THE IMPORTANCE OF A MISSIONS CONFERENCE
BY J. S. LEAMAN–DIRECTOR OF
PROMOTION FOREIGN MISSIONS DIVISION
A missionary conference is a spiritually uplifting and exciting time for a church. Many pastors who have repeatedly held missions conferences will tell you that it is the most exciting weekend of the
year. The emphasis on world missions is an eye opener to many of the laity, enlarging their concepts of evangelizing and spreading the gospel. It answers the questions, “Why do we send?” “What can I do?”
and ‘`How do we get it done together?”
Incorporating the Faith Promise concept into a missions conference builds faith in the hearts of the saints. It provides the financing to support the Partners in Missions commitments of the local
church. Having an annual missions emphasis is a good way to continue this momentum. Faith Promise provides finances, enabling the local church to become involved in supporting missionaries on a monthly basis through the Partners in Missions program.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world,” beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). Starting at our home church we reach out to those around us. Judea and Samaria are representative of our own city, state, or
province. “And to the uttermost parts of the earth” represents reaching the world with the gospel. The UPCI is presently reaching out to 136 nations through the work of missionaries, short-term volunteers, and national ministers. The world is getting smaller in the sense that we can give reports of revival, miracles, and healings almost immediately through advances in technology. The communication of good reports and urgent needs builds faith in the hearts of the hearers. It awakens many to real compassion, the kind Jesus experienced as He saw the needs of those around Him and of those He had never met.
Today there are limitations in some nations, severely restricting the proclamation of this gospel. However, if the door is open, no matter how small the opening, we must go. The doors to other countries are closing, yet workers are bravely advancing the gospel in underground churches where hearts are hungry and thirsty to experience the living God. They are like the woman at the well. She did not realize her own need until Jesus spoke of the “living water” He could give her. After her encounter with Jesus, she told others to “come see a man . . . is not this the Christ?” John 4:29). A change of heart in a person, no matter where he lives, makes him want to get involved and tell others.
Although your church may promote missions on a monthly basis, setting aside one or more days for missions promotion with missionary personnel makes the congregation feel a part of global outreach and world revival. It exposes the congregation to a “live” missionary’s burden, the needs of his country, and the possibility of personal involvement. Church members will be touched with compassion, enabling them to empathize with the missionary. As a result, their prayers will most likely become more attuned to the needs in many countries. After all, prayer is an integral part of the missions endeavor. We all are aware that prayer changes things. Thank God for the World Network of
Prayer and its enthusiasm to intercede for a lost world and to cover our missionaries with prayer.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Depending on the size of the congregation, you may be interested in using a few or all of the following suggestions.
1. Set a date. Select a time when most of the church family can attend and participate.
2. Schedule missionary personnel to attend. Contact your district foreign missions director or the foreign missions director of promotion at World Evangelism Center. Please plan ahead in order to schedule the missionary you want.
3. Plan the service. Determine a theme. Perhaps a choir song can be used that goes along with the theme. Use songs, reports, children’s flag ceremony, etc. Involve as many ministries as possible.
4. Promote and announce the missions conference ahead of time. This helps to build enthusiasm and anticipation. Design a program or flyer, if possible.
5. Decorate auditorium, foyer, and classrooms using banners, flags, and missions artwork prepared ahead of time.
THE SCENARIO GOES LIKE THIS
BY MERVYN D. MILLER, DIRECTOR OF
FAITH PROMISE MINISTRIES
This is not a story, but rather an honest report of not just one church but literally hundreds throughout our United Pentecostal Church fellowship.
The scenario goes like this:
A church of 350 plus has a monthly foreign missions commitment of $840. Usually one of the first questions asked upon meeting with the pastor is, “Is this your first faith promise service?” The second question is, “Are you meeting your monthly commitment?”
More often than not, the pastor’s reply goes something like this:
“Every month we have to supplement the missions offering with funds from the church’s general account.” Now, one must surely wonder how this can be. Here is a great church, in one of our largest cities, and noted for its esteemed pastor and solid support of all our organizational programs. One gasps at the magnificent church facility end the outstanding choir with superb music. The parking with the latest and best automobiles ” available. Yet the congregation is not meeting their missions commitment. Note: I didn’t say “not able to meet their missions commitment,” but rather “not meeting their commitment.”
Along comes a man with a plan. He introduces the pastor and church to the Faith Promise Concept. His presentation includes a biblical message on giving. Next he clarifies the difference between Faith Promise and Partners in Missions. He will then unfold the guaranteed blessings which follow the adoption of the concept. Then the church will be challenged to a positive approach to FAITH, because “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Hebrews 11:6) and giving pleases Him: “For the Lord loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7). Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And again He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38).
From this point on in the service, God literally shakes the doubts and fears from the hearts of the worshipers who just did not know how to exercise their faith. They did not know the foundational facts about the great concept, “YOU SUPPLY THE FAITH- GOD HAS THE PROMISE ALREADY PROVIDED.”
They had never been challenged to step into a larger dimension of faith and offer themselves as the vessel or body through which God can pour the promise. That is it in a nutshell. It is your faith and His
provision. (Study Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22.) He is still Jehovah Jireh, the providing Lord.
The service is then brought to a close by telling of current reports from church after church and miracle after miracle because of the Faith Promise Concept.
Oh yes, back to the church with a congregation of 350 plus and not meeting their missions commitment of $840 and who never had a Faith Promise service before. At the closing of the message, the altar filled with people bringing their “new” Faith Promise to God. No one left the altar; the anointing was so powerful. Bodies of the sick were healed, new dedication and commitments were made, and the church was elevated to a new dimension of faith in God. When the commitment cards were counted, the amount totaled over $7,000 per month.
You see, FAITH PROMISE REALLY WORKS – YOU SHOULD TRY IT!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY PENTECOSTAL HERALD, JUNE 1999,
PAGES 6, 15. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY &
RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.