Mission Projects

Law Enforcement Ministry: Offer “Peace”

Reading the headlines of the newspaper or a news website can fill your mind with fear instead of peace. Over the past week, I’ve seen articles about a mentally challenged man beaten and abused by teenagers, a shooting at an airport, and drug busts. Crimes are being committed every day. How does a society deal with those who go against the laws of the land? It begins with the men and women who take an oath to protect and serve the citizens of this country.

There is a huge need to minister to these dedicated individuals who are on call 24/7 and put their lives in harm’s way. Here are some ways you can show your support:

Pray specifically for law enforcement officers and their need to know Christ. Pray for opportunities to share the good news and build relationships. Obtain a roster and pray specifically for protection, health, officers’ families, wisdom, discernment, and the ability to make quick and rational decisions.

Habitat for Humanity: Every House Is Built by Someone

“This isn’t a story about doing good,” Joyce Daugherty said of volunteering, along with husband Bob, with Habitat for Humanity (HFH). “This is really an account of our willingness to be available. It is about living by faith.”

It all started while visiting their daughter at Baylor University in Texas, where they saw a house being built on a flatbed truck. Their daughter said the students were building it in their spare time for HFH.

HFH was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller after visiting Clarence Jordan at Koinonia Farm near Americus, Georgia. During their stay, the Fullers and Jordan developed the concept of “partnership housing,” where those needing housing would work alongside volunteers to build simple but decent housing, and in 1976, HFH was born. Since then, 6.8 million people have found stability with “safe, decent and affordable shelter.”

Community Missions: Shock the Community for Christ!

How would you like to shock your community for Christ? Take your missions group outside the church walls to impact your area with God’s love.

Here’s how your group can do community missions:

Crafts and Skills Fair: Use the “Indoor Months” for Ministry

Every winter comes the challenge to not just hibernate but continue seeking to engage in missions and ministry. Colder weather seems to limit outreach ideas to our lost and unchurched neighbors. But what if the temperatures that drive people to stay indoors could work with us, not against us?

Many people who are unfamiliar with a church environment need to see the church as a friendly place, a place where they already know someone before they attend services. So invite them and their families to a crafts and skills fair.

For a couple of hours, open your church and teach basic life skills and crafting classes in different parts of the building. Ask church members with various gifts and talents to teach and pull in others from outside the church. Encourage adults and students to rotate in and out of the classes they desire to take.

Consider offering these classes:

Cultural Exchange: Invite an International College Student Home for Christmas

Imagine being a college student from India, China, or Uganda studying in America. Everything is strange and new. Then, the second week in December, there is a mass exodus from the campus. Your roommate, everyone in the dorm, and the professors are going home for a holiday called “Christmas.” At the mall, there are festive decorations, people scurrying to buy gifts, and children in line to see a fat man in a red suit, while chipmunks sing about hula hoops.

For the more than 723,000 international college students, the typical Christmas hype in America may be confusing and weird. Unfortunately they may never experience the true meaning of the season.

“Many international students never visit in an American home,” said Phyllis Hoover, coordinator for international student services at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee. “For those who do so, they feel especially fortunate.”

This Christmas, make an international student’s season merry and bright. Invite him or her to come “home for the holidays.” Plan an afternoon or evening get-together:

Thanks and Giving

This November, the RAs and GAs at my church played very important roles in a churchwide missions effort centered on Thanksgiving. For weeks, our church collected specific Thanksgiving-type grocery items for our neighbors in one of our state’s poorest counties. Then, last week, deserving families received grocery bags filled with canned sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing mix, pie filling, pie crust mix, and even a gift certificate for a turkey—all the essentials for an entire Thanksgiving meal!

RAs contributed to the cause each week by collecting the food items from various drop-off locations around the church and then organizing them in the central distribution area. GAs decorated brown grocery bags with beautiful pictures, stickers, fall-shaped die-cuts, Scripture verses, and words of encouragement. Everyone helped with packing the bags and loading them into the church vans for delivery.

Cross Generational Missions & Ministry: Take Sophomores to Seniors

Nursing homes and senior living centers are the last stop for many before entering eternity. We don’t always think of a nursing home as a target for evangelism, but perhaps it should bubble up to the top of our urgency list for sharing the gospel. Our presence there could ripple out to also impact family members of residents, visitors, and staff members. A nursing home is a fabulous place for doing missions!

Scripture calls us, as older men and women, to mentor and disciple the next generation. While we may feel a call to do it, we are often confounded in exactly how to make it happen. Millennials (those born after 1980) value authenticity and embrace hands-on service. What better way to mentor and disciple the next generation than to serve alongside them? Pulling in high school students to partner with us will not only bring youthful enthusiasm to a geriatric community but also provide opportunities to train the next generation for kingdom work. Here is a plan for making it happen:

Fall Festival Fun: Make it Missional

Inflatables, fat pumpkins, face painting, hayrides, tasty treats, games galore! What’s not to love about a fall festival, right?

On my way to work this morning, I passed at least a dozen signs advertising upcoming festivals at local schools, parks, and churches. And my own church is no exception—we are all gearing up for our largest community outreach event of the year next Sunday afternoon.

Did you get that? Our largest community outreach event of the year! Yes, a fall festival is a fun-filled, no-pressure event that draws people of all ages from the entire community, especially those who may never step foot into our church otherwise.

A fall festival can be the perfect missions opportunity for your church, too. Consider one of these ideas to jump-start your own event:

Choose Ministry That Matches Your Skillset

Placing square pegs in round holes is a mistake in every scenario—including missions! A major pitfall in missions is attempting to accomplish what we’re not gifted to do, simply out of obligation or because we see others doing it. Maybe we keep doing what we’ve always done in missions even if we’re not being successful because we haven’t opened our minds to new possibilities. Missions comes in all shapes and sizes, and an important key to success is to operate from our strengths and giftedness.

Think about the strengths, spiritual gifts, interests, and talents of your missions group. What have you done well in the past? What gets your group excited? What are the vocational strengths and experiences of each group member? How have you seen God at work through the spiritual gifts of each person? Is there a special gift or talent within your group that makes the group unique?

Free Prayer: Go and Give It

We know that prayer should be the backbone of every undertaking of the believer and the church. But can prayer also be an outreach ministry?

Absolutely! In fact, it might create an opportunity for telling people about the love, forgiveness, and salvation that Christ Jesus gives.

Generally nonbelievers welcome prayer for themselves and others within their circle of concern.

“Prayer is the key to making spiritual inroads,” said Mark Wakefield, chaplaincy strategist with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM).

For a prayer outreach ministry to be effective, it should be done in places where people gather, such as NASCAR races at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Wakefield said volunteers with Alabama Raceway Ministries (ARM)—an outreach of the SBOM—assist race fans and others at the speedway, engage them in conversation, pray with them, and, when the opportunity arises, tell them about Jesus.

Though ARM is geared for a raceway environment, its concept is adaptable to other situations: arts and crafts fairs, bridal shows, festivals, car shows, motorcycle rallies—the possibilities abound!

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