The bottom line is: give to missions. However your church supports and gives to missions, you must personally do it — joyfully, liberally, and timely. It must not be an afterthought or “extra.” You do not get a “pass” because you are in ministry. You shouldn’t wait until you’re paid better, or you work yourself out of debt, or you’ve funded your “emergency fund.” You cannot expect anyone in your church to do any better in the area of giving to missions than you and your family are giving.

Give based on your gross income, not your net income. If you have multiple income streams in your family, give from the aggregate not just your individual income.

Give intentionally, thoughtfully, and planned. Giving out of emotional knee-jerk reactions to special appeals will not fund a consistent missions ministry of the church. Your model for giving, in both quality and quantity, is what your model is for the church.

It’s OK to talk about it, not brag about it. If it comes up, feel free to let others know about how you plan and prayerfully give to the missions efforts of your church. They want to know. They want to know what the pattern is. Be ready to answer that question, “How do you determine how much to give and when to give to missions?”

This area also means that you will have to speak up in staff and board meeting to defend the missions budget, its growth, generosity, and direction. You model both by what you do and by what you say to promote and steward missions funding. Ask questions; but check your motives to look for subtle turf or pride wars going on in your heart. Missions funding is not a zero-sum pie; a bigger slice going to missions, does not mean that God will not adequately fund other ministries in the church that may hold more interest for you. You might even have to curb your financial appetite for that ministry or outreach or limelight that has become the apple of your eye, your favorite vision, your pet project. Pray, think clearly, and model financial stewardship favoring missions outreach beyond the walls of you and your church’s reach in those meetings and in private conversation with your church leaders. They will notice.

God will bless your leadership through your modeling in the area of financial stewardship.