Checklist for Building Missions in the Local Church
By Paul Brannan
A digest of the Blueprint Series, produced by the Missions Awareness Team, to be used as a text in missions’ workshops, assisting church leaders in building missions within their local congregations.
Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971, 1997. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Step 1 – Building Missions Leadership in the Local Church
Step 2 – Building Missions Support with an Annual Missions Convention
Step 3 – Building Missions Month by Month
Step 4 – Building Missions Effectiveness Through Prayer
Step 5 – Building Missions Partnership Through the Missionary Visit
Reaching the world with the Gospel is not an impossibility. If it were, Jesus would never have given us the Great Commission. But it does require commitment to the task. Leading a congregation effectively so that each member assumes their responsibility to support missions is not really that difficult. It does, however, require consistency.
Through the years I have observed that in every church that excels in missions there are five elements that seem to be common to all. There are many things that are helpful in building missions but they may not be within the reach of every church so they cannot be considered essential.
These five elements are not unique to large churches and they are not out of reach for small churches. In other words, with these five steps, any size church can build a successful mission’s outreach!
BUILDING MISSIONS LEADERSHIP IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
PASTOR, YOU ARE THE KEY! The Path You Choose Will Determine Where the Congregation Goes. Will your people become “Great Commission Christians”? It all depends on you!
A MISSIONS TEAM WILL HELP YOU… lead your congregation into obedience to Christ’s command, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation”. It has been said that “No stream rises higher than its source” and it is true that few congregations will exceed beyond their pastor in spiritual depth.
WHY CALL IT A TEAM?
* Because the word committee suggests people sitting at a table talking, talking, talking…
* The word TEAM suggests:
– Excitement and enthusiasm
– Cooperation and working together
– Winning and positive attitude
* That is what missions is all about!
WHY HAVE A MISSIONS TEAM?
* We accomplish more through delegation.
* More people get involved in God’s work.
* Criticism is minimized when people take ownership of the work.
* The church board cannot devote the necessary time to missions.
HOW LARGE SHOULD THE TEAM BE?
* It may be as small as three to five members.
* For many churches, this will be an ideal number.
* Quality is preferred over quantity.
* It will be easier to find a few qualified members even in the smaller church.
* The larger church will need more team members for the added responsibilities.
* It will, however, be more difficult for all its members to meet at the same time.
* In this case, a small executive team should conduct monthly business.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEAM MEMBERS SHOULD INCLUDE:
Church member in good standing, faithful in attendance and tithing
A willingness to devote 6-8 hours monthly
Don’t overlook the youth – they will be leading tomorrow
Include retirees – they have more free time
EACH MEMBER MUST HAVE A HEART THAT BEATS WITH A PASSION FOR THE
Do they love the lost?
Do they love missions and missionaries?
Are they consumed with missions?
A COOPERATIVE SPIRIT IS REQUIRED
* They must work as a team.
* There is no place for a person of uncooperative spirit.
* Unity in the team sets an example for the congregation.
THEY MUST BE GENEROUS IN THEIR MISSIONS GIVING
* They must be regular in their monthly faith promise giving.
* Generous in other missions’ appeals.
* No one should make decisions concerning missions’ funds if they are not generous givers to missions!
HOW SHOULD THE MEMBERS BE SELECTED?
* It may be by election
* But this becomes a popularity contest.
* This could result in electing members who care little for missions.
* It may be voluntary
– They may be enthusiastic at the moment but lack commitment.
– This could result in members who lack the necessary qualifications.
* It may be by appointment
– This is the best method and offers a number of advantages.
– It allows choosing people who are committed to missions.
DURING THE TEAMS FORMATION:
* The pastor may nominate the members.
* Those nominations may be approved by the church board.
* It may be advisable to keep the team small while in formation.
* Additional members can always be added later as needed.
ONCE THE TEAM HAS BEEN FORMED:
* The team may nominate future members.
* These nominations may be taken to the pastor and church board for final approval.
