Disciples News Service

Disciples Mission Fund covenant makes ministry possible

Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) brings the whole Church together, connecting us to the life-giving and life-saving work we have been called to do. Since the mid-1900s, Disciples have used shared funding to facilitate our denomination’s growing cooperation. DMF is a simplified giving option for congregations or individuals that voluntarily share support. Gifts to DMF undergird dozens of our general, regional, and educational ministries to accomplish together what, by God’s design, we cannot do alone.

Regional ministries receive the largest portion of these DMF gifts, and every gift stays in the region in which it’s given. Because of support through Disciples Mission Fund, regions offer leadership development opportunities, pastoral support, youth programs, shared mission, and more. As Rev. LaTaunya Bynum, regional minister for Northern California/Nevada and president of the College of Regional Ministers, explains, DMF is an integral part of Disciples’ identity. “We are ‘a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.’ The ‘we’ includes congregations, specialized ministries, regional ministries, colleges and universities, and theological education throughout the United States and Canada. When each of us contributes to the whole we are made stronger as we live, and are, the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Many general ministries, working across the US, Canada, and beyond, also receive support through DMF. Rev. Sotello Long, president of Disciples Home Missions, celebrates that DMF support strengthens their ministry. “Gifts to DMF help us empower the work of evangelism, leader development, Christian education and faith formation. Our gifts give witness to Disciples making a mark for Christ that cannot be erased!”

DMF makes a mark on the world through higher education programs, too. All 15 undergraduate institutions and seven theological programs affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as well as Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM), receive DMF funding.

None of these impactful programs could grow without the steadfast support of congregations across our Church. Rev. Kory Wilcoxson, senior minister at Crestwood Christian Church in Lexington, KY recognizes that his congregation’s gifts to Disciples Mission Fund are an important part of their covenant with the wider Church. “As part of this body of Christ, we have a part to play and we do so with great gladness and much thanksgiving. We know we can do so much more together if we all do our part to make it happen.”

While budgeted gifts from congregations make up the largest source of DMF support, individual giving is growing. For monthly giver Sarah Beth Simonds in Farmington Hills, MI, giving to DMF is an important spiritual practice for her and her husband Robert. “We’ve been blessed in many ways by the wisdom and service of those who serve the general Church, and we want to support them. Giving to DMF fulfills a part of our covenantal relationship with the Church.”

Congregations’ and individuals’ support of Disciples Mission Fund together makes the work of our general, regional, and higher education ministries possible.

To strengthen our support, resources are available for congregation treasurers and worship leaders to share DMF’s impact and prayerfully consider including core support of DMF in church budgets. These resources are in addition to those for Special Day Offerings at Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

DMF-supported ministries also produce a variety of congregation resources, like VBS curriculum through Global Ministries, Mission and Ministry Grants through the National Benevolent Association, and stewardship materials from the Center for Faith and Giving.

For more stories from Disciples Mission Fund supporters and beneficiaries, join us on DMFday, Sept. 12, our first giving day for DMF, to further its impact across our Church.