Funding Alliance Ministries
The Christian and Missionary Alliance does not require its missionaries to raise their own support. Instead, missionaries and their ministries are financed through what we call The Great Commission Fund (GCF). C&MA church members and friends regularly give to this fund.
In Matthew 28:18-20, we read Christ’s charge for us to go to the whole world and make disciples of all peoples—His Commission to His followers. From its inception, The Alliance has taken this command seriously. It’s one thing that sets us apart from other missions-focused groups. Another unique part of being Alliance is giving to a central fund that allows our missionary team and other workers to minister without the hindrance of continually raising support.
How and why did the GCF come into being?
People in Alliance churches have practiced the grace of giving to missions since the first C&MA missionary was sent to Africa more than 100 years ago.
The Great Commission Fund (GCF) gives Alliance people the opportunity to reach a lost world with the hope of Jesus. It gives missionaries and other C&MA workers the freedom to answer their call to ministry without the worry of fund-raising.
The Great Commission Fund = Strength
Alliance missionaries, creative-access workers, and others do not raise their own support. Instead, they depend on God to supply their needs through the faithful giving of people in C&MA churches to the Great Commission Fund.
“The Great Commission Fund is a great one-fund system. It allows the missionary to focus on ministry rather than on fund-raising, while giving the church the opportunity to impact the world.” —Dr. David Presher, Centerville Community (Alliance) Church, Centerville, Ohio
The GCF supports
- missionaries and their families overseas
- workers in ethnic communities across the United States
- new church communities in nearly 60 countries and the United States
- creative-access workers in places where traditional missionaries cannot go
- training for church leaders
- discipleship ministries and evangelism training to empower lay leaders
- medical ministries, including care for people with HIV/AIDS
The advantages are great. The GCF…
- streamlines the process of placing missionaries and workers in the field
- frees those who serve as missionaries, creative-access workers, and others to concentrate on ministry instead of on fund-raising
- encourages a strong team spirit among overseas workers as they develop common goals and overall field strategies together
- ensures that well-qualified people, not just the best fund-raisers, are supported in ministry
- provides opportunities for local churches to partner with missionaries
The GCF provides missionaries with
- monthly income to live and support their families
- health and retirement benefits
- travel and ministry expenses
- education for their children
- language study
Additionally, church-multiplication and outreach ministries overseas are GCF supported. Theological schools and discipleship classes for future church leaders help to build a strong national church. And as it becomes difficult to place North American workers in creative-access countries, the GCF is helping to train national missionaries for service in those areas.
U.S. ministries are funded by the GCF
Included in the Church Ministries (CM) budget is Candidate Development, Missions Mobilization, Short-Term Missions, and Ministry Partnerships—all of which contribute directly to raising the level of involvement in missions through praying, giving, going, and sending.
U.S. church multiplication efforts ensure that new churches are continually planted in the United States, where an increasing percentage of the population has no church connection and no relationship with Jesus Christ. At the present time, more than 235 new church-multiplication projects are in some stage of development.
The GCF also supports
- Multicultural Ministries—church planting among “New Americans,” immigrants from around the world
- District leadership—salaries and benefits for district superintendents who lead their churches in the support of the C&MA’s mission and vision
- Discipleship multiplication—national directors who assist churches in making healthy disciples of all age groups
- Church Leadership Academy—leadership training through nontraditional approaches
The GCF funds administrative support ministries
The majority of GCF funds designated for administration at the C&MA National Office (9.2 percent shown in the chart at the right) goes toward supporting overseas work. Sixty percent of the Great Commission Fund goes directly toward missionary support. Sixteen percent supports work in the United States.
Whether through the local church or in places where Jesus’ name has never been spoken, the GCF provides for the following:
- developing healthy local churches through evangelism and discipleship
- identifying potential pastors, leaders, and missionaries
- managing resources
- providing logistical support for missionaries and workers
- telling the Alliance story through print, web, and video
- caring for the needs of Alliance workers
The vast majority of GCF dollars designated for fund development ultimately provide support for missionaries and workers overseas.
What else does the GCF fund?
The Alliance has a rich history of education in the United States and in many overseas mission fields. Our belief in and support of education is not merely a philosophical conviction. In dozens of countries, The Alliance has proven that theological schools are an effective tool for preparing national Christians for church leadership.
- Alliance churches worldwide benefit from quality education that trains leaders who are fully grounded in Alliance heritage, mission, vision, and convictions.
- Future church leaders who are trained in the deeper life and missions are able to disciple others and lead Great Commission churches.
- Financial support for theological education that is both practical and spiritual.
- Support for Alliance colleges and seminaries provides an opportunity to speak into the direction and curriculum of the schools.
- A new debt-forgiveness program for college and seminary education allows missionary candidates and other workers to move out into ministry sooner.
Financial challenges for the GCF
- The value of the dollar has dropped in comparison to the euro and other currencies, making even the basics of conducting ministry more expensive.
- Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed.
- Adjustments in missionary allowances were made to compensate for acute needs.
- Educational costs for missionary children have increased in recent years.
The GCF…part of what it means to be Alliance
The Great Commission Fund allows individual Alliance people to participate in outreach to the world. Supporting the GCF is an Alliance distinctive, part of what it means to be Alliance. In essence, the Great Commission Fund is your fund.
As part of the Alliance family, you have the great privilege of giving to the GCF. It’s your way to reach the world for Christ. You participate, along with thousands of other Alliance persons, in sending a team of missionaries and church planters who minister on your behalf.
What an awesome way to work together! What a fantastic opportunity to be involved in reaching lost people!
The Christian and Missionary Alliance is a registered non-profit in the State of Colorado and is an exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
Download a PDF of our full-color brochure on Funding Great Commission Ministries.
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