How to Get a “Real Live” Missionary to Your Church

young man standing in field with Bible at his side

Missionaries are the reason WMU exists. After all, “Missionary” is our middle name! Members of WMU have been learning about, praying for, and giving to missionaries for 130 years. Missionary stories prompt us to pray and give to missions. They also inspire us to be on mission right where we are.

Did you know you could have a “real live” missionary share his or her story at your church? International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries on stateside assignment and North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionaries are happy to speak at churches or missions events.

Enlist a Missionary Speaker

To enlist a missionary speaker, call your state WMU office. You can also request an IMB missionary speaker by completing the form at imb.org/otherspeaker-request/missionary or a NAMB missionary speaker by completing the form at namb.net/request-a-speaker/. Keep in mind that it may take 4–6 weeks to receive a reply using this method. Your state convention office can also put you in touch with a NAMB missionary near you or involved in the type of missions work you would like to highlight.

State what event you are inviting the missionary to. Include the purpose, date, time, and location of the event. Be specific about what topic you would like the missionary to address, how long he or she would have to speak, and the expected audience.

Be a Gracious Host

Be prepared to cover travel expenses, including lodging and meals if needed. Book a hotel room, budget permitting, or arrange for the missionary to stay with a church member. Take the missionary to dinner or ask church members to provide a meal. The blessing of an honorarium is always appreciated.

Be open to alternatives like videoconferencing if a speaker is not available in person.

Ask the missionary about technology needs prior to the presentation. In your email correspondence with an international missionary speaker, remember to use secure language. Instead of using the word “missionary,” use “field personnel.” For “church,” say “gathering” or BC (Baptist church). After you have written your email, reread it to see if it contains any language that may put the missionary’s work at risk.

Before the missionary leaves your church, ask how you can pray for him or her. Most missionaries have prayer cards with suggestions on how to pray for them and their families. Make a commitment with your church to follow up in prayer for your special missionary guest.

Stacy Nall is preschool/children consultant, Kentucky WMU.

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