First Free has been seriously involved in local and global missions for decades. Currently, we devote 23.5% of our total budget to missions, with the goal of hitting 25% by 2017.
What is missions? There are thousands of definitions and thousands of different ways that churches approach missions. At First Free, we participate in many kinds of missions, from church planting in the toughest places on earth to local ministries to parachurch ministries in Wichita reaching specific pockets of people. We do, however, have some very clear priorities.
First Free Missions are gospel-centered. As a church, what we do in missions will look different from a secular non-profit or an interfaith agency. Yes, we care for the poor, the orphan, and the widow, but every missionary and every group we partner with must be ultimately focused on a person’s greatest need: the need for Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
First Free Missions puts a priority on unreached people groups. The Bible is clear that the gospel will reach every nation, tongue, and tribe before Jesus returns (Matthew 24:14). According to Joshua Project, there are 7,163 people groups, encompassing 2.88 billion people, that are less than 2% evangelical Christian. The apostle Paul made it a priority to go to places where Christ had not yet been named (Romans 15:20). Finally, the Great Commission commands us to make disciples of all nations. Because of this clear priority in the Bible, First Free is moving toward dedicating 50% of its missions budget to ministry in unreached people groups. Currently, we partner with missionaries working with unreached people groups in Japan, the Middle East, Central Asia, France, Southeast Asia, and Russia.
First Free Missions puts a priority on local ministry in Wichita, Sedgwick County, and Kansas. We believe we are called to evangelism and caring for the “least of these” right where we are. Thirty percent of our missions budget is dedicated to local ministries. These include parachurch ministries that reach specific pockets of people and also church plants.
First Free Missions is not ignoring the rest of the US and the world. Many in our church have a heart for ministry in reached people groups that are not local. Our goal is to dedicate the remaining 20% of our missions budget to these ministries.
We are eager for our congregation to more closely partner with our missionaries on the field. Please check this blog regularly to learn more about our missionaries, prayer requests, and short-term trip opportunities.