Been to church?
That's a question that every Christian should ask him- or herself. Once we meet Jesus, and once we join together with other believers in our churches, what's next?
What does Paul mean when he writes in Ephesians 3:10 (NIV):
"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms..."
The answers have to do with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) in the context of the Great Commandment (Mark 12:29-31). Christians are working through the Wake the Sleeping Giant campaign to challenge churches across the U.S. to increase their outreach in Jesus' name. Following are some frequently asked questions that may come to mind as you consider whether to join us by making a financial contribution.
What exactly is “the sleeping giant”?
When we use the phrase, we are thinking of the church in the U.S.
If church members tithed in 2005, there would have been an additional
$168 billion available to
help a hurting world in Jesus’ name. Instead, on average, church members
gave about 2.6%. We don’t know our own strength and power for good!
time to wake up the sleeping giant!
should I give money to Wake the Sleeping Giant instead of my church?
Please understand, we are not asking you to give to Wake the Sleeping Giant
instead of your church. Wake the Sleeping Giant is asking for a gift over and
above your regular giving. The goal of an annual gift of $48 through the Discipleship Tree is very manageable for many Christians
who want to do more to help poor people around the world.
Don’t most churches already have their own missions work?
Nothing close to what they could or should be doing. In most churches,
less than 2¢ of every dollar goes for denominational overseas missions. Over
700 Protestant agencies combined had less to spend in a recent
year than the $5.9 billion potato chip
budget of the U.S. A congregation in Texas works to match every dollar they
spend on themselves with a dollar to help other people. And a congregation
in South Korea commits at least 60¢ of every dollar to help other people. So most of us can do much
Are you saying we should cut back on our current
church activities and help other people more?
No. Current church activities are the foundation on which to build.
We should keep those activities going. With our increased giving,
not spend more on ourselves. We should start helping other people in
Why should I let empty tomb pick which projects to fund?
empty tomb doesn’t “pick” certain projects to
fund. Its Mission Match program has general guidelines for missions projects it
will fund. Then the money
is available on a first-come, first-served basis. So really, the congregations
themselves “pick” the projects. As a contributor you are providing “seed
money,” i.e., an alarm clock, that prompts church people around the country to
begin thinking about doing more outreach to people who are hurting.
How does empty tomb, inc. combine its local works and the national
focus of Wake the Sleeping Giant/Discipleship Tree and Mission Match?
Jesus told the church to reach out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and
the whole world (Acts 1:8).
For us, Champaign County would be like Jerusalem and Judea. A lot
of good activity is already going on in Champaign County. Church people
deliver food, fix homes, share clothes and furniture free in Jesus’ name,
help people with bills and prescriptions. All these activities are
done through empty tomb’s local works. Other groups in the community do many
other fine outreach activities as well. And these are very, very important.
The goal of Wake the Sleeping Giant is to encourage more people across
the U.S. to also reach out to help others in Jesus’ name. By
ourselves, we in Champaign County can’t take on poverty in the
whole U.S. and around the globe (where the need is much greater). But
as part of a “team,” i.e., the body of Christ, we can work with
churches throughout the U.S. to love a hurting world in Jesus’ name.
Through Wake the Sleeping Giant, we’re like a coach calling the
team to a championship effort nationally!
Can you explain Mission Match in just a few words?
Wake the Sleeping Giant and its Discipleship Tree are empty tomb’s campaign to generate funds for mission projects.
Mission Match is empty tomb’s program for dispensing those funds. If a congregation wants to
expand their outreach to help people in Jesus’ name, Mission Match will match their dollars.
Here is how it works: A congregation applies for a specific amount. If the funds are available,
they are informed that they have a period of time to raise the money to match it. When the congregation tells empty tomb
they have matched the money, a check for the agreed-upon amount is sent to the congregation for their
designated missions project.
For more information about Mission Match, click here.
How do you know the churches that apply for money
spend it on what they tell
When a church applies, we ask them to give us a list of just what
the money will be spent on. Then, when they’ve raised the money
and we send the matching funds, we ask them to tell us in 15 days that
the money has been spent as they described, or return the money to
us. The churches have been very cooperative in providing information
on how the money was spent, and by sending information about what happened
as a result. As partners with these congregations, we think it’s
very important to receive this feedback!
But wouldn’t you think that Christians would be doing this on their own?
Sure. We’re richer than ever before, have more freedom, and
more information about need. Yet many congregations are cutting back
on their missions budgets.
Whatever the reason may be, that’s wrong behavior for people
who worship a God who loved the world so much that He gave his only
We can try to lay blame because people aren’t doing enough.
Or we can work to change it. We prefer to work to change it.
If you want more information about Mission Match, or some of the
church giving information that’s behind it, you might find
the following links useful.
Mission Match homepage
empty tomb’s Church Giving Data
Theological Implications: An exploration of word and deed, including
thoughts from Martin Luther and John Calvin.
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