Report on What God Is Doing through WMU

antique typewriter

When I was in journalism school, I was told, “Don’t tell me. Show me.” And no, I wasn’t majoring in broadcast journalism or photojournalism.

What my professors wanted me to do as I wrote newspaper, magazine, or website articles was to be descriptive, using active verbs and strong nouns and avoiding superfluous adjectives and adverbs. They wanted just the facts, but they wanted the facts to be presented in a way that would capture the audience’s attention.

As you prepare your end-of-the-year report for your church, keep this idea of showing— not just telling—in mind. Think of your report as an opportunity to celebrate what God did through WMU over the past year and inspire others to get involved in missions through WMU in the year to come.

Your Assignment

First, gather the facts:

  • Who participated in missions? (preschoolers, children, students, adults, the entire church, families) How many people were enrolled in missions organizations or attended events sponsored by WMU?
  • What did participants learn and do? (accomplishment of goals you set at the beginning of the year)
  • When did you do missions? (weekly meetings of missions organizations or special emphases or events throughout the church year)
  • Where did you travel? (i.e., what areas of the world did you study through the curriculum or where did you go to do missions projects?)
  • Why did you do these activities?
  • How were lives changed? (both those on the receiving end of your missions and ministry projects and those doing the ministering)

To answer these questions, “interview” each age-level organization leader and WMU leadership team member. You may also need to talk with members of the various organizations and ministry partners and recipients to ensure that the story is accurately and adequately told.

Styles of Reporting

Then, decide the best format to present your story to your audience (i.e., your fellow church members). Just as a pastor must prepare a sermon that will reach both the saved and the unsaved, you must prepare a report that will inform and intrigue both those involved with WMU and those not involved with WMU. Keep in mind that there may be people in your congregation who have no idea what WMU is or why you do what you do through it.

You could write an article for the church newsletter or website. If possible, include pictures with your article.

You could deliver a verbal report during a church business meeting or another service. This could be a brief report on activities, a testimony about missions involvement, or a report combined with a computer slide presentation.

You could create a multimedia report that includes pictures or video of activities or events. Photos, along with WMU posters and other items, could also be used on bulletin boards or in displays.

And you don’t have to report alone. Invite other leaders or members to report on an activity or give a testimony. Enlist someone with experience with technology to create (or help you create) a computer slide presentation or a video.

Edit Thyself

In the process of preparing your report, keep 3 goals in mind:

  1. Accuracy—You want your story to be interesting and true.
  2. Clarity—You want to keep it simple and be specific.
  3. Brevity—You want to say what you need to say and then stop.

Kathleen Penton is an assistant editor with WMU.

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