Missions Conference FAQ

ResourcesMissions › FAQs

  1. How can I minister to the missionary or international worker?
  2. How do I show support for the missionary or international worker?
  3. Should we take a love offering for our missionary or international worker?
  4. How can we pray for the World?
  5. What are the keys to a good missions conference?
  6. Who do I contact if I have questions?

How can I minister to the missionary?

This letter from Phil Ronzheimer, former Director of Missions Mobilization in the Mid America District, was sent to all pastors and mission leaders in the District.

Your missions emphasis is just around the corner. The purpose of this letter is to give you some ideas of how you and your congregation can minister to your missionary during and after the time they are with you. Ministry is a 2-way street and your people will benefit from the conference in proportion to how much they put into it. So here is a list of ideas. You may wish to edit it to fit your congregation and include it in your church bulletin a week or two before your event.

  • When the missionary arrives, take time to orient them to your church facility, introduce them to your staff, missions chairman, or others who may be in the building with you when the missionary arrives.
  • Be sure you give them a clear, typed itinerary of where they are to be throughout each day and what is expected of them.
  • Pray with them that God will use them effectively in your church during the time they are with you and that your people will be responsive to their ministry. Pray with the missionary (along with others you invite to join you) before each service or function in which they take part. I’ll never forget the story of one missionary who was in a large Alliance church (not in our district) for a full week of missions emphasis. The pastor had not yet prayed with her or the other missionaries for the first several days. So the missionary asked before the service, “Could we pray before the service tonight?” The pastor’s response was startling, “Why, is something wrong?” If I had been there and had the nerve to say it, I would have said, “Yes, there certainly is!”
  • When you’re planning the worship times, please use some meaningful general worship songs in addition to a couple missionary hymns or choruses. Think about it. What must it be like for the missionary on tour who only hears “Send The Light” and “We’ve A Story To Tell To The Nations” over and over again. Sing songs that will be encouraging to your congregation and to the missionary.
  • Do something fun with the missionary during their time with you. Go fishing, shopping, attend an athletic event, etc. Take the initiative to find out what the missionary likes.
  • Be sensitive to any dietary restrictions the missionary may have. Don’t feel obligated to provide three large meals each day. It’s usually most convenient for the missionary to have breakfast at the host home where he/she is staying. One of the other two meals could be fairly light–like a salad.
  • As pastor, be sure to publicly verbalize your enthusiasm for world missions and your financial support for the Great Commission Fund. Your people will follow your example. You don’t need to disclose the amount of your faith promise, but your congregation needs to know that you support missions with your heart and your wallet.
  • A week after your event, publish the missionary’s address and email in the bulletin and encourage your people to send the missionary a personal note of thanks for their ministry in your church. This could lead to their ongoing correspondence with the missionary.
  • Take up a love offering for the missionary at the end of the missions emphasis. The missionary’s tour expenses are covered, but these servants of God are not overpaid by any means–so be generous with them. Their home assignment time in the States is often the most expensive time during their career.
  • Ask the missionary if he/she has any approved specials that people could support. Technically, the missionary is not allowed to speak about approved specials until after the faith promise is received, but if the pastor asks him to do so, it is acceptable.
  • Give the missionary a phone card or free access to a church phone so he/she can call home several times during the week.
  • E-mail ahead of time to a colleague on the field and surprise the missionary–with a funny story or something the missionary collects.

Bottom line–Give some thought as to how you can minister to the missionary. Make it Missionary Appreciation Week. Surprise your missionary. Bless him/her!

How do I show support for the missionary?

Communicate

  • Get on their email update list.
  • Respond occasionally and let them know you notice and care about the important things.
  • Telephone (during their daytime!)
  • Go visit them (IF they want you to and at their convenience.)

Pray

  • Pray regularly, consistently, faithfully.
  • Pray over their prayer letters and their email updates.
  • Keep their picture on your refrigerator.
  • Pray for them what you pray for yourself.
  • Pray for their ministry and the people they are helping.
  • Let them know you pray.

Provide Funding

  • Provide regular support at a significant level.
  • If they are salaried, you may help with special projects or provide special gifts.
  • Give thoughtful, creative, personal messages and gifts.

Meet Needs

  • Your missionary will share real needs if she knows you accept her and maintain confidence.
  • Find information, resources, materials, expertise, or equipment your missionary needs.
  • Identify professionals and tradesmen who will help your missionary at reduced rates.
  • Take a small group to go help them on site.

Make Home Assignment Refreshing

  • Review their letters to remind yourself of the key things in their lives.
  • Meet them at the airport and ask lots of questions.
  • Interview them at church. Meet with them after the service.
  • Invite them to your home. Invite others to meet them.
  • Ask to see their pictures. Pray with them. Ask lots of questions.
  • Help them get the situated and adjusted to the culture.
  • Loan them your car, your cottage, your CD player.
  • Feed them sensibly and respect their diets.
  • Take them to picnics, outings, concerts, retreats.

Help the Kids

  • Look after them while they are in the U.S. and their parents are there.
  • Help them get established in college. Provide them a place to stay for holidays.
  • Be a friend and introduce them to others.

