Your selective volunteerism will be a large encouragement to all involved in missions tasks. It is important for your congregation to see you doing some of the same things you’re promoting for them to do. So, if you are able to attend (as a learner!) missions seminars, training events, conferences, do that. Your benefit will be greater than just what you gain from going yourself.
We’ve already spoken about your participation, whether as ex officio or official membership, in your missions leadership committee or team.
Hospitality and relationship-building with your missionaries is integral to your engaging with missions.
Visiting missionaries on the field should be a priority for you and your church. To have that personal touch and experience will go a long way to your and your church’s understanding of the ministries and people you are supporting. Field visits don’t have to be very long; a few days is fine. Depending on the geography, you might have a connect-the-dots trip to hit several in one trip. Remember, this is not a vacation, it is not a resort-hopping trip, it is not supposed to put you in the limelight or add anything to your resume. Field visits are for you to shadow and experience and question your missionaries life and ministry on the field. It is relationship-building and information gathering.
One way that you can make a unique and necessary contribution to the work of missions is through the discipleship and mentoring of missionary candidates. You can and should have some involvement in their lives as they develop and grow in ministry effectiveness through your watchcare. Here are some ideas for doing that, below. You don’t have to do all these things yourself. However, you may be involved in guiding and shepherding the process along. In the end, you will have to give that pastoral reference form to a mission agency. You want it to come from long exposure and solid personal relationship, not out of ignorance.
Here’s a list of great learning activities in which you might be involved in guidance and mentoring.
It’s critical for the candidate’s missions motivation to flow out of the biblical concept of the glory of God and His global purpose to see Jesus Christ glorified in all nations.
Test their interests, gifts and skills in a variety of ministry settings such as ministry to children and youth, evangelism, and small group leadership.
Become a mentor or prayer partner who will be ruthlessly honest with the candidate in evaluating their spiritual maturity, relationships, and personality.
Help them seek out opportunities for local cross-cultural ministry similar to the place or culture they would like to serve.
Provide or point out opportunities for them to share the Gospel consistently.
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