The Salvation Army is an international movement of faith – we are actively ministering in over 120 countries. When we think of our church family, we must include our brothers and sisters world-wide. We have a responsibility to support them as much as we can.
The Canada and Bermuda Territory has a rich history of supporting the Army’s World Missions through fundraising, prayer and the provision of reinforcement personnel. In 2013, let’s not only meet the territorial Partners in Mission target of $2.25 million, but surpass it.
Here are seven ways that you (and your corps) can support the Partners in Mission Appeal.
Stop and Save
A few years ago, Partners in Mission was known as the Self-Denial Appeal. Salvationists were encouraged to deny themselves certain luxuries, such as drinking coffee, eating chocolate and watching movies, and then set aside the money they would usually spend on these things for Self-Denial. What are you willing to sacrifice this year to help support Partners in Mission? You’d be surprised how much money you can save by giving up coffee or sweets.
In many countries, people need to survive on $2 a day. This year, choose a week where you will also live off $2 a day. Here’s how it works: take your biweekly income and divide it by two. Take $14 from that amount and put it in your pocket. See how far you can make that go over the course of the week (without jeopardizing your physical or financial health). Consider taking as large a portion of your remaining income for that week as you can afford and set it aside for Partners in Mission. This exercise will have deeper meaning if you pray in solidarity with the millions of people who have no choice but to try to survive on $2 a day.
Rally the Troops
Challenge your corps to support the Partners in Mission Appeal. Ask your leaders what their strategy is to promote the appeal. If there is no visible champion for this, offer to help organize your church’s campaign. Over the fundraising period, try to ensure that there is some connection to Partners in Mission each week. If you belong to a small group or corps section, encourage your fellow members to find ways to support the appeal as well.
As a corps or small group, set a financial target for the Partners in Mission Appeal. Rather than a small leadership team outlining what they think the target should be, decide as a congregation or a small group what you think is realistic and possible. This will foster ownership and accountability among all members. Post your target in a visible location in the corps building and track your progress. Rather than wait for one Sunday to give, encourage church members to submit their Partners in Mission offerings on a weekly basis.
Host an Ethnic Meal
As a congregation, join together for an international meal. Choose a country from our seven partner territories/commands (see page seven) and cook one of their traditional meals. If possible, invite a former missionary or a person from that country to share what life is like there and then have a time of prayer. Sell tickets for the meal, take up an offering and use this money for Partners in Mission.
Rather than relying solely on personal giving, Salvationists can organize special events to help raise funds for the Partners in Mission Appeal. Plan a walk-a-thon where people can ask their friends, co-workers and family members to sponsor them. Organize a bake sale or craft show to raise money. Youth can shovel snow or perform other chores for people in the community.
Commit to Prayer
In addition to making a financial commitment to Partners in Mission, challenge yourself and your corps to pray intentionally for other countries. The more that you learn about the world, and the more you support others in prayer, the greater the connection you will have with our brothers and sisters worldwide.
The Canada and Bermuda Territory is internationally known for its generosity. Let’s continue to show our financial commitment to the Partners in Mission Appeal as we strive to make the world a better place, and together say, “The world for God!”
For more fundraising ideas, or for other Partners in Mission or Salvation Army resources you can use in your Corps, please visit our partner site www.ministryhelps.ca.