First-time givers help push missions offering past goal

Over 430 first-time givers contributed to Houston’s First Baptist Church’s missions offering this year.

HFBC had a goal to give $1,400,000 to missions through the offering. Once it was counted, gifts totaled $2,628,946 — a new record for the church and more than $1,200,000 over the goal. The funding came from 2,820 donors.

One million dollars of the offering was given to the International Mission Board.

While the offering was originally set to be collected at the end of February, the church postponed it to help those impacted by the winter storm that devastated Texas earlier this year. The 2021 offering was collected on Palm Sunday.

Houston’s First Baptist is a large church in a large community. But a commitment to sacrificial missions giving doesn’t require a large church, said missions pastor Clark Reynolds.

“Every church has a role to play, large or small.”

Reynolds added, “We have a God who blesses us with more than we could ever ask. He takes a willing heart and uses it for His purposes. Large or small church, it doesn’t matter.”

Terri Toy, a member at HFBC, agreed. “Whether you’re in a big church or a small church, God gives each of us resources to use, and we’re to be faithful in stewarding those resources well.”

The church’s commitment to missions goes beyond financial, however. Each non-pandemic year, around 30 short-term mission teams are sent to more than 12 countries spanning five continents.

“Every nation is going to be represented around the throne. That’s really what missions is all about,” Clark explained. “And that’s what we get to see when we take a mission trip. We see a representation here on earth of what it’s going to look like in heaven.”

Although HFBC is committed to seeing the nations reached, financially and through short-term mission participation overseas, they understand that a love for missions  includes their own community.

With the diversity Houston provides, “we have the ability to reach out to the nations without even leaving our city,” Toy shared.

Clark explained that many of HFBC’s ministries center on internationals, including faith centers that reach out to various people groups in Houston and apartment ministries committed to refugees in the city.

“We have an active role in fulfilling the Great Commission, and there’s no higher calling than that,” Clark continued. “Jesus was very clear about our task. The task is not finished, so we look to the future to keep going until Christ returns.”

Toy encouraged, “Once you get involved in serving in missions, you might just be hooked for life.”