Promoting Missions in the Church and Home
By Stephen Ross
What the Local Church Can Do:
* Have a well-written missions policy.
* Have a functioning missions committee.
* Have a faith promise giving program for missions.
* Have men’s and women’s groups with a focus on missions.
* Have a missionary couple/family to lead Vacation Bible School and have a “penny march” to help raise money for them.
* Have visiting missionaries speak in the Christian school chapel and Bible class.
* Have a missionary speaker for Christian school camp.
* Encourage the Christian summer camp where your church kids attend to have a missionary speaker.
* Provide lodging and opportunity for service to graduating Bible college students who plan to go to the mission field. This will give them valuable experience before going on deputation.
* Provide lodging during the summer for MK’s (missionary kids) attending Christian college and help them find summer jobs.
* Provide housing and transportation for missionaries on furlough, especially those sent out by your church.
* Give generously to visiting missionaries (even if you can not take them on for support, you can still help them on deputation or furlough with a good love offering).
* Help the visiting missionary with maintaining their automobile, etc. Provide them with an oil change. Check to see if they need tires or other auto work, then get together with several church members and pay for the work.
* Maintain a missionary “closet” of good used clothing items, etc. for visiting missionaries on deputation or furlough to take what they need.
* Have something special for missionary children when their parents are visiting your church.
* Organize a missions trip for interested church members.
* If the church has a Christian school, have the Senior Trip be a missions trip.
* Send a construction team to help a missionary with a project on the field.
* Have a section of the Sunday bulletin dedicated to missions (a quote by a missionary, statistics, etc.)
* Pray for your missionaries. During prayer meeting, summarize the ministry of the missionaries who wrote that week, tell their specific prayer requests, and pray for the missionaries.
* Communicate regularly with the missionaries the church supports. Have members of the church “adopt” a missionary family for a year and communicate with them (including E-mail) to encourage them and to keep them informed of “back home.” Send them birthday and anniversary cards, “care packages,” news about the church including the church bulletin, a photo(s) of a special church event, etc. Also encourage young persons to be pen pals with missionary children of their own age.
* List the missionaries which the church helps support in a special section of the church directory.
* Maintain a church Web site with a special section on the missionaries the church helps support including mail and E-mail addresses. If the missionary or their sending agency or church maintains a Web site, provide a link to it.
* Have a church missions bulletin board where prayer letters, etc. are posted and where there is a world map indicating location of the missionaries the church helps support.
* Make missionary biographies available for purchase or for lending from a church resource table/display rack.
* Have an annual missions conference or a missions emphasis month (this can include such events as an International Dinner, having missionaries send E-mail messages of greeting to be read at the conference, and having a missionary call during the conference and it arranged so that all in the church can hear the conversation).
* Have pastoral leadership (preaching on missions, public invitations to surrender to full-time Christian service, using stories relating to missions as sermon illustrations, mentioning special missionary prayer requests and praying for them publicly, regularly having missionaries visit to present their field of ministry, etc.).
What the Individual Can Do:
*Pray for missionaries during personal prayer time as well as during family worship time.
*Keep a list of missionaries and pray for 2 or 3 of them each day.
*Read true missionary stories and biographies of missionaries as part of family worship time.
*”Adopt” a missionary family or two (perhaps one you have had in your home for dinner when they were on deputation or furlough); sincerely care for and fervently pray for them.
*Regularly write, E-mail, or phone a missionary (get your children involved as well in writing to the MK’s.)
*Send birthday, anniversary, and Christmas cards (again, do not forget the MK’s and to get your children involved too).
*Send care packages.
*Attend all the services in which missionaries are speaking and/or presenting their ministry.
*Show hospitality to visiting missionaries on deputation or furlough (be willing to help where needed).
*Give visiting missionaries prepaid phone cards.
*Instead of trading in your car, donate it to your church for missionary use; or let a missionary family use an extra car (in good condition) while they are home on furlough.
*Open your home during vacations and summers to MK’s attending Christian college “home side” and help them find short-time employment if needed.
*If the missionaries have elderly relatives living in your area, offer to provide them help and support on behalf of the missionary.
*Host and provide meals for visiting missionaries and their families (you and your family will be richly blessed!).
*Give generously to missionary projects and love offerings for visiting missionaries.
*Volunteer to serve on the missions committee.
*Volunteer to maintain the church’s missions bulletin board.
*Give out missionary biographies to encourage others regarding missions.
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.”