How Can I Learn More About Global Missions?

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Written by Kristen Vanderberg, World Renew-Canada

There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet. If you are a member of your church’s Global Mission Committee, learning more is a large challenge put before you. Here are a few resources to help you learn more about global mission.

How do I help my congregation learn more?

In addition to educating yourself about global mission, you can also deepening the understanding that your congregation has for mission and global ministry. Here are a few resources to help you.

Articles

Spend some time reading about global mission and what others are doing both on the field and to promote global mission to their congregations. Here are a few publications to get you started:

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Workshops

A workshop might be a great way for new members of your Global Mission Committee to learn about global mission, or to help an established committee figure out its strategy for the coming months or years. Contact Trish De Jong, Missions Resource Consultant Burlington, ON 1-800-730-3490; tdejong@crcna.org; Bill Thornburg, Missions Resource Consultant Grand Rapids, MI 616-224-0848; bthornburg@crcna.org Here are a few workshop topics that you might want to consider:

  • "Are Missionaries Still Needed?" Tough Questions from the Changing Face of Missions - The world and missions methodology is changing dramatically. Some are saying that Western Christians should stay home and send more to support the work of others. If Western missionaries go overseas, what should they be doing and how should they be doing it? We’ll explore some of the implications these changes have for CRC congregations and World Missions in their global ministries.

  • Developing a Strategic Plan for Global Outreach - A strategic plan can help a church become more focused in its global outreach ministry so that it can have an even greater impact for the kingdom. We’ll review the steps involved in developing a strategic plan and look at how God has uniquely positioned your church for participation in his mission. Knowing your missions priorities can help you address the tough questions missions committees and global outreach teams often face as well as motivate you for greater participation in God’s plan for his world.

  • Global Partnerships - Are You Ready? - If your church is considering a global partnership (i.e., building a sister church/community relationship), or if you'd just like to learn more about this focused approach to missions, this is the workshop for you. We'll discover the goals and characteristics of a Global Partnership and indicators to help assess if your church may be ready. We’ll also discuss when it's wise not to pursue a global partnership and how to move ahead if you are ready.

  • How to Operate an Effective Missions Committee or Global Outreach Team - So you've been asked to serve on the Missions Committee. Or maybe your church wants to form its own global outreach team. Maybe you'd like to revitalize your existing committee. We'll explore practical suggestions for operating an effective Missions Team that will help your church fulfill its Great Commission calling

  • Mission Emphasis Event How-To's - Mission Celebrations can be exciting and meaningful events. But it takes some work to get there. Learn how to plan and put on an exciting and meaningful event, discover where to find useful resources, and explore new ideas for your next mission emphasis event. Contact: e-mail address here

  • Partnerships: Connecting North American Churches to Majority World Churches and Communities - We will look at the changes of the global picture of Christianity and North American churches’ participation in that ministry. By looking through the eyes of the church, the agency, and the host country, we will attempt to discover what things we need to consider in moving forward with a healthy partnership relationship. Learning from others, we will identify the key principles to a healthy church-to-church or church-to-community partnership.

  • Short Term Missions - Long Term Impact?? - Learn the markers that will help gauge whether the time, effort and finances invested in short-term missions (STM) is truly making a long-term impact on the character of your church. Through a strong vision for global outreach and an intentional debriefing process, discover how STM’s can not only have a lasting impact in the lives of participants, but can also propel change within the local church. Discover how to avoid the trap of missions experiences becoming “just another good trip.”

  • Short Term Missions: Bringing the Learning Home - Discover how the excitement of overseas short term missions can inform, ignite and open doors to personal growth and ministry opportunities in our communities back home. In this workshop participants will discover seeing short term missions as a “journey” rather than a “trip” makes all the difference!

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Webinars

A webinar is a workshop where you can view an online PowerPoint presentation while being connected to a telephone conference call. You hear the audio presentation on the phone and see the workshop slides on your computer. A high speed Internet connection on your computer is required. These webinars are opportunities to learn more about specific missions topics and issues relevant to where your church is at in missions. They also give you the chance to interact with others interested in missions. Upcoming webinars are posted on The Network.

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Web links

Here are a few websites that you might find it helpful to visit:

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For children

Many missionaries testify that they felt God's call to missions as children. Young children and youth can be passionate about reaching the world for Christ and about helping to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world. You can use the resources below to help raise up children who are knowledgeable about the world and who are engaged in God's mission to extend His kingdom and build his church all around the world.

  • Activity Books – Make mission fun, by using games and activities to introduce young children to the lives of others. Christian Reformed World Missions has an activity book that helps children learn about goat herders in Mali and cane-cutters in the Dominican Republic. To order a free copy go to the Faith Alive online catalog.

