I wish I could go into detail here, but unfortunately, I can’t. Maybe some day, but not now. But this is what is burning in my heart to publish today…
All I want to say is this: If God has blessed you financially and you have young people in your church who are doing a summer missions project, then find a way to offer them encouragement.
- If you church doesn’t “commend” summer students with prayer, then pull the student of your choice aside and offer to pray for them. AND:
- If your church does do a blanket financial donation, then slip the kid an extra $5 or a $10 bill and say, “This is for some need that may arise when you’re in the middle of the project.” Or, “This is for you to spend on something for yourself that you would have bought if you had stayed home working at a regular summer job.”
- If you church doesn’t do financial support for the student(s) then offer to make a more significant contribution to their airfare or field expenses through the mission agency involved.
- If that isn’t possible, offer to purchase something that the student needs for the following school year. This way you know exactly where your money went.
Your financial support, prayer support, overall interest and sincere encouragement would mean so much; and students are very aware when the older generation in the church isn’t aware or supportive of what they’re trying to do. Which can be somewhat bewildering. You don’t have to be a “youth culture” church to show that you value the young people in your congregation.
By doing this, you are investing in the lives of future Christian leaders, and are also breaking down the inter-generational walls that exist like a plague in so many churches. The money may not get spent in exactly the way it might have if you gave to a traditional missions project. But the encouragement factor will be 100% effective in the spiritual formation of a young person.