Supporting missionaries is enriching for congregations! I have seen this to be true in my region and wanted to share two recent examples of churches that went deeper in their relationships with missionaries.
Recently, Pathway Church in St. John, Indiana worked with us as they decided to close the church. During the process, they decided to support God’s mission with a large gift to their missionary in the Middle East. Praise God!
Pathway’s heart for mission and for their church’s legacy is clearly evident in this sacrificial gift. I know that each member at Pathway will carry this missionary in their hearts when they find a new church home. They planted seeds that will help continue that ministry even after members of their congregation begin worshiping elsewhere.
Another powerful story of God at work comes from Immanuel CRC in Burbank, Illinois. Immanuel has supported Raúl and Adrianna's ministry in Central America for several years. They began with just $300 per year but have increased that gift nearly 20 times over! That’s a truly biblical harvest from a church that gives sacrificially to support God’s mission.
Furthermore, Immanuel has invested a lot more than money to deepen their relationship with their missionaries. Adrianna Herrera recently shared about the hospitality and friendship that she has experienced at Immanuel.
“They are one of the only churches I visit where nearly everyone knows who I am as soon as I walk in the door, and they are aware of what has been happening in our ministry. They do a great job interacting with prayer and updates too.”
The Herreras have also encouraged Immanuel in their ministry and there are new opportunities for the Herreras to help Immanuel connect more meaningfully with the Mexican and Hispanic communities that make up more than 51% of the church’s surrounding neighborhoods!
So how about your church? Are you interested in deepening your relationships with the missionaries that you support?
Here are five simple ways to get the ball rolling:
- Increased financial support: review current obligations and set new targets
- Greater communication using video, Skype, audio files, sharing info about the country and ministry in the bulletin, church newsletter, pre-service PowerPoint, etc.
- Increased prayer support: regular rotation or special mission Sunday
- Involving members of all ages: Sunday school class, youth group, GEMS or Cadet club
- Better-utilizing the missionary during their visits to the church: attendance at council and mission committee meetings, joining a small group, adult ed. or mid-week activity