  • Children’s Bulletins - Kids love bulletins with activities, puzzles and more. Why not use this standard church item as an opportunity to educate about global mission? Christian Reformed World Missions has a variety of children’s bulletins with a missions theme. Order a master copy and make as many copies as you need. To order go to the Faith Alive online catalog.

  • Children’s Giving Projects – Even young children can understand the concept of sharing with others. Encourage your church school program, VBS, or church camp to include an offering cause as part of their curriculum. World Renew creates a new giving project each year to coincide with such an offering. Included in the projects are stories and activities about children around the world, and posters with stickers to track donations towards a specific goal. For more information, click here.

  • Children’s Sermons – Many congregations include a “time with children” or Children’s Message as part of their worship service. This is a great opportunity to introduce young children to global needs, mission, and the role they can play in loving others. Some sample children’s sermons are available from World Renew and CRWM including:

  • Family or Child Sponsorship – A great way to help young children deepen their understanding of global mission is to get the church connected to a specific child or family in need. Many organizations have child sponsorship programs that you can sign up for. World Renew has an alternative to child sponsorship, called Free A Family, that will provide quarterly stories to the children of your church about a real family that World Renew is working with.

  • World Hunger Sunday – Dedicating a specific time each year to reflect on global needs and the ability North Americans have to share their blessings with others, is a great way to introduce global mission to the children of your church. The first Sunday of November has been designated by the Christian Reformed Church as World Hunger Sunday. Each year, World Renew puts together a unique World Hunger Campaign that includes educational materials and daily giving suggestions for children.

  • Some additional resources:

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For youth

During high school and college, many young people get their first personal experience of mission through a mission trip or advocacy campaign. Experiences like these can make youth passionate about reaching the world for Christ and about helping to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world. You can use the resources below to deepen the knowledge that the young people of your church have about the world, and to increase their enthusiasm for being engaged in mission.

  • Plugged-in to Missions - An interactive DVD curriculum from Christian Reformed World Missions about missions around the world. Using award-winning videos produced by CRWM, this DVD curriculum shows what God is doing in different parts of the world to extend His kingdom and build His church. In addition, each segment acts as a springboard for the discussion of a particular topic. Participants will learn about the challenges national churches and our missionaries face and about some of the ways these issues affect your life in North America.

  • Hope Equals - An initiative of CRWM to encourage Christian college-aged youth to become actively involved in a peaceful, just, and mutually respectful resolution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Together with Palestinian and Israeli organizations and individuals committed to peacemaking, CRWM will begin a process of discussion and discovery to help build hope in the Middle East.

  • Some additional resources for youth

    • Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger - a curriculum to teach about hunger and injustice.

    • Hunger No More - a uniquely cooperative effort of 23 churches and organizations, to get people talking about issues related to hunger, poverty, and powerlessness. Click here for online content. Don’t be afraid to check out the "children’s resources", some of them would be great for youth and adults too. 

    • Hungry Decisions - an interactive, simulation exercise that will help you understand the realities of poverty. Church World Service has now made this resource available online.

    • The World at Table - host a dinner for your youth group or church that no one will forget, by serving people food portions that illustrate the injustice of food/wealth distribution in our world.

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For congregations

  • Mission Emphasis Week - Mission emphasis events provide a special opportunity to praise and thank God for what he is doing to advance His kingdom around the world. Holding a specific Missions Emphasis Week can help your congregation focus attention on the work of missions-at home and abroad. Christian Reformed World Missions provides a how-to guide for hosting a Missions Emphasis event in your church.

  • World Hunger Sunday – Dedicating a specific time each year to reflect on global needs and the ability North Americans have to share their blessings with others, is a great way to keep global mission on your congregation’s calendar. The first Sunday of November has been designated by the Christian Reformed Church as World Hunger Sunday. Each year, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee puts together a unique World Hunger Campaign that includes educational materials, worship resources, and daily devotions and giving suggestions.

  • Pentecost Sunday – Celebrating the outpouring of God's Spirit on people gathered together from a variety of countries and ethnic groups is a marvelous way to learn more about God's mission to all the peoples of the world. Different resources are produced annually to enhance worship services on Pentecost Sunday or anytime throughout the year.

  • Speakers – asking a guest speaker to come share their thoughts and experiences is a great way to make global mission more real for your congregation. Consider inviting a guest speaker to lead an adult education time, attend a small-group discussion, or even preach during your main worship service. Contact the CRCNA missions agencies to find out who is available.

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