FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. “WHY DO WE HAVE A THANKSGIVING OFFERING?”
We have a Thanksgiving Offering because WE NEED IT for the coming year to supply the financial commitments we have made to our missionaries for the services and benefits we provide from the General Fund.
2. “WHY IS THE THANKSGIVING OFFERING SO IMPORTANT?”
The Thanksgiving Offering is ESSENTIAL because it is the only source of funds for supplying our missionaries’ needs during the coming year. All of the commitments we make to our missionaries are supplied from the General Fund – and the Thanksgiving Offering funds are the only available resources to provide many of those benefits.
3. “WHAT SERVICES AND BENEFITS DOES THE THANKSGIVING OFFERING PROVIDE?”
The Thanksgiving Offering enables us to provide the services and benefits we have committed to our missionaries “as the Lord provides.” These benefits include:
- reimbursements for missionaries’ Furlough (Home Assignment) airfare/transportation expenses to and from the field
- reimbursements for their hospitalization personal deductibles for the year (their personal deductible is $1000 and we reimburse them $600 of that amount)
- children’s school/education expenses (if funds are available)
- expenses for mailing The Mission Sheets (missionaries’ monthly letters, reports, updates — and detailed report of all offerings given through BFM that month)
- expenses for maintaining Stateside office for communication and daily services – there are a lot of activities that go on Stateside to keep our missionaries functioning on their fields of service
- providing and maintaining a Furlough Home in Lexington for those missionaries who choose to use it
4. “HOW ELSE IS THE GENERAL FUND SUPPLIED?”
The standard supply for the General Fund is from monthly offerings which are given to the General Fund. These offerings are listed monthly in the Mission Sheets under “General Fund”. These monthly General Fund offerings are used to supply the “Essential Maintenance Transactions” [EMT] which we have committed to the missionaries for their standard essential monthly expenses. These include:
- their monthly salary
- their monthly standard housing allowance
- their monthly standard ministry allowance
- their monthly hospitalization premium
- expenses for printing The Mission Sheets – their monthly newsletters, reports, and updates
Note: these monthly “Essential Maintenance Transactions” are not supplied from Thanksgiving Offering funds – but from the monthly offerings given to the General Fund.
Note 2: For detailed explanations of how our missionaries’ ministries are funded, please access our two brochures “Baptist Faith Missions” and “Caring for those who care for the world” on our website (baptistfaithmissions.org), click on FaithWorks Blog and open the thumbnail brochure icons on the right margin.
5. “WHY IS THE THANKSGIVING OFFERING GIVEN AT THE THANKSGIVING SEASON?”
- The BFM Thanksgiving Offering began many years ago in conjunction with the annual Thanksgiving Missionary Conference in the Detroit-area and has continued that way to this day.
- Also, the Thanksgiving season is good reminder of the thanks we owe God for His Indescribable Gift in Jesus Christ – and our Thanksgiving Offering is a good way to express that thanks.
- And, the Thanksgiving season and Offering is a good occasion for us to give missionary offerings so others, also, may hear the blessed Good News of salvation through Christ…and, in this way, MULTIPLY STILL MORE THANKSGIVINGS TO GOD.
6. “HOW CAN I GIVE MY THANKSGIVING OFFERING?”
If your church receives a Thanksgiving Offering for the missionaries supported through BFM, then we encourage you to give your offering through your church. Most of the Thanksgiving Offerings which are given by churches are made up by the voluntary offerings of individual members who give to the Offering. Pastors, we encourage you to give your church the opportunity to contribute to our BFM Thanksgiving Offering.
7. “WHAT IF MY CHURCH DOES NOT RECEIVE A BFM THANKSGIVING OFFERING?”
If your church does not participate in the Thanksgiving Offering, you may send your personal gift to the Treasurer of BFM and designate it “Thanksgiving Offering.” (Baptist Faith Missions / Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer / P.O. Box 471280 / Lake Monroe FL 32747-1280)
8. “CAN I GIVE MY THANKSGIVING OFFERING ONLY AT THANKSGIVING…OR DURING NOVEMBER?”
No. Most churches and individual Friends of BFM give on or around Thanksgiving Sunday (either the Sunday before or after Thanksgiving Day). However, offerings continue to come in to the Treasurer during the month of December, and sometimes on into the next year. You can give your Thanksgiving Offering any time. But, all offerings designated “Thanksgiving Offering” go toward the same collective Offering for that year.
9. “HOW IS THE “EVERY FRIEND A GIVING FRIEND” PERSONAL GIVING MINISTRY PERTINENT TO THE THANKSGIVING OFFERING?”
We introduced the “EVERY FRIEND A GIVING FRIEND” ministry and plan during the 2003 Thanksgiving Conference. “Every Friend a Giving Friend” encourages each of our missionaries’ friends to personally participate in regular giving to the General Fund. This plan is nothing new or unique; it is just another way to express and articulate what the Friends of BFM have been doing since the inception of the Mission.
It is also patterned after the instructions Paul gives us in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9: that is,
- to purpose in your heart to give an offering (9:7)
- to give as generous an offering as God enables you (8:1-3 & 9:6)
- to ask God – and trust Him – to supply you with the funds you will need to give the offering (9:8)
- to plan and begin preparing even a year ahead of time (as Paul instructed the Corinthians and the other churches to do) (8:10-11 & 9:2)
- to give your offerings to the Lord and to the Lord’s missionaries willingly and cheerfully (9:7)
- to express your love and obedience to the Lord (8:8 & 9:13)
- to give as your response to Jesus Christ’s grace and gift of Himself to you (8:9 & 9:15)
We encourage every Friend of BFM to be a Giving Friend and give a personal
Thanksgiving Offering to help supply our missionaries’ needs which are met through the General Fund.
“EVERY FRIEND A GIVING FRIEND” also challenges each Friend of BFM to personally participate in missions by giving monthly offerings over and above the regular tithes and offerings you give to your church to meet the needs of your local church’s ministries. We encourage each Giving Friend to make a personal commitment to either begin giving or increase your giving each month to the General Fund.
10. “WHY DO YOU SET GOALS FOR THE THANKSGIVING OFFERING?”
We set goals because the goal amount is keyed to the projected needs we expect to meet for the coming year of missionary ministry. And, when we increase the commitments, services, and benefits we need to give our missionaries so they can fulfill their ministries, our needs for the necessary funds increase also. And, please remember with us that we cannot approve and commit to increasing the modest support we give our missionaries unless we believe the Lord will supply those funds through your giving.
OUR 2015 THANKSGIVING OFFERING GOAL IS $55,000.00.
Would you please pray and ask the Lord of the Harvest what he would have you give to this year’s Thanksgiving Offering? And then ask Him also to supply you with that gift from his inexhaustible resources of Grace?
Thank You, GIVING FRIENDS!
You can give your Thanksgiving Offering either through your church’s offering, or by mailing your personal check to our Treasurer, or by giving online through our website www.baptistfaithmissions.org ‘Donate/Support’ tab and typing in Thanksgiving Offering in the memo field.