A lot of people want to help advance the cause of world missions, but don’t know where to begin. I think this post has some helpful suggestions & practical tips. This is a re:post from Eternal Perspective Ministries. By German Missionary Fellowship DMG
Create mission awareness:
- Get alongside new believers, disciple them, encourage them to explore and develop their gifts and to grow in various types of ministry in the church (children’s work, youth meetings, evangelistic outreach, house groups).
- Create interest in mission—invite missionaries, have a world map in the church hall, mission information, adopt an unreached people group (prayer, info).
- Place missionary books on the church bookstall and in the church library.
- Give missionary books as a gift to specific people.
- Elders, pastors, counselors to talk on calling and call believers to missionary service.
- Support, advise and encourage those preparing for missionary work.
- Commission into missionary service as a church.
- Pray personally.
- Pray in church services, prayer meetings, house groups.
- Form a missionary prayer group, prayer initiatives.
- Pray with the help of Operation World (Patrick Johnstone), “Pray through the 10/40 Windows” etc.
- Participate in prayer initiatives like “30 days of Prayer for the Islamic World.”
Keep in touch—keep informed:
- Write to the missionary regularly (letter, fax, email) or call him/her and encourage and inform, send a church newsletter, front page of local newspaper, video of church activities, audio cassette, photos, give out addressed aerogrammes in the church and encourage others to keep in touch, too.
- Encourage, counsel, be available.
- Children to keep in touch with the missionaries’ children.
- Be a link person between the missionary and his/her home church. Give out prayer requests in church services, read out excerpts from personal letters, newsletters, show videos, display small items etc. Create a missionary interest in the church.
- Have a missionary notice board in the church hall. Display up-to-date newsletters and information.
- Send presents (small parcels: e.g. children’s books, videos, cassettes) esp. at Christmas, birthdays etc.
- Edit, format, print and mail the missionary’s prayer letter, keep the address list up to date.
- Arrange for the local newspaper or a Christian journal to include articles about the missionary and his/her work.
- Visits to the mission field (if appropriate) by the pastor/elders/evangelistic team/building team/construction team, sports team.
- Short-term ministry with missionaries (do house keeping for them, care for their children, help with computers, counsel, preach, teach the missionary and his/her colleagues or church members etc. on subjects you are expert in if those subjects are of interest to them).
- Provide storage for luggage, books, furniture.
- Help in financial and legal matters back home (bank accounts, financial transactions, investments, insurance policies, tax declarations, inheritance)
- Give advice on computers, electronic media, software, medical matters, schooling options.
- Get and send medicines, spare parts, books, children’s materials, local newspaper clips.
- Provide information on current affairs in the home country, up-to-date literature. Subscribe to a newspaper and have it sent out.
- Provide information on professional innovations, new technology, equipment from a colleague, send a professional journal.
- Visit the missionary’s elderly relatives, especially on anniversaries and birthdays, provide care on behalf of the missionary, attend funerals of his/her relatives.
- Support the missionary personally.
- Be creative in fund raising, organize a bazaar, art or handicraft exhibition, Gift Day, sponsored walk.
- Suggest the missionary’s ministry as special Christmas project to the local newspaper.
- Help the missionary to prepare for home assignment. Write to him/her prior to his/her return and offer your help (send newspaper articles on current topics in media/church/society/politics).
- Welcome him/her at the airport and arrange for transportation.
- Provide accommodation, furniture, household items, food.
- Provide a car for use during home assignment.
- Make time for the missionary, especially during the first few weeks and help him/her through the ‘reverse culture shock‘. Invite him/her for a meal, tea etc.
- Help with readjusting after arrival (traffic regulations, refuse collection, fashion, shopping, currency, banking, transfer forms, procedures with the authorities etc.).
- Children to help the missionaries’ children to adjust to home culture, school etc.
- Provide a holiday flat (or let the missionary ‘house-sit’ for you while you are away), arrange weekends away, lend a caravan, take the children on outings.
- Get invitations from churches, schools, youth groups, students’ groups, house groups, church house parties, clubs, societies etc.).
- Introduce the missionary to interested friends.
- Plan evangelistic activities together with the missionary (open-air meetings, visits to refugee hostels, university campus, student hostel). Visit neighbors from other cultural backgrounds.
- Invite the missionary to your church retreat (as guest speaker).
- Make helpful suggestions for improving e.g. slide presentations, preaching (make aware of changes in culture in the home country—a missionary may not be aware when he comes across as a bit ‘odd’!).
- Set up an interview with a local newspaper, local radio/TV, Christian journals—wonderful opportunities to give a testimony.
- Make technical equipment available for deputation meetings (slide-projector, video-projector, screen).
- Plan the deputation work for/with the missionary.
- Send school books & material, instructive and other books in the children’s native language.
- Give advice on schooling options.
- Take the missionaries’ children into your family if they need to stay on in the home country for higher education, vocational training etc.
- Help missionaries with readjustment back into the home country at the end of their service abroad.
- Help to find secular employment.
- Seek accommodation for those retiring.
Support of mission agency:
- Make skills and knowledge available to mission agency (computer, law, taxes, education, graphics, PR, translation, professional counseling, diet, agriculture, gardening.).
- Practical help in the mission’s home office (house-keeping, grounds maintenance, building work, correspondence, mailing of newsletters, etc.).