Category - Sending Churches

1
Why Churches Should Visit Their Missionaries
2
How to Make Missions Part of Your VBS
3
5 Questions to Ask Your Sending Church
4
Why Limiting Your Missions Strategy Won’t Limit You
5
4 Ways to Unite Your Local and Global Missions Strategy
6
Why “Us vs. Them” Won’t Reach a Lost World
7
Giving Your Community a Voice in Your Calling
8
Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails
9
How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church
10
7 Ways to Support Missionaries

Why Churches Should Visit Their Missionaries

support long-term missionaries
Care packages and emails are a great encouragement to long-term missionaries. But what if the best way to support your missionary is giving them yourself? Photo courtesy of Beth Barthelemy

Last fall, my family had our first visitors since arriving on South African soil a year and some months ago. After months of anticipation, our pastor and friends from our Chicago church arrived to spend a week with us. They didn’t come as a short-term team, with a particular ministry focus. We had no projects lined up for them. They didn’t come to “check up” on us, to make sure we were worth their investment. They didn’t have a list of questions with which to assess our effectiveness or success. They came with a simple purpose: to be an encouragement…

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How to Make Missions Part of Your VBS

missions VBS
Discover five easy ways to add cross-cultural ministry elements to your VBS event this year! Photo by TEAM

Children’s ministers, unite! It’s the time of year where your trunk is full of plastic decorations, inflatable balls and paper cups waiting to become a spaceship craft. That’s right: vacation Bible school is almost here! For many churches, vacation Bible school is one of the biggest events of the year. But this event is not just a great way for your church to engage with your community — it’s also a great way to disciple children about God’s heart for the nations! Now, many of us might be thinking, How am I supposed to add one more thing to our…

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5 Questions to Ask Your Sending Church

ask your sending church
Don't journey into missions alone. Check out these 5 questions to ask your sending church and discover ways you can prepare for the mission field! Photo by TEAM

It’s never too late to include your church in your missions calling — whether you’re just getting started or have been on the field for years. But it can be hard to figure out where to start. That’s the dilemma a reader recently shared on Instagram. So, we decided to share the five questions every missionary (or potential missionary) should ask their sending church. Plus, we have a free resource to help you keep the conversation going. 1. Will you go on this journey with me? William Carey was a British missionary in the 1800s. When he decided to share…

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Why Limiting Your Missions Strategy Won’t Limit You

missions strategy
Will creating a long-term missions strategy keep you from hearing God's voice? Check out these 3 tips to stay firm but flexible in your church's plan for missions! Photo by TEAM

We’re firm believers that every church should have a long-term strategy for its global missions work — one that provides focus and clarity on where to invest your resources and people. But having a strategy isn’t without its challenges. For example, what happens if your church decides to focus on missions in Asia… and then someone in your church senses a call to go to Kenya? Do you refuse to support them because they don’t fit with the bigger strategy? Or do you toss aside the strategy every time someone comes with a new idea? How do you know if…

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4 Ways to Unite Your Local and Global Missions Strategy

missions strategy
What would it look like for your church to carry out the mission of Acts 1:8, integrating both local and global missions? Photo by TEAM

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 is a common verse in the missions world, used to encourage every Christian to take the Gospel to their Jerusalem (local city), Judea and Samaria (region), and the ends of the earth (world). But with limited time and resources, this mission can seem like more than we can handle. Churches often start asking, “Should we focus on local or global missions?” In answering this question,…

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Why “Us vs. Them” Won’t Reach a Lost World

us vs. them
How does an "us vs. them" mentality limit our call to missions? Keep reading to find out. Photo by TEAM

In Luke 10, Jesus calls the crowds to “[love] your neighbor as yourself,” prompting a religious leader to ask, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke tells us the lawyer intended the question to “justify himself.” How does the question justify the questioner? By limiting those he was responsible to love. In an earlier post, I shared my belief that, when it comes to mobilizing people toward global missions, we often fail because we tend to wield the law instead of meeting people with the Gospel. The religious ruler of Luke 10 asks a question that naturally rises out of law-based…

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Giving Your Community a Voice in Your Calling

calling and community
Does your relationship with your church impact your involvement in missions? Keep reading to see how your calling and community are often intertwined. Photo by TEAM

“What does your church say about going to Ghana?” Hmm…. Now that was a question I hadn’t considered before. What did my church have to say about what country I was serving in and what I was doing while there? When someone asked me that question after I returned from a summer mission trip to West Africa, I was a little surprised. It’s not that my church wasn’t involved in sending me. They had financially supported me and told me they were proud of me. But when I stopped and thought about it, I realized I hadn’t taken a moment…

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Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails

missions motivations
When you think about your involvement in missions, are you motivated by the law — by a sense of duty — or by the grace of the Gospel? Photo by TEAM

In our Sending Church Training events, I often lead a session about “embracing spiritual conviction.” Every time I facilitate this session, I knowingly disappoint the attendees. Here’s why. In a room full of church missions leaders, everyone thinks “embracing spiritual conviction” means they’ll learn ways to motivate their congregations toward missions. In that environment, I let everyone down by refusing to talk about behaviors and focusing instead on affections. When it comes to mission motivators, it doesn’t really work to only think about behaviors — what people do — without also thinking about affections — why they do what they…

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How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church

How to Identify Missionaries In Your Church
Whether it be a one-on-one meeting or a church-wide event, begin to develop ways that you can identify missionaries in your church. Photo by TEAM

If I were to give you a one-question test right now, how would your church fare? Here’s the question: Are there people in your church interested in sharing the Gospel cross-culturally? If you are like many churches, your answer might be, “I don’t know.” A commitment to mission work often involves a deeply personal call from the Holy Spirit. But because everyday communities can see how an individual is gifted, church communities have the remarkable opportunity to call out the cross-cultural gifts they see in potential missionaries. What does this actually look like? Here are four ways you can proactively identify and prepare your congregation…

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7 Ways to Support Missionaries

ways to support missionaries
Your support of foreign missionaries is vital to the growth of the kingdom. But how? Discover 7 ways that you can intentionally support missionaries. Photo by TEAM

Imagine you are a new missionary. Living in a foreign land and adopting a new culture for the sake of the kingdom is a dream — one that you’ve worked toward for years. However, before too long, feelings of culture shock and isolation begin to set in. Language barriers and foreign social etiquette make you ache for renewed connections with friends and family back home. You may even wonder if you made the right decision in coming. This scenario is fairly common for those serving abroad and can easily lead to burnout. That’s why it’s up to us as supporters…

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