A well-planned missionary visit can make a big difference in your congregation's vision for missions. Here are some hints to help you plan well:
- Think of your missionaries as members of your congregation. Help them enter into the life of the congregation.
- Involve your missionaries in one or more worship services. Most ordained missionaries love to preach. Many of the unordained do too.
- As much as possible, work the missionary presentation into the worship service. Most missionary audiovisual programs are short and suitable for worship services.
- Schedule a time for your missionaries to visit with your pastor. A chat over coffee or lunch works well.
- If your church is the missionary's home church, schedule a time for your elders to visit them. This is an ideal time to offer spiritual encouragement.
- Involve your missionaries in a variety of small-group settings such as prayer groups, adult-ed groups, youth group, GEMS, Cadets, home visits, potlucks, church picnics, etc.
- Schedule a time with your congregation's decision-makers such as your church council, missions committee or deacons.
- Ask your missionaries well in advance of their visit to talk about a topic particularly of interest to the congregation.
- If there is a pastor's gathering planned for your area, make arrangements for your missionary to attend.
- Link missionary kids with same-aged kids in your congregation.
- Include missionaries in social events.
Practical matters when planning for your missionary's visit:
- You will hear from Resonate concerning your missionary's home service about four months before the event.
- Talk with your missionary about available dates for your missionary to visit.
- Talk with your missions committee or pastor about visit details.
- Continue to develop the visiting schedule.
- Talk personally with your missionary at least two weeks in advance of the visit. Discuss and confirm all events.
- Look at logistical things such as extension cords, projector tables, video projectors, etc.
- On the day of the visit, meet your missionaries as they enter and shepherd them about. Make lunch arrangements if necessary.