HOW WILL A CHURCH BENEFIT FROM AN ANNUAL MISSIONS CONVENTION?
- It is the most effective way to open the world to your congregation – This equips the Church to better pray, give, and go.
- 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.
- The convention can give your people great joy and joyful Christians get along better with each other.
- Working together in a convention will result in better unity because people working for a common goal seldom fight each other.
- Faith Promise giving will generate more money for missions, usually more than double their previous missions’ giving, following their first convention.
- This will allow for more disposable income in your general fund, since your missions commitments are now paid from Faith Promise income.
- Faith Promise giving releases God’s principle of multiplication, many times by increasing general fund income.
- An annual convention gives opportunity to obey Christ’s command.
- An annual convention puts you and the Church in agreement with God’s purpose which is to redeem mankind.
The Father is not willing that anyone be lost. (2 Peter 3:9)
The Son came to seek and to save all who are lost. (Luke 19:10)
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 Involves everyone
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 believer’s responsibility to help reach the lost with the gospel
- It Should Be Informative:
– Exposing the congregation to the work of Assemblies of God 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?
- A Series Of Services, Conducted At Least Annually, That Focus On Missions
- A Missions’ Speaker
- 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.
DONUT 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 Assemblies of God Missions’ 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?
- Announcing the total of the faith promises during the service gives more importance to the occasion.
- It creates special excitement and anticipation.
- Reading each faith promise total aloud presents a model for others to follow.
- 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
- What did we do right?
- What did we do wrong?
- What did we not do but should have done?
- What could we do better?
- What dates will we set for next year’s convention
- 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!
The above article, “Missions Support with an Annual Missions Convention” was written by Paul Brannan. The article was excerpted from Checklist for Brannan Missions in the Local Church.
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.”