HOW LONG SHOULD EACH MEMBER SERVE?
* 1 year is too short.
* 2 to 3 years is more adequate with the possibility of serving successive terms.
* No member should be appointed indefinitely. If a member does not work well with the team and there is not term limit, there is no option other than asking that person to step down.
* Terms should be staggered to insure that experienced members will always have a voice in decisions.
AS A TEAM THEY SHALL ADMINISTER ALL MISSIONS FUNDS
* In a local bank account or if in the church’s general bank account, a separate accounting of missions’ funds must always be maintained and these funds should never be borrowed or co-mingled with other funds.
* Make decisions concerning monthly commitments for missionary support.
* And respond to urgent financial appeals for one-time assistance following floods, earthquakes, etc.
* They will responses to cash appeals for projects for buildings, land, etc.
* They will remember birthday and Christmas gifts to the missionaries being supported.
* Including offerings at missions’ activities for missionaries and other speakers and the allocation of funds for an annual mission’s convention and related activities.
* They will appointment of a missions’ treasurer within their team to make all monthly disbursements of missions’ funds.
THE TEAM SERVES AS A LINK BETWEEN THE MISSIONARIES AND THE CONGREGATION
* They will communicate with the missionaries by e-mail, especially concerning prayer needs.
* They will create a file of each of the missionary’s letters and information received.
* They will share the prayer needs with the congregation.
THE TEAM WILL MAINTAIN AN ATTRACTIVE MISSIONS DISPLAY
* It should be located in a well-lighted, well trafficked area.
* Assign one or two people, with artistic ability, to keep the display updated.
* Display curios collected from missionaries and overseas trips.
* Include a missions’ bulletin board.
* Display certificates with photographs of the missionaries the church supports.
THE TEAM WILL ASSIST THE PASTOR IN PLANNING THE CONVENTION
* Establish the dates.
* Plan the activities.
* Secure the speaker.
* Name the committees and sub-committees.
* Plan the promotions.
* Provide the finances to cover the cost of the convention.
* Remember – Always in cooperation with the pastor!
THE TEAM WILL PLAN A MONTHLY MISSIONS SUNDAY
* They will present a well-planned mission’s “Window on the World” each month.
* The success of the Faith Promise giving depends on the work and prayer invested in this monthly presentation.
* This “Window on the World” will continue to educate, motivate and inspire the congregation for missions throughout the year
WHAT ARE THE TEAM’S PRIMARY GOALS?
1. Create world vision.
2. Promote intercessory prayer for world needs.
3. Organize missions’ conventions.
4. Participate in monthly Missions’ Sundays.
5. Plan short missions’ trips.
6. Help select candidates for short-term service.
THE TEAM’S PURPOSE IS…
* To be an extension of the pastor in promoting missions throughout the congregation.
* To make themselves (the team) available to every department in the church, providing resources and encouragement for promoting missions to every age group.
BUT THE TEAM’S PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY MEMBER TO
BUILDING MISSIONS SUPPORT with an ANNUAL MISSIONS CONVENTION
HOW WILL A CHURCH BENEFIT FROM AN ANNUAL MISSIONS CONVENTION?
1. It is the most effective way to open the world to your congregation – This equips the Church to better pray, give, and go.
2. It will make your people more soul conscious – The author’s personal study has shown that churches conducting conventions experience 67% more converts than those without conventions.
3. The convention can give your people great joy and joyful Christians get along better with each other.
4. Working together in a convention will result in better unity because people working for a common goal seldom fight each other.
5. Faith Promise giving will generate more money for missions, usually more than double their previous missions’ giving, following their first convention.
6. This will allow for more disposable income in your general fund, since your missions commitments are now paid from Faith Promise income.
