TAC Missions Committee Offering "Seed Money" for Local Church Missions

Date Posted: 12/11/2014

The TAC Missions Committee is excited to provide "seed money" to churches seeking to develop ongoing, transformational relationships with their ministry partners. Submit outreach proposals related to local, national and international ministry goals by January 15th for consideration.
The three-word phrase best describing the goal of the new and improved 2015 mission grant application process is: long-term transformational relationships. "The Missions Committee of the Texas Annual Conference has modified the grant application to bring more focus to the goal of local congregations connecting deeply with their communities and foreign mission fields by developing long-term transformational relationships," explains Missional Excellence Center Director Rev. Diane McGehee. “We are excited to provide seed money to the applicants that want to pursue partnership that facilitate an ongoing impact.”
The key question on the application is, “What is your church called to do?” The TAC Missions Committee seeks to fund projects and initiatives that are passion-driven, organic and grassroots in nature. “Travel may be involved in these initiatives, but it just so happens that God has assembled the nations right here in Texas, where it is easiest to build longstanding relationships and partnerships,” she adds.
The task force making the selections and awarding the seed money will be on the lookout for congregations that have never obtained missional funding in the past. “As with all seed money, it is an investment that helps a ministry find a way to sustain itself and carry forward,” she adds. One “best practice” example of this concept is the ZOE mission model of empowerment wherein the children are trained to start a business to become independent and empowered.
Transitional Year for New Process
Since this year’s application is radically different from past applications, the committee will extend grace in considering applications, knowing this is a new emphasis.  Diane explains, “We wanted to begin asking strategic questions this year so that by 2016 churches will be better prepared to provide the information that we will require for mission grants.”
Mission coordinators having a desire to develop national and international relationships can also apply and present details on their project.
Criteria for getting grants:
1. Local community projects will be given as much consideration as international and national projects.
2. Grant funds will be distributed among the districts as much as possible if there are qualifying applications.
3. Projects with a plan for moving from dependency on Conference funding to self-sustainability and which connect closely with the mission and vision of the local congregation.
4. Long-term relational partnering that brings the resources of both communities to the table to move toward empowerment, transformation and learning by all.
The maximum grant amount will be $1,500 per applicant. “As we move toward missional work that involves two-way conversation, the key question will be, What is your congregation called to do at this time and place?
Mission Committee Chair Rev. Lindsay Kirkpatrick says, “I'm really looking forward to this year. We're expanding the definition of missions and narrowing it at the same time, so that a wider range of ministry efforts will receive financial support, while focusing on ministries that are working with those they serve (check out http://www.ministrywith.org). We know many churches have envisioned local and global ministries that empower the people they'd serve, and we are here to help kick start those great ideas, as well as continue to support some great ministries that are already in the works. I can't wait to see what God's going to do.”
Deadline: January 15
Please return the applications electronically to sbroome@txcumc.org, if possible.  Otherwise, you can mail them to the Center for Missional Excellence, Texas Annual Conference, 5215 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002. Grant awards will be announced no later than January 31, 2015.