One of the concerns of this question is not only how to inspire people but how to make that inspiration contagious to others.
One of the key elements is genuineness, authenticity, and integrity. While your missions vision should be challenging and lofty, it must also be potentially attainable and true. Your congregation needs to be convinced that your mission goals, whether it be for a short-term missions trip or a one time project or the long term goals on a particularly difficult field, carry a sense of ownership identity. They should feel confident that, “This is right. This is what God wants. This expresses who we are as a church. Our leaders are all on board with this.”
Another key element is faith and hope. This also is intangible. People need to feel that the missions task is doable. In order for them to own it and pass it along to others, they need to have hope that, by God’s grace and with his help, it can be done. It may be difficult, almost impossible, but it is the very thing that they are persuaded God wants to do; and he is absolutely sovereign and able to do it.
A third key element is a plan. A strategic plan for a large vision breaks down the huge, audacious goal into tangible, not so frightening, doable steps. When at least the broad strokes of a reasonable plan is articulated well, people have “handles” in which to grasp, hold onto, and pass along the missions vision. They need to know that their leaders have thought and prayed about it long enough to formulate a reasonable plan. It is not a problem to change parts of the plan as time goes by. Circumstances change, key players may change, the whole environment may change; so the plan can be modified to suit the additional information and circumstances that come along.
Quality promotional materials support and facilitate the communication of your inspiring mission goals. The quality of your materials is a reflection of the value of your goals. Use color, good graphic design and layout, quality media, etc. Too often, missions interests are downplayed or downgraded in people’s minds because the quality of the media used to promote missions is noticeably poorer than any other ministry of the church. Taking the time to put a quality piece in the hands of or presented to your congregation will pay big dividends in their ability and desire to inspire others to become involved.
Come back to this page for future additions of comments, links, and downloadable resources.