7. Faith Promise giving releases God’s principle of multiplication, many times by increasing general fund income.
8. An annual convention gives opportunity to obey Christ’s command.
9. An annual convention puts you and the Church in agreement with God’s purpose which is to redeem mankind.
o The Father is not willing that anyone be lost. (2 Peter 3:9)
o The Son came to seek and to save all who are lost. (Luke 19:10)
o The Holy Spirit came to convict the world of sin and to draw all men to Christ. (John 16:8)
BUT WON’T THREE OR FOUR MISSIONARY SERVICES EACH YEAR ACCOMPLISH THE SAME THING? NO. HERE’S WHY. A SERVICE: A CONVENTION:
Presents a service
Presents a strategy
Involves the missionary
Presents the call of one
Presents the call to all
Results in emotional giving
Results in consistent personal giving
Results in one-time offering
Results in monthly faith promise giving
Assists one missionary budget
Supports the entire mission’s budget
SO WHAT IS A MISSIONS CONVENTION?
* It Is A Series Of Series Dedicated To Promoting:
– An awareness of spiritual need throughout the world
– The individual believers’ responsibility to help reach the lost with the gospel
* It Should Be Informative:
– Exposing the congregation to the work of UPCI World Missions
* It Should Be Inspirational:
– Our emotions must be touched before we will respond willingly.
– We should seek the Spirit’s anointing on every plan and person who participates.
* It Should Be Motivational:
– The goal is to get everyone to pray and give, and some to go.
WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL CONVENTION?
1. A Series Of Services, Conducted At Least Annually, That Focus On Missions
2. A Missions’ Speaker
3. A Faith Promise Challenge To Every Believer
No Series Of Services Should Be Considered A Missions Convention Unless Faith Promises Are Received! The Great Commission Is Given To Every Believer And They Must Be Given The Opportunity To Become Personally Involved!
HOW LONG SHOULD A CONVENTION LAST?
* The Weekend Convention Is The Most Common
– Saturday night Banquet
– Sunday AM (Or the service with the largest attendance) – Faith Promises
– Sunday PM – Personal commitment
* An Eight Day Convention Is Effective
– Two Sundays, Mid-week and a Saturday banquet
* The format will depend on your weekly service schedule
WHATEVER FORMAT YOU CHOOSE:
* The Pastor should preach on missions on the Sunday prior to the Convention.
* It is critical that the congregation sees and hears the Pastor’s passion for the lost.
* Distribute the brochure What is a Faith Promise? at the close of this service.
SET A DATE
* Begin your convention planning at least six months in advance.
* Plan your convention for the same month each year.
* Schedule the convention when most of your people can attend.
* Avoid holiday weekends and dates when special school or community activities are scheduled each year.
* Take weather, vacation time and other special work schedules into consideration.
* Keep the date clear of competing activities – Don’t plan any church activity during your convention week that would compete or distract from the focus of missions!
ESTABLISH A CONVENTION BUDGET WHICH WILL INCLUDE:
* Promotional Expenses
* Speakers Expenses
– Hotel and food
– Fares or mileage
– Honoraria or free-will offerings
SCHEDULE YOUR SPEAKERS
* You May Invite:
– District Leadership
– World and Home Missions Administrative Personnel
* Select A Speaker Who:
– Will present a worldview of missions rather than a single country
– Is capable of presenting the Faith Promise Plan and inspiring your people to action
HOW MANY SPEAKERS DO WE NEED? THIS WILL DEPEND ON:
* The number of activities planned
* The availability of qualified speakers
* The amount of funds available to cover speakers’ expenses:
– For Missionaries – A generous free-will offering
– World / Home Missions staff and District Personnel – Travel expenses and honorarium
– Hotel and food for all speakers
UTILIZE THE MISSIONS TEAM
* Don’t try to do it all yourself.
* Allow your people to take ownership.
* Give your team members the opportunity to dream big dreams for reaching a lost world.
GET EVERYONE INVOLVED
* Parades with children, youth and adults
* Skits – Youth promoting the convention
* Special music
* Banquets for all ages
* Booths and displays
SET A GOAL
* You may set a percentage of participation or a goal in your local currency.
