Here are some common alternatives:

Denominational Fund – the church, out of respect for and obligation to their denomination or fellowship of churches, gives the recommended percentage to the denominational mission or missions or fund. Often, an additional annual funding drive adds to the percentage included in the general budget.

General Budget – the congregation and/or leadership assign a dollar amount or percentage of the total budget to missions. Commonly, this represents a tithe, or 10%, of total giving. Many fall below that plateau; a very few aspire to 50%.

Faith Promise – this method was popularized in the 1970s. It may have different names, but uses the same concept. Congregants pledge an annual amount to give to missions by faith “over and above” their regular giving. One of the benefits is, done properly, it does not negatively impact the general budget giving or regular offerings. Often churches are surprised at how much they can give using this method.

Blended sourcing – part general budget and part faith promise. Churches who use this are tend to be transitioning from one of the above methods to the other. Yes, churches go in both directions.

======== 95% of churches that fund missions at all use one or more of the above means of funding ======

Project Pageant - projects and funding packages are presented to the congregation or a select group of funding - enthusiasts to prioritize by vote of some kind.

Personalized giving & tracking - the church doesn't support missions or missionaries corporately through the giving to the church at all; rather, the church encourages individuals to directly support the missions ministries or missionaries endorsed by the church and to report their giving to the church - which then claims corporate credit for the sum total.

Endowment - this is a great and extremely rare means of funding. Over time, with the right emphasis and approach, the church may be entrusted with funds through wills, trusts, foundations, corporations, bequests, etc. assets which are managed in order to produce investment, dividend, or interest income specifically for the support of missions.

Here are some other ideas as well:

  • designated giving
  • 5th Sunday giving
  • special fund-raisers, sales, craft shows
  • donation-based service projects

How does your church fund missions ministries?