Tarred and Feathered for BGMC
By John & Heather Heiskell, BGMC Directors, First Assembly of God, Dallas, Georgia
In November 2013, we prayed that God would light a fire in our hearts for BGMC. We had attended our first BGMC Summit in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. There we heard firsthand from the missionaries about their needs, which gave us a new purpose. Beyond raising money for general missions, we became very specific in our mission, goals, and what we were asking God for. The results were an amazing jump from about $3,000 per year to $16,337 raised in 2014 and $13,271 in 2015.
In the beginning of 2016 we were asking ourselves, “Can we do it again?” We discussed a goal of $10,000 but then felt like God was telling us $15,000. We learned from the past that if we aim low, we would more than likely hit our mark. But if we were to reach high, it is amazing to watch God work. In addition to declaring our goal, we offered an incentive to the kids that they would be given the opportunity to tar and feather (pancake syrup and pillow feather) all five of us children’s church leaders on the day our goal was reached.
How we reached our goal is a reflection of the hearts of the people in our church. We did many practical things, such as collecting an offering on BGMC Sunday, offering adults the opportunity to match funds, and encouraging the kids to raise money on their own. But the true difference came when we focused on how many people are saved for every dollar given through various BGMC projects. Now instead of a “dollar amount” goal, we had a “people reached for Jesus” goal.
In a prior year, we made a video of one of the leaders jumping into a 40-degree swimming pool in February—all for only $20 for BGMC. The purpose was to explain that $20 given to BGMC equals 20 souls saved through our support of an AGWM ministry called Network 211. Educating and sharing specifics with the people in the church has boosted our BGMC support and offerings tremendously. Now when we help children count their Buddy Barrel offerings, we are asked, “How many people does that reach for Jesus?”
Earlier last year a good friend and prominent member in the church went to be with Jesus. He loved children and he loved missions. At his funeral, his wife decided that any money that came into the church in honor of her husband was to go toward our BGMC goal. Even during sad times of loss, this family was focused on reaching people for Jesus. They knew the money would be multiplied in reaching the lost through BGMC.
How we reached our goal in 2016 is a true reflection of the hearts of the people in our church who desire to reach people for Jesus. This, combined with focused prayer and full reliance on God’s direction, allowed us to rejoice with the kids again in 2016 as we remembered Matthew 19:26, “With God all things are possible.”
I pray this testimony will bring encouragement and motivation to each children’s leader as collectively we strive to live in God’s will and do what He has called us to do.
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