* Set a goal that is larger than last year and requires faith.
* Present a goal that will encourage the congregation to reach beyond anything ever done before.
DO NOT FORGET TO ORDER OR PREPARE MATERIALS
* Allow time to order or create banners, posters and other materials.
* Be sure to order the theme video if available from your national office.
* The brochure, What is a Faith Promise?, should be ordered in sufficient quantity to give a copy to every family.
* Faith Promise cards are a must! You may secure digital copies of these items
for reproduction at worldagfellowship.org/missions/
PREPARE THE CONGREGATION
* Begin promoting the convention at least two months in advance.
* Begin teaching about faith promises.
* Share the faith promise goal.
* Create excitement and anticipation.
FAITH PROMISE SUNDAY SHOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THE
YEAR IN THE ACTIVITIES OF THE CHURCH!
* Distribute a list of requests for the convention and missionaries supported by the church.
* Conduct a special prayer meeting to pray for the convention and to intercede for a lost world.
CREATE EXCITEMENT FOR FAITH PROMISE SUNDAY
* Provide a table with literature of UPCI Ministries.
* Feature missions in each Sunday School class for the day.
* Decorate the sanctuary with flags, posters and banners.
PLAN THE FAITH PROMISE SERVICE
* Build the program, music, etc. around missions, eliminating all unnecessary announcements.
* Plan baby dedications, reception of members, etc. for another time.
* Give the speaker at least 45 minutes to preach and raise faith promises.
* Prepare the ushers and tabulators for their duties.
WHY TABULATE THE FAITH PROMISE TOTALS AT THE CLOSE OF THE SERVICE?
1. Announcing the total of the faith promises during the service gives more importance to the occasion.
2. It creates special excitement and anticipation.
3. Reading each faith promise total aloud presents a model for others to follow.
4. It produces more money for missions.
EVALUATE YOUR FINANCIAL BASE
* Review the faith promises received.
* Estimate the amount of solid income for the next year, then subtract the current missions’ obligations to determine the amount of new income.
SET YOUR ANNUAL MISSIONS BUDGET
* Leave a margin of safety as well as for unexpected urgent appeals
* Designate a portion each month to a fund for:
– Visiting missionary speakers
– Next year’s convention
* Now, determine which missionaries the church will pick up for monthly support.
EVALUATE YOUR CONVENTION
o What did we do right?
o What did we do wrong?
o What did we not do but should have done?
o What could we do better?
o What dates will we set for next year’s convention
o Who will we invite as our speaker(s)?
We Can Count On God’s Blessings While We Faithfully Hold The Rope Supporting The Missionaries…
BECAUSE WE ARE FOLLOWING AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART!
BUILDING MISSIONS MONTH BY MONTH
It is not enough to have a successful faith promise response from your congregation. The challenge of missions must be kept fresh throughout the year. Let’s look at some steps that will keep your congregation involved in missions 52 weeks of every year!
A monthly missions’ Sunday is the cornerstone to building missions’ vision once the convention is over. There are many other elements, but you can’t build missions effectively without missions’ Sunday.
SO PLAN IT CAREFULLY, SUCCESS DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN
* Give these monthly missions’ slot a name, such as “Window on the World”.
* Each Sunday’s presentation may vary from 3 to 10 minutes.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE THINGS YOU MIGHT PLAN FOR MISSIONS SUNDAY
USE VIDEOS AND DVDS
* Many of our missionaries are now making videos on the field. Take advantage of these 3 to 5 minute glimpses of their lives and ministries. They truly do create a “Window on the World”.
* Search out those sites that have quality DVDs such as agmd.org. Many things can be downloaded that will bless your congregation.
PRAY AROUND THE WORLD
* There are seven geographical areas in World Missions.
1. Africa 5. Latin America and the Caribbean
2. Asia Pacific 6. North America
3. Europe 7. Northern Asia
* Share a prayer request from each area and have corporate prayer.
