Churchwide Mission Education Ideas for Pastors
By Sarah Grapentine
Here are 25 ideas for Pastors to energize their church family’s mission passion through intentional, integrated church-wide mission education, awareness and involvement.
Incorporate Mission Education Concepts into Worship
1. Short-Term Mission Volunteer Reports – Include regular reports from short-term mission volunteers regarding your church’s mission involvement from previous weeks during worship services. These reports could be pastor or other church staff-led interviews. Projecting digital images during interviews for the entire congregation to see is always a great addition to any mission volunteer interview. Also consider regular printed updates as information in worship bulletins.
2. Harvest Candle – A harvest candle is a candle suitable for locating in a prominent place on the platform in the sanctuary/worship center. It serves as a constant reminder that winning people to Jesus Christ is to be the passion of His church. The candle is lit early in the service during each Sunday when a person has accepted Christ during the week. The story of how someone came to know Christ is shared as the Harvest Candle is being lighted. Asking the person who led someone to Christ to light the candle is an excellent moment of celebration.
3. Commission Short-Term Mission Teams – Commission short-term mission teams and recognize prayer partners and family members who are present as a major element of worship.
4. Commission Local Volunteers – Commission volunteers involved in ongoing local missions/ministry supported by your church. Example: Volunteers serving in a local assisted living center or other care facility. It is also very effective to show videos, photos, etc., that highlight what these local teams will be doing.
5. Missionary Moments – Missionary Moments are helpful mission awareness resources that highlight how Cooperative Program funds are utilized in global missions.
6. Highlight Opportunities for Involvement – Highlight one to three opportunities for involvement in mission and ministry during worship services. Opportunities should represent various levels and degrees of involvement. Give clear, concise instruction regarding how to find further information or sign up for involvement. Consider having an information/sign-up table in the worship center or nearby hallway.
7. Mission Reports – Dedicate major portions of worship gatherings for mission reports. It is also good to recognize mission team prayer partners in the reports.
8. Highlight Mission Partnerships – Highlight mission partnerships by inviting testimonies or videos as part of worship (this can be done via video or live phone hook-ups or Web-camtechnology for those in remote locations). Also keep partners in mind by using banners, posters, flags, etc.
9. Missionary Interviews – Conduct live interviews with missionaries. Using information inserts from UPCI can also be effective to include in the worship program or church bulletin.
10. UPCI Staff Interviews – Conduct a live interview with a member of your UPCI mission staff.
11. Associational Missions Interviews – Conduct a live interview with your UPCI Director of Missions or other member of your association staff.
12. Highlight Local Ministries – Conduct a live interview with a staff member of a local ministry or present a video segment. Examples: crisis pregnancy center, food bank, homeless shelter, etc.
13. Mission Volunteer Interviews – Interview mission volunteers from your church during worship services.
14. Telephone Interviews – Conduct a telephone interview with any of the missions personnel listed above.
15. Drama – Include drama vignettes in worship to illustrate Great Commission principles and cooperative missions as a major element of worship.
16. Dramatic Readings – Include dramatic readings of Scripture to strengthen the proclamation of God’s mission for His church. Incorporate Mission Education Concepts into Sunday School/Small Groups
17. Regular Mission Projects – Challenge Sunday School classes/small groups to engage in monthly, age-appropriate mission projects.
18. Video Clips – Provide monthly video clips for Sunday School classes/small groups to view during their meeting time or other class/small group activities such as fellowships, retreats, etc. Video clips could be focused on your church’s missions involvement.
19. Sunday School/Small Group Leader Meetings – Make a regular practice to include a mission video clip, Missionary Moments or other type of drop-in mission awareness activity in all Sunday School/small group leader meetings.
20. Missionary Reports – Strategically have mission volunteers from your church, and/or staff of local ministries share briefly where God is at work with Sunday School classes/small groups on a regular basis. Speakers can provide brief reports to a number of Sunday School classes/small groups on any given Sunday.
21. Deacon/Elder Meetings – Make a regular practice in including a mission video clip, Missionary Moments, missions prayer time or other type of drop-in mission awareness activity in all deacon/elder meetings.
22. Deacon/Elder Short-Term Missions – Plan, promote and conduct a short-term local, state, international or North American mission project experience involving your deacon/elders and their families.
23. Prayer walking – Lead deacons/elders to strategically prayerwalk your community. Examples: local schools, local government buildings, ministries sites.
24. Praying For Our Children To Be On Mission With God – Lead your church family to pray for their children to be on mission with God.
25. Mobilize Families – Encourage families and lead families to conduct regular mission projects.
This article “Church-wide Mission Education Ideas for Pastors” by Sarah Grapentine is excerpted from www.worldmissionsnow.org web site, 2008.