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MISSIONARY OFFERING

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GIVE GOD YOUR MISSIONARY OFFERING

Scriptures: Malachi 3:8, Acts 13:1–3, Philippians 4:10–20

Memory verse: Philippians 4:18
"They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."

Lead—In

Today our study deals with the privilege of giving an offering. We have studied about giving a tithe, so how is an offering different than a tithe? Malachi 3:8 speaks of a "tithe" and "offering." (Ask a student to read Malachi 3:8.)

An offering is defined as "something offered as a gift or contribution." God's tithe is due to Him; it belongs to Him. But, an offering is something we give in addition to our tithe. The amount of the offering and the reason for which we give it is our choice—whatever we decide.

For instances, each of you as students are required to pay a school fee. The amount and the time for the payment is a determination over which you have no control. However, at lunchtime, when you are buying some food from a vendor, you may notice another student who has no money to buy food. Recognizing his or her need, you offer to buy food for them. This is an offering because you made the choice without anyone demanding that you do it.

Ask: Are there other examples that show the difference between giving something that is required or something that is voluntary? (Allow responses.)

Missionary

A "missionary" is a believer in Christ SENT to preach the gospel to people who speak a different language (tribe, people, nation). All of us are to be "messengers" who share the gospel with others, especially those from another tribe. We do this within the context of our normal, daily life.

However, a missionary is selected by the church, assigned to live among a particular unreached tribe, learn the language and present the gospel to them—and the church gives the missionary money to accomplish this task.

We, the church members, who give this money to support the missionary do so voluntarily. Our tithe goes to the church, so what we give to the missionary is above our tithe—an amount we give as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Missionary Work

A missionary is sent by the church to preach the gospel and establish a church in a different tribe. The tribe, speaking a different language, may be located within the borders of the missionary’s country or in another country.

The missionary will lead individuals to faith in Jesus Christ and form a local church or fellowship. He disciples and baptizes the new converts. The missionary begins to train the converts for leadership positions within the church. They will need Bibles and other training materials.

The new group of believers will show compassion to those around them who are suffering. Perhaps the missionary's home church will decide to build a medical clinic or school to assist the community. All of these projects take money. So, the pastor may ask for an offering to assist this ministry. We call this a "missionary offering."

(In preparation for this lesson, ask your pastor if the national church has appointed missionaries that they have funded and sent. Also, ask if your church gives money to assist with the missionary's expenses. Share that information with the students at this time.)

The Apostle Paul was a Missionary

The apostle Paul and Barnabas were selected by the church at Antioch and sent out as missionaries. (Ask a student to read Acts 13:1-3). Paul led three missionary teams and established many churches in various areas—from Antioch to Rome.

The church at Antioch was Paul's sending church and assisted him with money for his three missionary journeys. Also, new churches that had been established assisted too. One of those new churches was the church at Philippi. They loved Paul and were careful to show that love by supporting him—helping to meet his personal needs.

Paul's Comments about Missionary Offerings

(Read for the students Philippians 4:10-20.)

Verse 10 reads: "Opportunity to show it."

Paul recognized that people want to give missionary offerings but sometimes they do not have the opportunity to do so. Because Paul was often in prison, the Philippians found it difficult to give to his needs, but they were creative and found ways to provide for him.

Verse 15 mentions: "You sent me aid more than once."

The Philippians gave offerings to Paul on a regular basis. They did not forget about him. Rather, they faithfully gave—again and again.

Verse 18 says: "They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God." (Say the memory verse together.)

The offerings were enjoyed by Paul. The offerings were given sacrificial. God was pleased with the Philippians generosity and partnership with Paul.

Givers of Missionary Offerings are Blessed

Verse 17 tells us Paul appreciated the offering but also desired that "More be credited to your account."

All believers have accounts in heaven. God records every missionary offering in the giver’s account. This record will be a blessing throughout eternity.

Verse 19 declares: "God will meet all your needs."

A faithful, observing God always provides for faithful givers.

Accepting God's Word

Missionaries are called to go. All believers are called to send. Both are necessary in order to fulfil God's good purpose. The missionary and the sender participate as partners in advancing the gospel.

Ask: Why do missionaries go and believers send them? (Allow responses.)

The ultimate purpose for going and giving is: "To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Philippians 4:20).

(Discuss with the students how they can give missionary offerings. Perhaps there is a missionary your pastor could suggest as a person to whom an offering could be given. Or, perhaps, as their teacher, you could select a tribe that needs to hear about Jesus. Then the students could go as a group to witness to them. Money could be given to pay for transportation and food. Be creative and let the Holy Spirit lead you.)

Present the information given below about Nigerian Fulani tribe in Chad.

Meet the Nigerian Fulani

The Nigerian Fulani are primarily cattle herders in the Savannah regions. They generally migrate between two locations, one for dry season and one for rainy season. They highly value their cattle and migrate to find grass and to avoid insects harmful to their cattle.

They live in small family units in "wuro's" (compounds) away from other families. They practice a mixture of traditional religion and Islam. They have very limited access to much needed medical and veterinary treatment. Neither do they have much access to schools or churches. 

A type of Islam destructive to their culture is rapidly spreading among them. They need messengers willing to live among them, learning the language well, and presenting the gospel.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Nigerian Fulani tribe in Chad

1. Messengers find ways to contact the nomadic Fulani,
2. Messengers enabled by the Holy Spirit to convince Fulani that Jesus has provided salvation for them,
3. Messengers take necessary time to disciple new Fulani converts.

Prayer Promise

"Therefore go and make disciple of all nations (tribes)" (Matthew 28:19).

MORE INFORMATION: www.joshuaproject.net

Remember: GIVE GOD YOUR MISSIONARY OFFERING

Memory verse: Philippians 4:18
"They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."

1. I will give my tithe and offerings to the Lord.
2. Missionaries are the ones sent to preach the gospel among other tribes.
3. I will be the missionaries' partner by giving offerings to support them.

Pray for Nigerian Fulani tribe in Chad.

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Study 11| Give to God / Paul Writes | africaatts.org/go-teach

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