Ideas for Supporting Missions in your Church – Part 3
Church Congregational Exposure
** Pray for the link missionary regularly. Include up-to-date prayer points each week, either in the pew sheet, or in the prayers.
** If your church has notices scrolling on a power point at some stage of the service, include recent photos and prayer points of the link missionary, or advertisements for a mission prayer meeting or fund raiser for supporting the link missionary.
** Keep the congregation informed of the missionary’s latest movements, work programme, health, etc.
** Have a regular mission spot in services, sometimes with a report from the Parish Missionary Secretary, or a link missionary’s advocate, using power point photos or a phone hook-up.
** Have missionaries: prayer emails and prayer letters available for members of the congregation who want them to read at home.
** Allow at least one service for the link missionary to speak to the congregation while they are on home assignment.
** Have one person as a designated CMS representative for each congregation.
** Encourage the clergy and parish council members to be involved in mission. Offer to pay for the clergy to attend CMS Summer Conference.
** Encourage clergy and parish council members to consider visiting link missionaries on the field.
** Utilize expertise in the congregation to promote mission. One of our missionaries is providing images and video footage to a friend who is producing a short video every few months to be shown during services and meetings. Video is a great medium to grab people’s attention and helps people who haven’t previously met the missionary to get to know them and their ministry.
** Another great tried and tested idea, “We are currently doing a preaching series on Revelation in the evening at Trinity. A few weeks ago, tied in with the second sermon (which covered the letters to the various churches) the service leader had arranged for a worker to send over a voice recording (she emailed it over a sound file) which was “to the church in Adelaide”. This was played during the service. Tying input from the worker into the theme of the service /sermon was great & continued to tie in the connection between their ministry & the church’s ministry. We hope to do a phone / internet hook-up in the evening services later in the year.”
** Invite missionaries to speak to Sunday School classes or other children’s groups.
** Ask the CMS Children’s Worker for help.
** Encourage families to “adopt a missionary” and include the children in communicating with them, praying for them, raising money to support them, getting to know them when on Home Assignment.
** Choose a country on the world map – find out about it and pray for it.
** Follow children’s interests and apply them to praying for missionaries e.g. train lines through the world – follow the railway and pray for the countries it goes through.
** Have a garage sale to raise money for missions – invite singles from your church to join in with you.
** Money box: encourage children to give from their allowance voluntarily. Why not make a CMS Give Box – Template available from the CMS office.
** Cooking: bake things together to sell to neighbors to raise money for missions. Include children in sampling recipes from other countries – see Prayer Guide resources on the website.
** Use children’s knowledge and interest in world events to pray for the world and situations.
** Foster interest in the world.
** Talk to CMS’s children’s worker for ideas or to share your struggles.
** Check out the resources on our website for kids and parent/teacher resources at www.cms.org.au
**Use the CMS Kids Prayer Diary “Pray around the World” , talk about families, ages of children etc. and help children identify with Missionary Kids. Creative and interactive activities are also effective learning tools for young people.
For example, you could:
1. Have a prayer party. Cake, balloons, flowers, party poppers, all of these can represent different prayer points for cross cultural mission, and is a delicious way to make prayer fun!
2. Use a variety of styles and forms of prayer. Ask children to draw their prayer points.
3. Make group prayer fun and pray “popcorn prayers”. In a similar way to how popcorn randomly pops when cooking, encourage children to jump in with a brief prayer. You may need to open the prayer time, and close it again after an appropriate silence.
4. Pray from the Bible. Encourage the children to memorize the verses from God’s word so they can pray them anytime.
5. Use visual reminders. Decorate a room with pictures and maps. Then walk around the room, explaining what God is doing in the world and ask the children to pray that people in different countries would know Jesus.
** You could also encourage children to save up and buy something from the CMS gift catalogue (www.cms.org.au/giftcatalogue).
** You could even make a shoebox of goodies to send to missionary kids.
Recommended books and Web sites
* “Operation World” (21st Century Edition) by Patrick Johnstone Word Australia, up to date information to help you pray for the world
* “Window on the World” by Daphne Spraggett & Jill Johnstone – Paternoster Press UK, an exciting book to inspire families to pray
* www.cms.org.au, the official CMS website
* www.smbc.com.au/missions_links.htm – lots of links to interesting mission sites including maps and information on many countries
* www.lcms.org, an American Lutheran mission website which has lots of ideas which may inspire you
The above article, “Ideas for Supporting Missions in Your Church: Part 3” 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.”