It is hard to believe that we are already well into the month of March in our new year. This month many churches around the denomination will start their Penny Crusade programs. However, churches may have their programs in whatever part of the year best fits their calendars. The importance of the program is not only to our Department of World Outreach, but also to local churches as they learn of and appreciate the ministries that are happening through our churches in the Advent Christian denomination.
I remember growing up participating in the Penny Crusades in our church in Savannah. We had competitions between teams in the church, men and women, young and old, but through all of it we learned about what our missionaries were doing around the world. Many times either during the weeks of Penny Crusade or throughout the year, missionaries would come to our church and share about their lives or how they were seeing God work in their communities in different parts of the world.
Today Penny Crusade brings those testimonies to all of our churches through videos from around the world. If you have not previewed the materials for this year’s Penny Crusade, “Alive” John 5:24, you really need to. These materials are great to use during the campaign or to share throughout the year. You can check them out online or call and request a folder with printed materials and a DVD you can use. In my last church we took eight months and had a Mission Sunday once a month to share the materials and keep our hearts focused on local and foreign missions.
I encourage you to be creative in sharing Penny Crusade with your congregations, if you need ideas, Trena Efird in our Department of World Outreach (1-800-676-069 ext. 211, firstname.lastname@example.org) has a folder full of ideas other churches have shared about how they got people excited about giving and participating in our work around the world. Penny Crusade is important in the support that it brings to fund our work of outreach here in the United States and on all our mission fields. It also lets people know about what is happening in missions and helps plants seeds in hearts about participating in short-term mission trips or becoming full-time missionaries.
If you are planning your Penny Crusade, please use all the materials including the bulletin inserts, the children’s lessons, the videos and the tools that are in the folder or online. Let’s make this a great year for supporting our mission fields. You can find all of the Penny Crusade material online at www.pennycrusade.com.