* Publish these requests in the bulletin on Missions’ Sunday.
USE FLAGS FOR EMPHASIS
* Purchase or create a flag for each country where you support missionaries.
* Display a flag every missions Sunday.
* Display that flag when the missionary visits for a service or when prayer is being offered for that country.
CALL A MISSIONARY
* Call prior to Sunday and set up an appointment by phone.
* Amplify the conversation through your system and interview the missionary family during the service.
* Have the congregation pray for the missionaries while they are on the line.
INCLUDE MUSIC AND DRAMA
* Use skits with a mission’s theme.
* Present human videos with a missions’ song.
* Don’t forget mime.
* The more people involved, the more successful your effort to build passion for the lost of the world.
SHARE EXCERPTS FROM MISSIONARIES? LETTERS
* This should be done on a limited basis.
* Only when the content is so exciting or so urgent that it should not be ignored.
* All missionary newsletters should be posted on your “World Harvest” bulletin board.
GIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR PERSONAL TESTIMONIES
* Share a testimony from a member who has experienced divine blessing and provision resulting from making a “Faith Promise”.
* The congregation will better identify with the pew than with the pulpit.
* Others will be inspired.
KEEP THE CONGREGATION INFORMED ABOUT FAITH PROMISE GIVING ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH
* Share faith building words to encourage the continued support for missions.
* Publish missions giving in the church bulletin. Remember, this is in your local currency. The following is just an example.
Faith Promise Total…. $24,000
Due to Date…. $6,000
Received to Date…. $6,500
Praise God for Victory!
Faith Promise Total…. $24,000
Due to Date…. $6,000
Received to Date…. $4,750
Pray! Pray! Pray!!
SINCE YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL HAVE 12 “WINDOWS ON THE WORLD” EACH YEAR, PLAN AHEAD. YOUR SCHEDULE MIGHT LOOK LIKE THIS:
January – Boys and Girls Missionary Project
February – DVD or video
March – Women’s or Men’s Missionary Project
April – Mini – Convention
May –Youth Missionary Project
June – Personal testimony from someone who’s Faith Promise was supplied July –read excerpts from missionary letters August – DVD video
September – Phone interview
October – Convention Faith Promise Sunday
November – Read excerpts from missionary letters
December – DVD
GET CREATIVE, BUT BE SURE YOU PLAN AHEAD!!!
THERE ARE MANY OTHER WAYS TO KEEP MISSIONS BEFORE THE CONGREGATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
AS PASTOR, PREACH ON MISSIONS, PERSONAL EVANGELISM OR THE WORTH OF A SOUL AT LEAST ONCE EACH QUARTER
* The congregation needs to hear your passion for the lost.
* Your most effective leadership is by example.
PLACE A GOOD ASSORTMENT OF BOOKS ON MISSIONS IN THE CHURCH LIBRARY
* Include biographies of great missionaries from the past.
* Books on missions’ principles and methods should be available.
* Include current magazines and periodicals on missions.
CREATE AN ATTRACTIVE MISSIONS DISPLAY
* In a well-lighted, well trafficked area
* A bulletin board for newsletters from missionaries and other late-breaking missions’ news, etc.
* Surround it with the certificates of monthly support for the missionaries.
* Use globe wall art as the centerpiece of the display.
* Listed below is information that will assist you in securing a wall sculpture for your missions display.
SPONSOR AN OVERSEAS MISSIONS TRIP
* If your church is unable to do it alone, check with your national world missions’ department about what they may have planned.
* This will transform the attitude of those who go.
* They will, in turn, influence many others.
GET PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH A FEW MISSIONARIES
* Develop a personal relationship.
* Give more substantial monthly support to these missionaries.
* Consider providing housing or schooling assistance while they are home for their itineration cycle.
ADOPT A FAMILY
* This may be done by a class, a department, or by the congregation.
* Remember each family member’s birthday and at Christmas.
