by Ron Stokes
Editor's Note: In this month's installment, Ron tells us about a ministry geared especially toward a group within your congregation who may otherwise have little or no involvement in your church's ministries and almost no interest in the global mission of Christ.
America has always been built on agriculture. Even before Jefferson finalized the Louisiana purchase, it seems that significant part of the American dream has been to get away from the city, build a farm and "live off the land". Many Americans still love to work the land and raise animals, and God has used the American farmer to feed the world.
Many of you, particularly in rural areas, may have farmers, cattlemen, and others associated with agriculture in your church. Odds are, they're probably very faithful members, but their workload and other factors prevents them from taking a bigger part in your church's ministries or in missions. Thanks to the unique ministry of one organization, however, the agricultural professionals in your church can use their land, resources, and God-given talents to further the cause of Christ around the world!
STEER, INC, Bismarck, North Dakota, is a unique, non-profit organization formed in 1957 to help finance missionaries and world mission endeavors. STEER allows cattle producers to provide a "special cow" or other farm animal or grain (such as sheep, hogs, goats, wheat, barley, corn, or soybeans) for the support of a missionary or mission project for a minimal expense to them.
STEER provides the cow for the farmer, the farmer or rancher cares for and breeds the cow. Once the calf is old enough to be sold the funds received from the sale of the calf are given directly to the missionary or mission organization. For more information, please review their webpage at www.steerinc.com.
The Scripture states in Proverbs 3:9-10, "Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine." God calls all believers to join Him in His work around the world through praying, giving, going, or sending. God calls some people to serve in the harvest fields as vocational missionaries while others He calls to join those serving in this full time vocation through prayer and financial support.
When a farmer or rancher participates in STEER, Inc., a comparatively little investment provides immeasurable support that helps spread the Gospel.
God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10), and someone in your congregation might just own one or a few for His work on one of their hills. Or perhaps one of their rows of corn, soybeans, wheat etc. can be dedicated to reap eternal dividends. Why not investigate how you can participate in this simple but effective means of being a partner in God's people and God's work around the globe?
Ron Stokes is church liaison for AMG International.