Raising money for Go Now Missions is a part of BSM culture. Each year we set a goal, which helps to send students on trips across the world on various mission projects. Then, we do all sorts of fundraisers (sometimes involving some crazy activities) to reach those goals. We hold fundraisers at local restaurants. We do boys vs. girls or small group competitions (often with prizes; often involving food). We've done bake sales. And each Wednesday night we pass around a jar in which people can drop donations.
Once each semester, we have a Wednesday night worship gathering set aside to focus on missions. This Spring, we invited Robert Hooker (who we Campus Missionaries all know and love) to speak about his experience as a missionary - specifically relying on the sacrificial giving of others to support his ministry.
We have noticed that while the fundraisers we hold raise some money, it really is not enough to meet our goal. The jar receives pocket change, but not sacrificial giving. Robert challenged the students to consider how they could give sacrificially, and he gave them some practical examples. He suggested that students could give up one meal a week and give the money they would have spent to missions, students can use the talents they have to raise money and students can choose to live more simply in order to give more generously.
This month, we held a competition to "make a cake" on the heads of the losing staff members (our director and part-time intern versus the two Campus Missionary Interns). Students put money into jars based on who they wanted the ingredients to bake a cake poured over their heads. Before Missions Night we had raised probably around $100. The night Robert spoke, students gave around $300. The next week, $1,300 was placed in those jars - this from just 50 students present at Wednesday night worship!
We don't expect $1,300 will be donated weekly from now on (though, if that is what God chooses to do here, we won't complain!), but we know the message Robert shared was taken to heart. Several of our students have shared their decisions to stop eating out as often so they can give more to Go Now. Some have built it into their budgets. Some have used the money they have made from part-time jobs or other opportunities to support missions instead of using the money for themselves.
We are seeing a shift from missions support coming from pocket change to true sacrificial giving. Our students are seeing the biblical basis for supporting missionaries and the eternal impact their money can have when it is used to spread the Gospel.
Kinsey Cline serves as a Go Now campus missionary intern at the University of Texas at Dallas.