* Research their country of ministry and become their prayer partners.
GET TO KNOW YOUR MISSIONARIES
* Ask the UPCI World Missions Office to provide you with the birthdays and anniversaries for the missionaries and families that you support.
* Remember the missionaries on their special days and at Christmastime.
COPY AND CIRCULATE MISSIONARY LETTERS AMONG THE CONGREGATION
* This will help your members get acquainted with your church’s missionary family.
* They will learn that missions’ is not about a program but about people.
GIVE SPECIAL RECOGNITION TO THOSE WHO MAKE A FAITH PROMISE
* Following the convention, hold a “Thank You Banquet” just for the “Faith Promise Partners”.
* Treat them special.
* Give a lapel pin exclusively to the “Faith Promise Partners”.
ENCOURAGE PRAYER FOR MISSIONS
* Publish a monthly missions’ prayer page.
* Form missions’ prayer groups for each area of the world.
* Conduct frequent 5 to 10-minute intercessory prayer times during regular services.
SCHEDULE FREQUENT MISSIONARY SPEAKERS
* Missionaries impart vision and burden, qualities needed by the local congregation.
* Missionaries make it possible for the congregation to obey the Great Commission.
THOSE ARE GREAT IDEAS BUT HOW WOULD I EVER FIND THE TIME TO DO IT ALL? YOU DON’T!
REMEMBER? THATUS WHY YOU NEED A MISSIONS TEAM TO HELP LIFT THE LOAD
Jesus said, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end.” John 9:4 TLB
ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME WE FINISHED THE TASK?
BUILDING MISSIONS EFFECTIVENESS THROUGH PRAYER
PRAYER IS THE FORGOTTEN WEAPON IN MISSIONS
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary,
they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4 NIV
PAUL KNEW THAT PRAYER IS HARD WORK
In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.
Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s
spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Eph 6:18 THE MESSAGE
PAUL KNEW THE VALUE OF PRAYER
Pray for me, too, and ask God to give me the right words as I boldly tell others about the Lord and as I explain to them that his salvation is for the Gentiles too. Eph 6:19 TLB
AND HE KNEW HOW MUCH HE NEEDED THE PRAYERS OF HIS PARTNERS AT HOME
Don’t forget to pray for us too, that God will give us many chances to preach the Good News of Christ for which I am here in jail. Pray that I will be bold enough to
tell it freely and fully and make it plain, as, of course, I should. Col 4:3 TLB
PRAYER WILL RESULT IN MORE WORKERS
* It will send out workers who are God called workers.
* It will train them in God’s school of the Holy Spirit.
* It will send them to the right fields
* It will sustain them when they go
PRAYER WILL SUPPLY THE NEEDED FINANCE
* God can reach the checkbooks that we cannot.
* The Holy Spirit can call thousands of believers and bless them beyond measure, using their abilities to earn the finances to support missions.
* Through prayer God can and will call many to become Senders. 16
PRAYER WILL REMOVE THE DIFFICULTIES
* Open countries closed to the gospel.
* Enter the offices of kings and presidents.
* Change the course of wars and uprisings.
* Protect the missionaries from sickness and danger.
* Remove the loneliness and homesickness from the heart of the missionaries.
PRAYER WILL BREAK DOWN BARRIERS
* Remove prejudice against the gospel and the missionary.
* Wipe away spiritual blindness from the eyes of millions.
* Bring spiritual awakening that will shake whole nations.
THE BATTLE WILL ONLY BE WON THROUGH PRAYER!
HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE PRAYER FOR MISSIONS?
* Include missions’ prayer needs in the weekly bulletin and/or publish a monthly mission’s prayer page.
* Conduct a frequent 5 to 10-minute intercessory prayer time during a regular service.
* Form missions’ prayer groups for each area of the world.
* Distribute to the congregation special literature that encourages prayer for missions.
HOW CAN WE PREPARE FOR MORE EFFECTIVE PRAYER?