Develop a Support Team and Get Others Involved

  • Recruit others to pray for and support them.

Should we take a love offering for our international worker?

While this is not to be considered mandatory, it is recommended that a love offering or honoraria be given to the missionaries for their Missions Emphasis ministries in local Alliance churches. While on home assignment in IWs receive an adequate living and rental allowance plus a very modest per diem while on tour ministry. However, these funds are intended for their support while in the homeland and do not take into account the funding necessary to return to the mission field. Since missionaries are not permitted to make personal appeals for vehicle, outfit, or project moneys while ministering on tour, unless authorized by the local pastor, love offerings and honoraria are an appropriate way of showing appreciation for their ministry as well as helping to provide financing for their return to the field.

How can we pray for the World?

Let every sunrise remind you to pray that His name will be glorified in all the world.

Pray for Missionaries

“You pray the most for people you love, so get to know your missionaries.”

  • for their spiritual, social, physical, and mental situation—refreshment, protection, relationships, growth
  • for the ministry—guidance, open doors, boldness, effectiveness, relationships,
  • for national Christians and the national church—for spread of God’s word, good discipleship
  • Scripture prayers—for example the prayers Paul prayed for believers
  • as for yourself—their needs may be similar to yours

Pray for Nations and Peoples

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.” Mt. 9:37

  • for workers
  • for people to pray
  • for prepared hearts
  • for transformed lives
  • for existing churches
  • for a growing, evangelizing church
  • for binding of the ‘strong man’
  • for perseverance of new believers
  • for freedom to worship and witness

Pray for the World in the News

“The Bible tells us to pray and the newspaper tells us what to pray for.” D L Moody

  • for the welfare of believers
  • for boldness to speak out for Christ
  • for freedom for the Gospel
  • for humane and just leaders
  • for justice and freedom
  • for the glory of God to be revealed
  • for people to be redeemed
  • for the growth of the Church

Ways to Pray

  • Use a daily prayer list. Pray during your quiet time. Pray with your list as you take your daily walk.
  • Carry your list in your pocket or keep it on your computer and pray wherever you are.
  • Pray whenever you meet in classes and small groups.
  • As you get requests and answers, record them on your prayer list.
  • Children: let them spin the globe and stop it with their finger. Pray for the country under their finger.

What are the keys to a good missions emphasis event?

The keys to a good missions emphasis are purpose, prayer, planning, promotion, program, and follow up.

The Keys

  • Select the date and make sure it doesn’t conflict with anything that will compete for a large section of your congregation. Set the date well in advance, up to one year.
  • Recruit a respected and effective leader to head up the Emphasis Team. Assemble a separate emphasis leadership team. Include lots of people in the planning and preparation.
  • Plan well in advance, at least six months.
  • Pray before you do anything else, while you are doing everything else, and after everything is done. Prayer is perhaps the single most important part of the event.
  • Develop a purpose and what you hope to accomplish.
  • Find the best keynote speaker you can get. The missions speaker sets the tone.
  • Develop a solid program with elements of creativity, drama, storytelling, and lots of participation. Do at least one new thing you haven’t done before.
  • Do a special education effort for church leaders.
  • Run a children’s event at the same time.
  • Make your promotion as good as the best event in your church.
  • Showcase your missionaries to their best advantage.
  • Call people to commitment. Challenge big. Give them several alternatives for response. Provide a way for them to record their response and begin implementing their commitments immediately.
  • Follow up on the responses and help people to carry out their commitments.

Most commonly neglected areas:

  • Prayer and Follow-up

Best Resource:

  • Missions Conference Planner, ACMC

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions about Missions Emphasis or would like more information about missions resources in general, contact the Global Link office at (719) 265-2129 or globallink@cmalliance.org.

Conference Themes

A Missions Mobilizer will…

  • Be in touch with God
  • Have a high regard for the local church We must appreciate God’s love for the church and recognize the role God has given the local church as a primary one in world evangelism.
  • Appreciate church diversity This includes differences in doctrine, denomination, tradition, style, philosophy of ministry, and priorities.
  • Be avid learners We can learn formally and informally, from seminars and local church and missions leaders. We must be readers. Read widely on the church, missions, management and leadership.
  • Be authentic We must be actively involved in our own local church. We must be doing some of the things we try to get others to do.
  • Be established We must have the credibility which comes from staying in one place long enough to accomplish something. People don’t have confidence in someone who appears to be a drifter.
  • Support the church’s aspirations We must be willing to appreciate a church’s priorities. Our job is not to sell them our missions priorities. Our job is to help the church find God’s missions priorities for them.
  • Be positive Guilt is not a productive motivator. Don’t fall into the “ain’t it awful” routine. See God at work. Remember Rev 7:9. We’re on the winning team.
  • Listen well It is more important to ask good questions than to give good answers. Draw out their background, heritage, resources, skills, aptitudes, experience, interests, etc. Help them discover. Don’t tell them.
  • Be professional Be on time and prepared. Look sharp. Be confident, enthusiastic, warm, genuine. Follow through—DWYSYWD. (Do what you say you will do.)
Submitted by David Mays, ACMC

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