Frequently Asked Questions
Introduction and FAQ
Our English District is launching a new model for funding missions to which every congregation is invited to participate. It is completely voluntary but we believe that as God’s people see and hear what is being accomplished specifically and directly in support and development of new missions and enhancing existing missions, more and more of us will want to be involved.
This funding model is based on the belief that "there is power and strength in many giving a little." Loving our neighbor includes caring for their spiritual well-being. This is why the need exists for God’s people to come together in support of missions that are bearing kingdom fruit.
For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" - (Romans 10:13-15).
It's simple. Very simple. It is NOT burdensome, nor sacrificial. It involves every baptized member of the Body of Jesus in your congregation, from the newest baby baptized to the oldest member. It demonstrates the power of the beautiful body of Christ working together, prompted by faith. It shows how much can be accomplished by many, giving little.
Here's the plan:
$1/per baptized member/per week
Simple, right? Self-explanatory almost. Not burdensome, nor sacrificial. All can participate.
If every baptized member of our district congregations did ONLY this plan, we could produce $2.5 million in addition to our district’s total budget of $1.8 million. The numbers are staggering. Just think about what else we could do!
1. What is A Dollar for Missions?
It is a simple mission funding model every English District congregation is being invited to join in on. Each baptized member is asked to give one dollar extra per week. $1/per member/per week. Thus, "1-1-1".
2. Why is A Dollar for Missions necessary?
Often members of our District believe or say we can't support new missions or missionaries because of lack of funds. This simple funding model would provide enough money to fund most missions we would like to start. This funding model allows us to dream big together.
3. Is this $1 included in the members’ regular stewardship giving?
No. This is $1 extra given every week. Please don't subtract a dollar from anywhere else.
4. Why are baptized children also included and not just communicant members?
They are members of the body of Christ. Their parents can give the dollar for them. This model incorporates the whole Body of Christ working together. Letting young children put their dollar in the mission collection box teaches them from an early age to be involved in the support of missions.
5. Are these extra dollars for missions used in the local congregation?
No. The purpose of this funding model is to gather dollars for missions outside of the local congregation or community. The English District will select the missions that will receive these extra dollars. Each congregation, through their regular ministry offerings, is best suited to support and work in their local community. As part of the larger body of Christ, the Church, your participation can make a real and significant impact outside your community.
6. How much could be generated through A Dollar for Missions?
With the current baptized membership of the English District congregations, roughly $2.5 million extra could be collected for missions. While 100% participation would be wonderful it is more realistic to be thinking about a 50% participation rate from our English District baptized membership.
7. Is it realistic to expect that much?
We are affluent people. And this is a voluntary funding model. Maximum participation means more dollars, but even though not all participate, those who do will generate much. There is power and strength in many giving a little! Even if only 50% of our baptized members participate $1.25 million extra would be available for missions. Don't let the thought that not everyone will participate stop your congregation from participating. Not only is there power and strength in many giving, but there is also joy when you give! Fear should not stop us.
8. Might other districts adopt this model?
It is hoped that other districts will see and follow this funding model. The more districts that participate the more funding there will be for missions touching lives with the Gospel of Jesus.
Using this simple mission funding model, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) would raise $105 million extra for selected missions every year. At only 50% participation that's still $52.5 million extra.
9. Our congregation’s budget has a line item titled, District Missions. Is A Dollar for Missions different from this budgetary giving?
The funds that we give together to A Dollar for Missions are given over and above our regular District gifts, not as a replacement of them.
10. I thought the money we regularly send to District is mission money?
It is, in that a portion of all of our District giving goes toward mission endeavors of the District. The gifts received through A Dollar for Missions are meant to extend beyond what we normally do, in order to quickly and joyfully meet the needs of the harvest fields before us, both in North America and also around the world.
11. Are there resources available to assist us in starting and promoting A Dollar for Missions in our congregation?
Yes. The Lutheran Church of the Prince of Peace in Menomonee Falls, WI is our flagship congregation for A Dollar for Missions. From Easter 2017 through Easter 2018 they piloted this funding model in their congregation. They have shared worship folder announcements, newsletter articles, and even the design of the collection box that sits in their lobby as resources for all congregations. Our plan is that as other congregations promote and participate in A Dollar for Missions we will add additional resources that will be accessible through our District website.
Prince of Peace did not see 100% participation from their baptized membership. They had 50% participation.
12. How often do we submit A Dollar for Missions funds received from God's people to the District office?
We suggest forwarding A Dollar for Missions gifts to the District office once a quarter or twice a year. However, we do recognize that each congregation may have a process for submitting funds to the District and this established process can be used with A Dollar for Missions gifts as well.
13. Will there be regular feedback provided to District congregations on both the income and disbursement of the gathered A Dollar for Missions funds?
Yes. We are committed to full transparency for A Dollar for Missions. We have not yet developed what form that feedback will take but we do have plans to make use of Servant to Servant, our District’s weekly e-newsletter, and are seeking to develop an online presence in social media. There will also be regular reports to our District Board of Directors at its meetings.
14. Will there be a statistical report shared with our District congregations that provides encouragement and information as we are participating in A Dollar for Missions together?
Yes. We are committed to full transparency for A Dollar for Missions. We will be developing metrics with methods for counting what we value in A Dollar for Missions. If there are specific statistical data that you feel would be of value please make us aware of it.
