How does your church support missionaries and build a vision for mission in your church? Earlier this spring, twelve church mission committee leaders gathered at Calvin Theological Seminary to share their best practices. It was encouraging and inspiring to hear what each of these churches was doing. These churches were different in size and location but the same in love for God’s world here and abroad.
Several of the churches had similar ways of supporting and caring for their missionaries, and some practices were unique to a congregation.
Here are some similar practices they mentioned:
- Emailing missionaries to hear how they are doing and to develop a relationship with them.
- Assigning a particular mission committee member or church small group to a missionary for connecting with and caring for. These individuals or small groups would connect with the missionary throughout the year and especially for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.
- Sharing missionaries' newsletters on their church website as well as hard copies in the church, or a video running in your narthex.
- Having the missionary preach or share about their ministry when visiting the church.
Several churches also had practices that were more unique to their church:
- Visiting their missionary in the country of service and learning about what they are doing and who they are working with there.
- Talking about how to learn from the global missionaries for local ministry ideas.
- Using WhatsApp to communicate with your missionary. (WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging platform in many countries throughout the world.)
- Including youth on your mission committee for learning about missions and missionaries.
- Attending virtual conferences to help in serving your missionaries.
What does your church do to support your missionaries and build mission in your church? Let’s keep the conversation going. Leave a comment and let us know.
Written by Carla Bieber, Resonate Local Mission Leader with the Great Lakes Region