Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC), the Assemblies of God missions education program for kids that also raises funds for missionaries, had an impressive year, recording just over $7.2 million in giving for 2020.
David Boyd, national BGMC director says that although giving was down from the nearly $9 million given in 2019 — an all-time giving record — in light of the events of 2020, where COVID-19 shut down many churches and children’s programs for months, the effort was remarkable.
“COVID-19 may have shut down our churches for months, but it didn’t shut down our kids,” Boyd states. “In August, thousands of kids were inspired by the Epic Give Day Challenge. Kids began to be creative and earn money for BGMC even though most churches were still not in session. And earn they did!”
Boyd says that the Epic Give Day resulted in a record-giving month for September (over $811,000), and although the $7,225,161.38 given in 2020 did not break a record, it still represents the fifth-highest total ever for BGMC giving.
Also, in a bit of a surprise, Boyd reports that 10 districts set records for giving to BGMC in 2020 and 16 districts increased their giving over 2019 despite the pandemic challenges. And for the 13th consecutive year, it was the Peninsular Florida district that led the nation in BGMC giving with a total of over $740,000. Girls’ Ministries Coins for Kids efforts resulted in over $182,000 given and Royal Rangers Master’s Toolbox raised more than $137,000 for missions.
Hannah Henning is the elementary pastor at Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, who worked to encourage her “socially distanced” K-5 kids to get back into their BGMC efforts. She offered them an “egg-citing” BGMC Christmas challenge — raising funds to buy chickens for missionaries to use in helping destitute families become self-sustaining.
Henning’s involvement in the effort included having an egg cracked over her head for every $15-laying-hen purchased. Children’s church, which started meeting again in September, averaged about half of the number prior to COVID. But to the delight of the kids, they ended up seeing Henning’s hair “enriched” with 20 freshly cracked eggs as they raised hundreds of dollars for BGMC.
“Churches and districts fought through the tough circumstances of not having church, not having children’s ministries, and holding services online,” Boyd notes, “but still kids earned money, raised money, sacrificed, and did amazing things for God!”
Since its inception in 1949, BGMC has raised over $174 million for missions and uses those funds to help support more than 2,400 Bible schools and satellite campuses as well as more than 5,200 missionaries around the world.