Ideas for Supporting Missions in Your Church: Part 2
Phone Hook Up
Arrange to have a phone hook up with your link missionary, either in a church service or in a small group, providing the time difference with Australia allows it – you don’t want to be waking up your favorite missionary in the middle of the night! This is a wonderful way of having direct contact with a missionary in a large group, but it does need someone with technical know-how, expertise and experience to supervise it to make it work. If you have such a person, go for it! If not, a simpler option is to use a speaker phone in small groups or an amplified speaker phone in a church or large group meeting.
** Prearrange the time with the missionary to make sure they will be available and ready. ** Some of our missionaries are in sensitive areas where secure phone conversations can’t be guaranteed (phone lines may be tapped or houses bugged). Make sure you are aware beforehand of the things or words it would not be wise to mention, and have in mind alternatives.
** Make sure you are aware of any things you should avoid talking about “publicly”. Whoever is making the call may be privy to some information or news which is not for general consumption.
** If it takes place in a church service it is nice to welcome them with a round of applause and to farewell them with the same. This has the twofold effect of including the audience in the conversation and encouraging our missionary. If it is in a small group the phone can be either put on “speaker” mode or passed around to individuals.
** Be as chatty as possible. Read their prayer news and newsletters so they may already be aware of the general news – what they love to hear are specific, up-to-date, newsy stuff and also the “little” things as well as the big things. Make sure you are up-to-date on the latest public news they have given. Possible areas to cover are: ministry, recreation, accommodation, language study, people they’ve met, opportunities for others, current affairs which relate to them, “how can we help”, the future, today etc. etc.
** Try to make it a conversation, not an interview!
** Have five or so questions prepared – but be prepared to ask follow up or lateral questions depending on the response. This can be really hard to do – it is easy to be thinking about the next question rather than the response to the last. Having two people working together may help to overcome this.
** You may like to ask at the end “what are a couple of things you’d like us to pray for now?” and be ready to add them to a few other things you’ve prepared to pray for.
Individual Phone calls
** Encourage missionaries by ringing them for a birthday or other special occasion, or simply to have a chat.
** Check out phone cards which will provide cheap calls for that country. This website will give you information on the rates for cards available to use for each country-www.ozprepaidcards.com.au **
** Check out the option of using SKYPE – a computer programme which will allow you to talk through your computer to someone else with the same programme anywhere for free. There is also the option of both parties being able to see each other with the use of web cams (video cameras on the computers). For more information about it look at www.skype.com
Encourage missionaries by sending them SMS messages if they have a mobile phone. Check first though that they are happy to receive them – they may be charged to receive them in their country.
Mission Notice Board
Arrange for your church to have a notice board specifically used for mission promotion and education.
** Ideally, it should be placed in a strategic place where people can see it easily and read it without being in a busy thoroughfare. ** One person should be responsible for looking after it.
** Ensure that it is visually attractive using bold color and catchy headlines to catch the eye. ** Change it frequently, keeping it up to date. ** Display missionaries, latest news and prayer points with photos (some missionaries must not have their photo displayed check with CMS first). ** Include details of link missionaries birthdays, anniversaries etc. that are coming up. ** Advertise upcoming meetings with missionaries in church services, small groups, dinners etc. ** Advertise needs for missionaries home assignment needs like housing, car etc.
** Include promotion for short term and long term opportunities. ** Advertise CMS events Summer Conference, Winter Dinner, Prayer Days, regional prayer meetings, CMS Fellowship.
** Use to challenge folk to become CMS members, and to support missionaries financially.
Church Web Site
If your church has a web site, arrange to have your link missionary feature on it. Include photos, information about their work, up to date news and prayer points, links to the CMS website, how folk can be involved in supporting them, and contact details for your church’s mission representative.
(IMPORTANT: Check with your national missions office first for guidelines in case your missionary cannot be put on the website for security reasons!)
The above article, “Ideas for Supporting Missions in Your Church: Part 2” was written by Alasdair Livingston. The article was excerpted from www.cms.org.au web site. June 2017.
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.”