‘God Always Gives Back’

Veteran missionary Dr. Don Sisk has spent the last five decades planting churches, supporting missionaries, and pleading the cause of missions with churches around the world. In a recent interview with The Baptist Voice, Dr. Sisk spoke about the joy of giving.

WHY HAVE YOU GIVEN YOUR LIFE TO CHURCH PLANTING AND MISSIONS?
From the time I was saved, I had an interest in missions in places that did not have Gospel-preaching churches. There were churches in every little village and town in western Kentucky. I often thought as I visited people in those areas, “Everyone here goes to church.” The Holy Spirit put in my heart that surely there must be some place that needs a Baptist church.

WHAT LED YOU TO JAPAN?
While I was pastoring in Providence, Kentucky, a missionary from Japan sent me a letter in response to an article on missions I had written. He wrote, “I don’t know your age or your educational qualification, but from your article it sounds like you have a heart for missions. My wife and I are the only missionaries in Akita, Japan. There are three million people here—what would keep you from coming?”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF AS YOU TRAVEL TO DIFFERENT CHURCHES?
Every week I am in a good church and I can’t help but think, “I wish every town, every village, and every city in the world had at least one church like this.”

WHY DO WE STRUGGLE SO MUCH WITH GIVING?
The secret is giving ourselves to the Lord. When Paul was writing to the church of Corinth about giving he said of the believers in Macedonia, “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:5). Once we give ourselves to the Lord, then everything we have belongs to Him.

WHAT GETS IN THE WAY OF GIVING?
The influence of the world stops some from giving. The world says, “You need this and that, and if you give then you will not be able to have those things.” Some never get the concept of Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you….” In other words, if we give to the Lord, it doesn’t mean we will have less; it means that we will have more. If we give, God gives back to us.

DOES THAT MEAN YOU GIVE TO GET?
That is a tricky question. But yes, I give to get, so that I can give more.

WHY DOES GOD ASK US TO GIVE?
Does God need our money? No. Money is something God puts in our hand as a test. What we do with that money determines whether or not we will get more. I have seen it again and again: the more someone gives, the more he gets.

HAVE YOU SEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF MISSIONARIES BEING SENT FROM INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCHES?
While there has been a decline overall in missionaries from evangelical churches—essentially all non-Catholic churches—this is not the case in Bible-believing fundamental churches. Most good Baptist missions organizations have more missionaries today than ever before.

WHY HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE?
Nothing has changed the responsiveness more than an increase in missions trips. Here at Lancaster Baptist Church, every year there will be several teams that will go to the mission field. This is not unusual among independent Baptist churches.

WHY DO MISSIONS TRIPS MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE?
When people hear, “You can go from city to city in this country and never find a Bible-preaching church,” it goes over their heads. But when they go themselves and drive for miles without seeing any church at all, it makes a difference.

HOW DOES IT HELP A PERSON TO SPEND TIME WITH MISSIONARIES?
When people spend time with good missionaries, they see the missionaries joy and hearts. They see the fruit of missions and meet converts on the mission field that are training for full-time ministry.
On a missions trip people also see that missionaries are human. The missionaries have the same kind of problems, trials, and temptations that everyone else has. In essence, they think, “If God can use them, He can use me too.”

DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO SLOW DOWN?
I really do—when my heart stops beating, then I’ll slow down (laughter). If someone were to give me a piece of paper and ask me to write what I would like to do, I would write down what I am doing right now.