* Know your missionaries and pray for them regularly.
* Print their names in the bulletin or read them from the pulpit and pray for them on a rotating basis.
* Place their pictures on a loop and project them prior to the service or at prayer time.
* Secure a list from your national World Missions Department with birth dates, etc. of each family member.
* Use the prayer requests provided by your national World Missions Department, missionary newsletters and other periodicals.
* Use books that focus on missions such as Operation World, (Johnstone – Zondervan).
HOW CAN WE PRAY MOR EFFECTIVELY?
Be specific – Name the missionary, need, country or project.
Ask God to call more workers to go.
Ask God to call more senders.
Intercede for countries where there are few or no missionaries present.
WHEN WE PRAY FOR MISSIONARIES WE SHOULD INCLUDE:
1. Anointing, wisdom and favor
2. Health, strength and protection
3. Financial supply
4. Children’s education
5. Care and provision when family members are separated
6. Family’s spiritual welfare
7. Bind demonic oppression
8. The success of their assigned ministry on the field
BE PERSISTENT IN YOUR PRAYERS
Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers… Col 4:2 TLB
AND REJOICE FOR THE ANSWER
… and remember to be thankful when (the answers) come. Col 4:2 TLB
BUILDING MISSIONS PARTNERSHIP THROUGH THE MISSIONARY VISIT
THE GOOD NEWS IS… Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Rom 10:13 TLB
THE DILEMMA IS… But how shall they ask him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?… Rom 10:14 TLB
GOD’S PLAN IS PARTNERSHIP
…And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone
go and tell them unless someone sends him? Rom 10:14-15 TLB
GOD CALLS SOME TO BE “GOERS”
* To other cultures
* To other languages
* To other countries
GOD CALLS THE REST TO BE “SENDERS”
Through your faithful prayers
Through your monthly faith promise
YOU ARE CALLED TO BE A GOER OR A SENDER. THE ONLY OTHER OPTION IS DISOBEDIENCE!
THAT MAKES THE MISSIONARY VISIT EXTREMELY CRITICAL. LET’S LOOK AT SOME REASONS WHY.
1. The Missionary Visit Makes It Possible To Fulfill The Great Commission
Without Ever Leaving Home!
– This can be done through both praying and giving.
2. Their Visit Makes It Possible To Become Partners With The Missionaries
– Jesus said, “If you welcome a prophet because he is a man of God, you will be given the same reward a prophet gets…” Matt 10:41 TLB
– If you are as faithful in giving as the missionary is in going, you will receive the same reward.
3. Their Visit Helps The Congregation Develop Soul-Consciousness.
– Jesus said, “… Look around you! Vast fields of human souls are ripening all around us, and are ready now for reaping.” John 4:34-35 TLB
– The missionary is our conduit to a lost world!
4. Our Missionaries Will Inform Our People About UPCI Missions.
– There are people within your church who will give to missions – SOMEWHERE!
– Many Para-church organizations spend 50% or more on operational expenses.
5. Why not give opportunity for your people to invest in UPCI missions, where they have the reputation of maintaining one of the lowest percentages of expenditures of any mission in operation in the world today!
6. Frequent Missionary Visits Help Maintain Faith Promise Giving At A High Level Throughout The Year.
– Without regular motivation, enthusiasm lags and many faith promises made during the convention are not completed.
– Mission’s income decreases and the church finds it difficult to keep its commitments.
7. The Missionary Visit Gives Opportunity For The Call To Missions To Develop In Others.
– When asked what were the greatest factors influencing their call, UPCI missionaries gave two outstanding influences:
o Personal devotions
o Another missionary’s ministry
WE’VE GOT IT BACKWARD! THE MISSIONARIES SHOULDN’T HAVE TO SEARCH
FOR SUPPORTING CHURCHES. TO OBEY CHRIST, REACH THE LOST AND
BLESS OUR PEOPLE, WE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR MISSIONARIES TO
SO, SCHEDULE MISSIONARY SPEAKERS
* Less than four missionary visits yearly will not maintain an awareness of the lostness of man.