15. How are new missions to be supported selected?
Our current Bishop makes the final selection. He desires and is open to input and support from the Mission Executive, from the Missions Council, and from a variety of other sources in finalizing these selections. It has always been the intention of 1-1-1 that the selections are made from the Bishop’s office.
16. What is the role of the Missions Council in 1-1-1?
It is important to remember that the Missions Council does not start new mission or ministry but their role is to be supporters, equippers, encouragers, and resource sharers concerning missions supported by 1-1-1 and our District Mission Budget. This support may be expressed in time, giftedness, and finances.
17. Who is directly accountable for managing and reporting about A Dollar for Missions?
In our English District, our President/Bishop is always the one ultimately accountable and responsible directly to our English District Board of Directors. He can assign responsibility to others on his staff or one of the several committees he has established. In this case, the President/Bishop has assigned responsibility for A Dollar for Missions to our District Mission Executive, Rev. Derek Mathers, and our Missions Council chaired by Rev. Justin Laughridge.
18. How can our congregation obtain more information about a specific mission A Dollar for Missions is funding?
Information about the current missions being funded, including background, directions, celebrated accomplishments, individuals on-site, events, and prayer requests for the mission will be available through our District website. This information will be kept current and up-to-date.
19. Is there a way for individuals to help a specific mission beyond giving A Dollar for Missions?
In addition to information about each mission being funded, opportunities for personal involvement in these missions will also be available on our District website. To become involved in these opportunities we invite and encourage individuals and congregations to contact the mission directly. That contact information will be available on our District website.
20. How much funding is needed to get our first two mission efforts fully funded?
Our current North American Mission is Concordia Lutheran Mission in Lebanon, PA. $25,000 is needed to fully fund this new mission congregation.
Our current international mission is the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission in Santiago, Dominican Republic. $30,000 is needed to fully fund this mission of which our English District is a managing partner.
The next missions to be funded are being established and suggestions are welcome and also encouraged.
21. Are all the missions selected starting at once or is there a priority?
The design of A Dollar for Missions is to fully fund two missions at a time. We want to avoid having five or six missions being funded at the same time and then be unable, for whatever reason, to fully fund them all. The priority will be two missions at a time, one North American mission and one international mission.
22. How can we share the real stories about what is happening because of A Dollar for Missions in our congregation, both the good and the not so good?
These stories and communications are very important to our District as we work together. These stories and communications can be forwarded to our District Mission Executive, Pastor Derek Mathers.
23. Can an individual’s offering for A Dollar for Missions be made in a periodic lump sum?
We encourage participating individuals to utilize the dollar a week theme when they donate. A single check for $52 in lieu of a dollar each week is not in line with one of our stated outcomes which is to support a mission and stewardship lifestyle—the power and strength of many giving a little. However, these are suggested guidelines. In the context of every congregation, there are unique variables. For example, home-bound members might desire to participate. In that situation, a lump sum might make their participation easier.
24. I would like to receive a tax receipt for my gift to A Dollar for Missions. Is this possible?
For members that would rather not put their dollar directly into the collection box, the congregation can provide envelopes into which those members who wish to have their donation credited for tax purposes can place their donation. They will need to indicate their name and address or General Fund offering envelope number on the envelope.
In a couple of English District congregations where leadership and pastor have already activated A Dollar for Missions, donation credit is working very smoothly in several different ways and members are delighted to give in response to God's grace.
25. If a person misses a week, do they have to make it up the next week?
There is no such requirement. An individual’s participation in A Dollar for Missions is completely voluntary and they are free to do as they desire. If for some reason, a person is unable to attend church and wants to make up for those Sundays missed, they are welcome to add those missed dollars the next time they attend.
26. What are the criteria for missions to be funded?
A Dollar for Missions funding model is being encouraged so more people outside the Kingdom of God have the opportunity to hear the Good News, more people are baptized and taught, and more congregations planted.
Proposed missions will need to have a workable strategic plan, clearly defined and accountable leadership, and be willing to provide regular reports on the accomplishments of the mission.
27. What kind of donation box works well?
Any ballot or donation type box for receiving Dollars for Missions will work. Congregations are encouraged to be creative in making a special display in a high traffic area of the church. A clear, transparent box has been used in several locations. A clear house-shaped box can be found via a web search.
28. A Dollar for Missions is characterized as “not sacrificial.” Why? Shouldn’t we give “sacrificially?”
A Dollar for Missions is not the only, or even primary, way that the members of our congregations give their offerings to the Lord. "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). In other words, “not sacrificial” means that asking for an extra dollar per week should not be considered a burden. It is assumed that members support the work of their local congregation and ministries through their regular offerings and giving. Many people do give “sacrificially,” that is, as much as they are able, and even beyond their ability. It is also true that many people give little or even nothing to the church. This model of “extra” giving helps pastors and people talk about stewardship in general, and how we give, and for what purposes.
29. As we have questions, who do we contact for more information?
Questions are always openly welcomed.
The first person to contact would be our District Mission Executive, Pastor Derek Mathers.
The second person to contact would be Pastor Justin Laughridge (Chair of the Missions Council).
Either of these individuals will be happy to hear from you.