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How to Pray for Your Missionaries
Staying Close to Your Missionaries
How to enhance the mission and vision of your church by developing the partnership between your church and Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries.
Nearly 80% of Christian Reformed congregations support at least one missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions. This webpage is meant to help congregations develop a strong and healthy partnership by “Staying Close To Your Missionaries.”
Staying Close through PRAYER
Missionaries with World Missions testify to the power of prayer in their lives and ministries. Here are some suggestions to help your congregation become an effective prayer partner:
- Sign up for ePray, a weekly email with prayer requests from around the world. ePray will also keep you up to date on some of the things that are happening with World Missions.
- Publish and distribute missionary letters as soon as possible. Many churches duplicate the letters and insert them in Sunday bulletins or mailboxes. Some churches publish missionary letters in their monthly newsletter.
- If letters contain urgent prayer requests, ask your pastor to remember the matter in the congregational prayer. Put these urgent items on your church's prayer chain(s).
- Let your missionaries know that you read their letters and pray for the prayer items mentioned.
- Establish email contact with your missionaries, if possible. (Over 80% of our missionaries are now on email.) Ask your missionaries for timely prayer items. Ask them to share answers to prayer.
- Make it a point to pray for things that missionaries may not always mention; such as spiritual health, emotional health, family health, relationships with colleagues, national leaders, political stability.
Staying Close through COMMUNICATION
Effective two-way communication is essential for developing a partnership between your congregation and the missionaries you support. Here are some hints to help you:
- Organize a group of volunteers who will regularly write or send emails to your missionaries. Ask your pastor to write also.
- Send your church bulletins to your missionaries, maybe on a monthly basis.
- If your worship services are recorded, send the recordings to your missionaries.
- Include your missionaries in your church directory. Be sure to include their field address, phone number and email address, if possible. Send a copy of the directory to your missionary partners.
- Prepare "care packages" for your missionaries at Christmas time.
- If there are things you need to know, ask your missionaries directly.
- Encourage your Sunday School kids or GEMS or Cadets to communicate with your missionary kids.
- Investigate the possibility of sending your pastor or members of the congregation to visit your missionary on the field.
Staying Close through SUPPORT
Missionary financial support comes to World Missions in a variety of ways:
- Ministry Shares: About 40% of gifts from churches comes by way of Ministry Shares. Every church that gives Ministry Shares is involved in the ministry of Christian Reformed World Missions.
- Gifts and Offerings: Many churches take special offerings for World Missions at Pentecost and/or as part of their Thanksgiving or Christmas offerings.
- Special Projects: Many churches select a special project out of our PROJECT GIVING GUIDE. Often these are projects related to a missionary the church supports. You might challenge your Sunday School, Young Peoples or Adult Education classes to undertake a special project.
- Missionary Support: Nearly 80% of CRCs support at least one missionary with World Missions. The church makes an annual commitment and collects the gifts through Faith Promise, special offerings or church budgets. Partner churches receive a color portrait and color prayer cards. They also receive the missionary's prayer letters and a visit from the missionary during home service.
Planning a MISSIONARY VISIT
A well-planned missionary visit to your church can make a big difference in your congregation's vision for missions. Here are some hints to help you plan well:
- Think of your missionaries as members of your congregation. Help them enter into the life of the congregation.
- Involve your missionaries in one or more worship services. Most ordained missionaries love to preach. Many of the unordained do too.
- As much as possible, work the missionary presentation into the worship service. Most missionary audiovisual programs are short and suitable for worship services.
- Schedule a time for your missionaries to visit with your pastor. A chat over coffee or lunch is nice.
- If your church is the missionary's home church, schedule a time of family visiting with your elders. This is an ideal time to provide spiritual nurturing.
- Involve your missionaries in a variety of small-group settings such as prayer groups, adult-ed groups, young peoples, GEMS, Cadets, home visits, potlucks, church picnics, etc. These are excellent times to get to know your missionaries.
- Schedule a time with your congregation's decision-makers such as your church council, missions committee or deacons.
- Challenge your missionary to speak on topics of interest to you and the congregation. Discuss these things well in advance of the missionary visit.
- If there is a pastors' gathering planned for your area, make arrangements for your missionary to attend.
- Link missionary kids with same-age kids in your congregation.
- Include missionaries in social events.
Practical matters when planning for your missionary's visit:
- You will hear from World Missions concerning your missionary's home service about four months before the event.
- Talk with your World Mission's Regional Missions Mobilizer about available dates for your missionary to visit. (If you don't know your Regional Missions Mobilizer, call the 800 number in Canada or USA.)
- Talk with your missions committee or pastor about visit details. Try to arrange a variety of events using the hints listed above.
- Talk again with your Regional Missions Mobilizer to confirm the dates of the visit.
- Continue to develop the visiting schedule.
- Talk personally with your missionary at least two weeks in advance of the visit. Discuss and confirm all events.
- Look after logistical things such as extension cords, projector tables, video projectors, etc.
- On the day of the visit, meet your missionaries in the parking lot. Shepherd them about. Make lunch arrangements, if necessary.
For more information, contact your Regional Missions Mobilizer.