I am associated with a nursing home that used to be a mission. It was created and funded to provide care for elderly people who couldn’t afford the high price of care in another facility. This was a 100 year old mission that was struggling financially, but had a clear vision and sense of purpose.
Today, that mission is gone. The trustees sold the property, took the trust fund and built a brand spanking new building in a great location. Unlike the old facility, the new one provides everything the elderly and their families could ever want from such a place. One catch, you have to have lots of money to get into this new version of the old mission. When the changeover came, only one resident made the move to the new facility. All of the other residents were farmed out to other places.
So I ask you, is this a mission? My church doesn’t think so. We’ve stopped supporting it.
Mission and fee for service are not the same things. I get the feeling that many people are confused by the distinction. Fee for service is just that. You pay and you get. Mission is giving without expecting to receive anything. The story above is a good example. A senior mission would accept Medicare/Medicaid payments and then raise the rest through donations. That was the previous incarnation of this nursing home mission. Now, it’s strictly fee for service. Which would be fine if they hadn’t taken and used the trust fund to create the new fee for service facility. The trust fund consisted of money donated to the mission. And just in case you were wondering, it was all perfectly legal. Oh well.
Mission is giving and expecting nothing in return. Mission is not; selling books, organizing fee for service conferences, selling miracle potions, etc… We all have to come up with the money to pay our bills. But all ministries must have a mission component. Otherwise, it’s not ministry.
God bless you,