Pentecost is past; the school year is winding up; and summer is upon us. Before you know it fall will be here. Many churches have a mission emphasis celebration between mid-September and mid-November, and now is a good time to plan those events. The scope of mission emphasis celebrations runs all the way from prayer and the collection of Faith Promise pledges to a nine day period with four worship services and mid-week events that cover world and home missions, word and deed ministry, in-person and media outreach. You can start your planning by looking at the Mission Emphasis: How to planner under Resources. Actually, World Missions has a bunch of resources you can access including themes, pledge cards and other items. All of the agencies have preachers/speakers who may be available.
A themed worship service or series of events that focus on missions can be a great way to build understanding and excitement about missions in the congregation. I do a great deal of mission emphasis preaching. Frequently, I encounter significant misunderstanding of the mission situation and needs around the world. I regularly offer to do an adult or adult/teen class on missions in addition to preaching in order to offer more information and opportunity for dialogue. Some of those I encounter are not aware of the fantastic growth of Christianity around the world and its implications for how we do missions. Others have become so focused on the reality of local mission needs that they want to pull back from international work. I'm guessing that those whose focus is on home missions or relief and development work at home and abroad have somewhat different observations. But we all need periodic reinforcement and reminder that the mission of God is comprehensive both in location and type of ministry.
What experience has your church had with mission emphasis that others could learn from?