* With foresight, most churches could have missionaries even more frequently.
BE CREATIVE IN SCHEDULING
* If for some reason you can’t give the scheduled missionary the full service:
– Don’t cancel, instead…
– Interview the missionary or give him or her 10 minutes to share their burden
SCHEDULE MISSIONARIES IN EACH TYPE OF WEEKLY SERVICE
* Sunday AM, Sunday PM and mid-week
* This will assure that everyone attending your church will receive some missions’ exposure.
WHEN THE MISSIONARY CALLS…
* Accept the call, or if you really aren’t available,
* Return their call as soon as possible.
* The missionary needs to hear from you even if the answer is “NO”.
DO YOU WANT THE MISSIONARY SERVICE TO BE A SUCCESS?
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY!
COMMUNICATE WITH THE MISSIONARY PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
* Any special requests for the service: preaching, interview, video, etc.
* Service time and directions to the church
* Directions to the hotel or their place of lodging
TELL THE MISSIONARY:
* The type of participation they will have
* The type of service, class or group in which they may be involved: Youth, children, Sunday School, home group or others.
* The number of times they will speak
* The type of dress appropriate for that service
* Be sure and supply a telephone number other than the church office for emergencies.
MAKE THEM FEEL AT HOME UPON THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE CHURCH
* Have someone watch for the missionaries and guide them to the pastor’s office for their pre-service planning.
* Give the missionaries a royal welcome.
MEETING WITH THE MISSIONARY PRIOR TO THE SERVICE IS CRITICAL
* What will the missionary’s participation be?
* How much time will he/she have?
* When must the service end?
* Will there be an altar service?
DISCUSS THEIR FINANCES
* How much do they still lack in monthly support?
* How much cash do they need?
* Tell them if you feel the church will be able to support them monthly, and if so, how much.
* If not now, tell them when a decision can be made.
* Tell them when the offering will be received.
GET TO KNOW THE MISSIONARIES.
* Ask about the country of their calling and their work.
* Familiarize yourself with details of their family.
* Be knowledgeable enough about this family to be able to pray for them.
* Remember, they are your partners.
DURING THE SERVICE, KEEP THE FOCUS ON MISSIONS.
* Introduce the missionary knowledgeably and with enthusiasm.
* Give the missionary the service when promised.
* When possible, allow adequate time for a field report and ministry of the word.
RECEIVE AN OFFERING AFTER THE MISSIONARY SPEAKS.
* Don’t limit your giving to a pre-determined honorarium check
* Give your congregation the opportunity to respond with a generous offering
IF FINANCE IS A CONCERN:
* Set aside a pre-determined amount each month from the faith promise giving for a missionary speaker’s fund
* Establish a minimum, but not a maximum, offering for missionary speakers
* If the offering received does not reach the minimum, take the balance from the fund for missionary speakers
ALWAYS ALLOW TIME FOR PRAYER!
* Divine Partnerships are formed here.
* Commitments are made.
* All should commit to pray and give.
* Some will commit to go as missionaries wherever God leads them.
AFTER THE SERVICE:
* Host the missionary for a meal or dessert and get to know them better.
* Be ready to give the missionary the offering or a check before they leave. They may need the funds for travel expenses.
* When possible, give the missionary a signed monthly commitment form before they leave. This removes a great deal of stress and hastens their departure for the field.
ONCE YOU’VE DONE YOUR PART, EXPECT GOD’S BLESSINGS ON THE MISSIONARY SERVICES! WHY? BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR YOUR CONGREGATION TO OBEY CHRIST’S COMMAND!
REMEMBER, WE ARE PARTNERS WITH GOD
It is God Himself…who has given us this wonderful work of telling His Good News to
others. 2 Cor 4:1
For further information concerning these or other missions’ materials you may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”