by Shane Bennett (adapted by Doug Nichols)
Let's say you have some money lying around. Maybe it's, like, five whole dollars! Or, on the other end of the spectrum, let's just suppose it's a lot and growing every month. You feel the reality of the Jesus story in which the big guy drops some coin on his workers then takes off, leaving them to wrestle with making the most of their "talents." Whether we have a lot or a little, don't we want it to work for God's kingdom?
Two caveats about this list:1. It's not exhaustive. There are other good ways to spend your money. If you're inclined to share some of yours (ideas, not money) with the rest of us, we'd be honored.
2. I'm thinking broadly when I talk of using money in ways that contribute to the kingdom of God. I'm also thinking how I think, likely inferior to the way you think, which will probably cause you to think about some of the items on this list, "What? That's a dumb way to spend money!" No worries. That's your prerogative.
57 Ways to Put Your Money to Missions Use
1. Tell your favorite missionary you've got his/her vacation paid for this year.
2. Help a needy pastor in the Philippines attend a training conference.
3. Take a world missions course like Perspectives.
4. Pay for someone to take Perspectives with you.
5. Fly to a faraway place to encourage a missionary there.
6. Sponsor a local in ministry to street children.
7. Set up a scholarship fund for students in your culture and students in another culture.
8. Purchase a $60 Life Application Study Bible for only $14 for a needy pastor in the Philippines (CTEN).
9. Pay for Bibles to be put in the hands of some of the most under-evangelized people on the planet.
10. Sponsor a helpful training seminar in your church. How about Bridges?
11. Give your pastor an Amazon gift card and a list of 25 missions books you'd recommend.
12. Pay for a professional photo for a young missions speaker/writer.
13. Donate a good used laptop computer for needy pastors in the Philippines.
14. Scholarship a TESOL program for a worker.
15. Help fund a refugee care ministry in Europe or the US. Serve some Syrians.
16. Send four bright college friends to Urbana 2015.
17. Upgrade a mission worker's phone. Or car!
18. Pay for dental work for a cross-cultural worker.
19. Capitalize a micro-loan project.
20. Invest in a business-as-mission worker by underwriting their visa, registration, licensing, and office lease.
21. Buy homeschooling curriculum for workers who use it. And a case for iPads.
22. Pay for surgery and rehabilitation for kids overseas with birth defects.
23. Fund adoptions for parents who want the kids no one else wants.
24. Cover the cost ($18) for a street child to attend a two-day camp in the Philippines (GROW).
25. Pay for a willing pastor to go on a vision trip to someplace.
26. Cover a week-long retreat for a cross-cultural worker.
27. Publish a beautiful prayer guide for an unengaged people group.
28. Cover the cost ($21)for a poor child to attend a Christian School in Manila for one year
29. Give a monetary gift to an older missionary. He/She may have had a drop in support.
30. Get a small gift for a worker through forafriend.com.
31. Cover a year's subscription to calledtogether.us for a single missionary.
32. Help launch the innovative funding site, buck4good.com.
33. Buy sub-zero sleeping bags for people who are truly homeless. Think "warmth for the weary."
34. Pick a local family in need and once a month send a care package based on their individual needs.
35. Contribute to an organization rebuilding homes after a hurricane/typhoon or other disaster.
36. Purchase a life insurance policy and make your favorite mission agency the beneficiary.
37. Buy a water filtration system each year to send to those who do not have clean water. Stop wasting resources buying bottled water.
38. Hand out bug spray and sunscreen to homeless families.
39. Give money to a micro-finance organization in Uganda or anywhere that gives small personal loans to help people start businesses and escape the bondage of poverty.
40. Buy sewing machines to teach refugees to be seamstresses.
41. Give $5 or $10 gift cards as an encouragement to someone you see serving others.
42. Offer to buy school supplies for kids who need them in the Philippines (GROW).
43. Pay for a child to attend church camp.
44. Donate Christian games, movies, comic books, or toys to a children’s hospital overseas.
45. Pay for the person behind you in a fast-food drive through.
46. Give gift cards for gas and food, coins for vending machines, and notes of encouragement to families of children with cancer.
47. Help a missionary pay off school debt so they can serve cross-culturally (check out the Go Fund).
48. Plant a fruit or shade tree.
49. Buy a bed for an orphan. See Sweet Sleep.
50. Donate to buy some Drinkable Books.
51. Support the venerable Operation Christmas Child.
52. Give to those who minister to those in ministry.
53. Fund and mentor a child or teen who wants to start a business.
54. Donate money for food for hungry kids (GROW).
55. Buy, assemble, and distribute hygiene kits for homeless people in your area.
56. Send video tech to a worker friend at the ends of the earth to help her tell great stories of God's work in her midst.
57. Donate a bike to help an Indian pastor see more people.
You probably have another idea, a better idea, and a better place to execute one these ideas. Please share with the rest of us.
Join me in praying that God would shower financial resources on us in huge, wonderful surprising ways. Ask him for the grace to give hugely, joyfully, and strategically toward the advance of his kingdom to the Earth.