It’s Called Ethics


It’s called“ETHICS”

by Bill Burkett

1. ALWAYS receive the missionary offering for a guest missionary AFTER he has finished speaking. Because;
a. Some people have never met him and want to know what they are giving to.
b. Every time you have a missionary he will have a new project to present.
c. His message will inspire them to give more … that’s healthy for your church.
d. God blesses the church that gives (Luke 6:36). The more you give the more your church is able to help evangelize through that and other missionary ministries.
e. After they hear him they may wish they could get their money back!

2. NEVER laud and talk about other missionaries with a missionary sitting on your platform. Make that missionary feel like he is the man of the hour! The ethical thing is to do all you can to make your guest the person of honor. It’s not good manners to brag about another missionary or read another missionary’s letter when it is his service – make the brother/sister the important missionary of that service. The only exception is on the occasion of missionary conventions where there may be two or more missionaries on the program. Don’t throw them all into the same mix. Single each man out and give each missionary his own time to speak and his own place of honor.

3. NEVER drop a missionary’s support without being kind and thoughtful (and ethical) about it in a good Christian spirit. Missionaries have a heart and feelings just like the rest of us. As soon as you decide to stop supporting a missionary for any reason, it is the Christ-like thing to send a letter of intention to that missionary and explain to him that you will be ending the support and the date the last support. This gives that missionary at least a window of time to replace that support. I advise three ways to end it in a proper way; –
a – To notify him that his support will continue for three months giving him at least three months of assurance; –
b – Ending it the end of that year or,-

c – when he/she returns home on furlough thus giving him notice he must replace your support when he returns home but he is assured of your support until he returns to the States. The only exception to these rules is when a missionary makes a serious misstep in behavior or doctrine that requires immediate end of support.

4. Consider the rising costs of living and review the amounts your giving to your missionaries the same as every church should review their pastor’s salary yearly to make sure he is staying up with the rising cost of living. Has your church been sending the same amount of monthly support to its missionaries for the last 10 years? If so, it’s time to consider a raise in pay for them. That would be encouraging news for them and let them know that their missionary work is important to you – and believe me, money certainly not everything, but Proverbs does ay it answereth all things. That is, that with money you can buy literature and pay the bills – and those things cannot be paid by anything BUT money. Our missionaries are always encouraged by money coming in. Most missionaries get much less than they give to those they are evangelizing.

5. ALWAYS support missionary speakers who have the pure doctrine that you have and teach your people. What is his/her past track record? Has he identified with holiness people in the past? Why not? What kind of people did he produce where he pastored in the past? Do the holiness men have a good report of him? Ask them? Why didn’t he seek your fellowship before now? Does he fellowship with liberals AND with you? Does his wife have a visible Christian testimony. Is he really after your fellowship – or is he needing your money. If he is not holiness then it is the latter.

Is he needing your financial support or is he identifying with your doctrine? It should be the latter and especially on the issues of Biblical separation. (e.g., Separation, Television, modesty, sanctification, worldliness, sports.) Allowing pseudo holiness men with an old fashioned preaching style onto your platform whose family does not reflect a love for holiness will lower the resolve of God’s people to keep the standard you preach and lean toward the standard of the men and members of their family you allow in your pulpit for them to stare at for an hour at a time. What you tolerate becomes their standard – not what you say but what you DO and who you associate with and bring into the church. Pastors must think of that young impressionable generation sitting in the church learning by example, what they see and not so much by what understand that’s being said.

When your people see a man with the world in him on your platform it weakens their resolve to live holy and follow your teaching and example. When you allow a man on your platform you are approving and advocating his doctrine and his lifestyle. If you do allow low standards on your platform – then shame on you! You are one of God’s problems.

Does he fellowship with ALL holiness churches or just the bigger churches?

6. WEEK OF MISSIONS: No matter how small your church is, each year set a date for a special week of world missions emphasis and invite at least two missionaries t o come and speak sometime during that week. Later this can be a three days event as the church grows. I pioneered two churches at the beginning of my ministry under very difficult circumstances in the 50’s. The first thing I did was to start supporting a missionary with a small offering monthly. Through the year I set aside any monies I could accumulate above the operating costs into a special missionary and evangelism fund. Then when there was a goodly amount I invited a missionary or an evangelist and blessed them far above what they expected! In my last pastorate I amended the constitution to direct 10% of the total weekly income into the missionary fund of the church.

If you want to know how you can start having a strong missionary church you should write to my office or email us at and request the brochure entitled, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul. Please enclose fifty cents in coins or stamps, and we’ll send you this powerful and practical principle.

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