Using FOCUS as an acrostic, here are five ideas you can adopt to highlight the effective ministry being done by WMU during the week leading up to Focus on WMU Sunday.
Feature a testimony from a biography of a WMU leader or missionary during one or more worship services. This will take diligent preparation and practice. Do not read a script. Practice enough to tell the story with only an occasional glance at notes if necessary. Aim for a three- to-five-minute presentation. If you need help locating content, visit wmustore.com and check out books authored by Rosalie Hall Hunt. Mission stories from Missions Mosaic are also a great resource.
WMU members may be best known as prayer warriors. Prayer is critical to the success of global missions. Make it a priority as you focus on WMU. Organize a churchwide prayer movement. Place a large world map in the church foyer. Invite individuals and families to adopt a state or country to pray for during the week. It would be incredibly exciting if your church saturated the entire globe with prayer. Ask people to research the state or country they choose and develop prayer prompts. At the end of the emphasis, provide opportunities for people to share testimonies about their prayer experiences.
Plan a celebration to highlight the WMU monthly areas of missions focus for the entire year. Enlist people beyond the WMU family to lead out in planning. Assign families cities, states, countries, areas, or people groups being featured using Missions Leader: WMU Planning Guide as a guide.
Ask them to prepare food representing their focus area as well as spotlight cultures and customs. If possible, recruit choirs or musicians representing other cultures to participate. You may even want to set up a video call with a missionary during the event. Think about providing a craft to enhance missions learning. Make it as multisensory as possible. Enlarge missions photos for display. Make missions come alive as people taste, smell, touch, see, and hear about God’s work in the world.
Many people are unaware of all WMU does. Take time to unpack how WMU makes disciples of Jesus who live on mission. Ask whether you can prepare a video to show before or during a service highlighting WMU activities throughout the year. Let representatives of different age levels give short testimonies about what they are learning or doing through WMU Missions Discipleship. Host a WorldCrafts market, and share about WMU Compassion Ministries.
Plan a churchwide serve day during Focus on WMU to move congregants beyond the walls of the church to meet needs and share Christ. Projects can include cleaning, landscaping, carpentry, demolition, prayerwalking, serving meals, fellowship and worship at nursing homes and retirement facilities, organizing, offering water or coffee stations in the community, Bible clubs at multihousing complexes, sports camps, and more. Strategic planning is critical. Engage a team to help you coordinate the ministry day. Carefully navigate logistics, and think through supplies needed for every activity. Select leaders for each ministry area. Provide training as necessary.
Sandy Wisdom-Martin is executive director/treasurer of WMU.
Photo of 2024 WMU state presidents by Kristy Carr, WMU