Use Missions Involvement as a Catalyst for Missions Growth

Your church may be planning some summer missions experiences. These may include a missions trip, outreach during a community event, a special project with children, or some other missions involvement targeting a group in your church. Often projects of this nature are planned as one-time experiences, but they can be catalysts for ongoing missions involvement if you plan ahead.

• Plan well for the missions experience. Make sure the project meets a need and is well organized. Begin making plans for a follow-up experience as well.

• Engage others in planning.

• If you are going to assist at an established ministry site, then include the ministry leader(s) in your planning. Coordinate the plans of your group with them.

• Advertise who you will be ministering to and specific tasks to be done during the ministry.

• If items are needed for the project, tell people in your church what is needed and by what date.

• Provide training as needed. This may be done the day of the event or in advance.

• Take pictures of people from your church as they are engaged in the ministry.

• Announce the next ministry project to participants on the way home.

• Report back to the church about the project, thanking those who donated needed items and inviting others to join you on the next project.

When people have a good experience in missions, the natural response is “when are we going to do this again?” By having plans made for the next project before you do the current project, you are ready to draw people into missions involvement. Some one-time projects have the potential to become ongoing ministries.

Another way to build on a good missions experience is to invite participants to a celebration and planning meeting for another project. Ask for testimonies about what was particularly meaningful to participants. Show pictures and share memories of the missions experience. At the gathering, include information about missions needs and pray for the leaders of the ministry where you worked. Pray for other ministry leaders and provide missions information that builds on the previous experience. As appropriate, use this time to “connect the dots” to help participants understand the connection between their praying, giving, and going.

Joy Bolton is the executive director for Kentucky WMU. She is the author of WMU Missions Guide for Churches and WMU Missions Guide for Associational Leaders. She has served as a WMU leader in churches, associations, and several states.










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