WMU Blog

Are You Doing Ministry or Missions?

Is there really a difference? Yes. Over the years, I have heard many leaders tell me they were actively involved in missions. But when I dug a little deeper, it seemed they were actually doing ministry.

Okay, stay with me because this is when it gets a little Charlie and the Chocolate Factory crazy: you can be a missions group without doing missions, and you can be a ministry group and do more missions than a missions group, or vice versa.

Did you get that? It’s true. Ministry and missions can be 2 different things, and the way to tell the difference is to look at whom you are focusing on. Ministry typically happens within the church walls and to a body of believers, whereas missions happen outside the walls of the church and to those who have not responded to the gospel. See the difference?

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Teaching Tools

Three Teaching Tools

Everything is easier if you have the right tools. For example, the thimble is one of the basic tools for any quilter. I was updating a fellow quilting buddy that I was hand-sewing the binding on a quilt. I must have mentioned using a thimble, because that is when she told me she has never used a thimble. I was so surprised and wanted to react, “What?!” I still cannot imagine doing all that hand sewing without using a thimble. This little tool is such a help on the tip of your finger as you pull the needle and thread through the fabric over and over. It keeps your finger from getting sore, too. My friend said that no one ever showed her how to use a thimble when she was starting out, so she had just never picked one up.

What I Learned before Turning 30: Investing in Others

young women talking over coffee

I turned 30 this month. When I turned 29, I searched for one of those “30 Things to Do before Turning 30” lists. However, my search left me uninspired; therefore, I decided to write my own “30 Things I Learned before Turning 30” list. One of the main concepts that came from this was that of investing in other people. The following are a few excerpts from my list:

Making Educational Choices

During our first overseas missions assignment, our children attended an international school that catered to children of the international diplomatic and business communities as well as the wealthier citizens of the local community. The school was bilingual. Our kids learned all subjects in English and in the local national language. Due to the heavy demands of the school and the travel required to and from school, our kids woke up early and came home late. By the time our children completed their nightly homework, ate dinner and took a bath, it was bedtime. That doesn't take into account the extracurricular activities they were involved with. Our family life quickly revolved around school. Our family began to pray about alternatives, including homeschooling.

When we returned to the United States for our first furlough (now called stateside assignment), the teachers in our school district went on strike. We had to make a choice about how to finish the children’s school year. We chose to homeschool.

An Inside Peek into MK Schooling

I zipped up my backpack and stepped outside into the dark night. To arrive at school on time, my dad woke me at 5:30 each morning. Faith Academy was over an hour away, but I was used to the commute. Outside, the street was quiet. My next-door neighbor was a senator, and I imagined he and his family were still snug in their beds. Sometimes I climbed onto our roof after school and peeked into their stately property. They had the nicest private pool I had ever seen in the Philippines!

Celebrating Mission Friends Teachers!

Preschoolers and teacher

As we celebrate preschoolers during Week of the Young Child, we also celebrate you for all you do as a Mission Friends teacher! Thank you for investing your time and efforts to teach preschoolers by doing all of these things.

Growing Deeper in Relationships

Growing Deeper

Picture this: You’ve just met someone new and you’re really excited to get to know them and become friends. Over the next few weeks, you learn more about this person, but in small fragments. You find yourself wishing you were already close friends with this person because you can tell how wonderfully you would get along and how much you would have in common. But it just seems as if you’ll never get there.

Have you ever felt this way? I have. There’s even an unofficial word for it. John Koenig created an online dictionary of words to fill in “holes” in the English language—to give us a sense that we are not alone in some of the ways we feel and think. Koenig describes the “frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone” as adronitis. Do you feel better after hearing that a word semi-exists for this feeling? The thought calms me.

Making Difficult Decisions About Schooling

We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 1990, with an 8-month-old baby boy. In all the thoughts of transitioning to a new country, it never occurred to us that there wouldn’t be a school for our children to attend. In one of our first missionary team meetings after we arrived, we found ourselves listening to a lively discussion about the cost of international schools and about the decision that, moving forward, all missionaries would homeschool their children until high school.

This news came as a bit of a shock to me. When the time came for us to choose a curriculum, the process was pretty simple. We looked around at all the missionary kids and went to the mother of the family whose children seemed to be doing well with their education. We asked her what curriculum she used to teach her children. That’s what I ordered.

Some of the things our children said they enjoyed about studying at home were:

“We would learn about another country, and then we would go there.”

“It was so easy to get from one country to another.”

Volunteer and Let God Work through You

group of volunteers

I have spent many hours volunteering at local ministries, but it wasn’t until I was a program director at a ministry that I fully understood the impact of volunteers. I could do everything I needed to prepare for Monday night classes for those in my program, but without volunteers, the classes we offered would not have taken place. Each volunteer brought a unique set of skills and gifts and impacted the lives of the women in the program, perhaps in ways he or she will never know. And for some of the women, it was through the life and testimony of a volunteer that they came to know Jesus and His love for them.

Have you ever wondered how your church might serve your community? Have you considered volunteering in your community as an individual or a family? What impact might volunteering for a local ministry have on your life and the lives of others? Here are a few tips to consider as you seek ways to serve:

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I've Never Planned a Recognition Service! Now What?

I know who you are. I talk to someone just like you several times during spring recognition season. You’ve never planned or prepared a recognition service, and you have no idea where to start. You’re a tad bit overwhelmed with the idea of a formal service, and you’d just like a simple plan.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The even better news is that you can make a recognition service as simple (or as complicated) as you’d like to make it. As long as girls are being recognized for what they’ve learned and experienced this year in missions discipleship, you are on the right path!

Together, let’s plan a simple recognition service that will allow your GAs to be recognized for all their hard work this year.

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