Here are 7 things that many of our C&MA churches are doing to increase engagement with Alliance missions.
The Senior Pastor
The senior pastor is ‘leaning in’ to Alliance missions. He is passionate about the church being a Christ Centered, Acts 1:8, Family. He proclaims the global mission of the church and gives opportunities up front to promote and pray for Alliance missions. The senior/lead pastor diligently seeks God along with his leaders to discern where in the world to focus or partner. He is passionate about giving people an opportunity to glorify God and impact the world through the churches mission's ministries.
A Missions Team or Point-Person
Although the senior/lead pastor is the chief promoter of Alliance missions he identifies and recruits a missions team or leader to take the lead in promoting and planning missions. Missions engaged churches have a key point person and/or missions team to handle the details of their yearly missions emphasis. They also present interesting and challenging promotion of Alliance missions throughout the year targeting all ages.
Frequent Promotion of Alliance Global Work
Alliance churches that increase engagement with missions present Alliance missions on a regular basis, not just once a year. Repetitive exposure to missions is the key to creating passion and excitement about what God is doing around the world.
Missions engaged churches have some form of global promotion on a regular basis and they pray for international workers and current world events in their services. Consider using resources like: Alliance snapshot videos; Skype call with an international worker; prayer for workers in the service; an interview with someone who went on a short-term trip; children's missions Sunday; etc. The length can be as short as 1-2 minutes or as long as 5 minutes. Frequency is critical, not length of presentation.
People want to give to people and projects that are changing the world. Congregations love to connect personally with a few international workers or a specific field. Finding creative ways to make missions personal for your church will result in increased engagement. Partnering with a specific field or international worker can ignite passion for missions. This may include taking a short-term trip to visit the worker and the field and participate in hands on ministry. Pastoral care ministry to partner fields is a great blessing for our workers. Many Districts are encouraging partnerships with specific workers or areas of the world. If your church does not have a partnership you may want to consider a vision trip to visit several Alliance fields. Contact your District Mobilizer, Tim Agnello, at the District Office, to schedule a trip.
Resourcing the Global Vision
Strong missions engaged churches are intentional about resourcing missions. It's a high priority. Members are frequently given opportunities to give toward global ministries. Many churches use the faith promise pledge effectively. In other churches, leadership determines a missions financial goal and keeps this goal in from of the people throughout the year. Still others designate a percentage of the church budget that goes to missions. Churches that have a partnership can designate a portion of their GCF giving to the support of specific international workers. When churches give consistently they support Alliance international workers who are part of the Alliance family, and together, we reach unreached people around the world.
Churches that actively engage in missions understand that global ministry is a spiritual battle. Strategic times of prayer are planned and people are encouraged to pray frequently for international workers and unreached areas of the world. The Missions team or point person contacts partner workers to gather prayer requests and organize strategic prayer. Prayer in worship services often includes intercession for fields, world events, and international workers.
Churches that are highly engaged with Alliance missions are not just content with praying and resourcing the vision. They also have a passion for sending some of their own to become international workers as God calls them. The senior/lead pastor challenges members to consider global ministry and gives opportunities for people to respond to God's call. The church is deliberate about using short-term missions to fuel long-term service. People who believe God is calling them to global ministry receive guidance, training and support from the church body.
May God give you wisdom and passion as you lead your church to engage in Alliance missions with the goal of creating access to the Gospel for those who are still unreached. Together, as an Alliance family, God can use us to impact the world with the Good News of God's love.
If your leadership team would like to take a vision trip to see our work overseas, please contact Tim Agnello at the District Office.