missions, said following Jesus means reaching out to people both across the globe and up the street from where we live.
“We are to be the light of Christ in our community, across the nation and around the world,” he said. “To reach more and more people for Christ, we need to find like-minded ministries that are doing amazing work and become ministry partners with them.
“But we also go out and serve those in need. Christ commanded us to feed the poor, to take care of the needy, to pay attention to the widows and orphans,” Mike said, “in our community, throughout our nation and around the world.”
The World Missions Offering helps make that possible.
“Our ministry partners who receive funds annually from our World Missions Offering and other vehicles and receive our prayers serve as the hands and feet of our people,” he said, whether that’s on a mission trip to East Africa or an outreach to Celina.
“Without them, we’d just be a church in North Texas, and our reach would be severely minimized.”
In Mark 16:15, the risen Christ appeared to the 11 disciples and gave them the Great Commission: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
“In my mind,” Mike said, “when I hear ‘Go into all the world,’ I think of Nepal. But God’s command is no different in Carrollton or Calcutta.”
Next Generation Missions – 20 percent
While much of the mission money goes to agencies outside the walls of Prestonwood, the concept of serving others through mission work remains a key part of what this church does.
“In a very real sense, missions are integral to our kids who are growing up in the Lord,” said Minister to Students Clint Ivy. “It gives them the opportunity to go from being ‘a consumer’ when they go to church, and instead become the hands and feet of Jesus.”
Missions work gives students a chance to live out what the church and Student Ministry teach.
“You see so many kids who come to church for years, but then they go on their first mission trip, and they grab a hand and pray for another young person. And instead of just talking about it, or seeing it on a video, something clicks and they’re energized!
“It isn’t just knowing about Jesus, but really knowing Jesus,” Clint said.
Taylor Lunsford, a senior at Prestonwood Christian Academy, understands that perfectly.
“I’ve been on four international mission trips and a lot more in Texas,” she said. “I went to Uganda last year, and I’m going back again this year.
“One of my favorite things we get to do is work in the nutrition program. We help kids and their moms, we give them vitamins and run tests and really just try to restore them to health,” she said. “That’s kind of what I want to do.”
“Uganda,” she said, “is the perfect place for me to pursue what God has called me to do. I’m very much drawn to the Third World.”
So after she graduates from high school, she’ll go to the University of Arkansas to study nutrition.
“Every (college) major I thought about had something to do with missionary work,” Taylor said. “I know I want to do missions long term.
“And I’ll be back in Uganda in March!”
Missions are a key component of the Prestonwood Student Worship Ministry as well. Both the Junior High Choir and the High School Choir serve on mission—the Junior High during the spring, and the High School Choir in the summer. Sure, music is the centerpiece, but serving people in need is what stays with them for a lifetime.
“The Next Generation missions use the donations to subsidize students so they can participate in the mission of God,” Josh said. “It all rests on the next generation. So we try to take away the barriers so the students can participate in mission work, mostly through short-term ‘going’ opportunities.”
Broadcast Missions – 15 percent
The fifth component of the World Missions Offering is a little different than the others. PowerPoint Ministries, the broadcast ministry of our church, is both a worldwide evangelism tool and a means of discipleship that serves both beginning Christians and those who have been followers of Jesus for decades.
PowerPoint carries the Word of God from the Prestonwood pulpit to 92 different countries, including Russia and Iran; to 740 cities in the U.S. and abroad; and to thousands of unique online viewers every week.
“We give thanks for the faithfulness of the people, and for God’s blessings on PowerPoint,” said Scott Seal, Executive Director of PowerPoint Ministries.
It truly touches lives … including the life of this listener named Joyce who writes:
Pastor Graham, I just felt the need to let you know that the message you gave today is what I have needed for so long in my life. I have been away from the Lord for so long and yes, my body has hurt and I’ve been so unhappy and making everyone around me miserable.
But your message today hit home and I came back to my father Jesus, and with His help and prayer I want to be what He wants me to be. Thank you, Pastor, for loving the Lord and being His voice for this world. God bless you!
Another listener named Tiffany used a Facebook post to tell the world exactly what PowerPoint has meant to her family:
Please tell Pastor Graham he has changed my husband’s spiritual life and mine with his teachings. It has greatly strengthened our walk with God as individuals, spouses and parents.
My husband has Stage 4 lung cancer and we find strength and a connection to God in (Pastor Graham’s) sermons. I pray that Jack Graham has many more years in his ministry. May God bless him!
Published: Dec. 6, 2017
Author: Michael Young
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