Blog items tagged with "missions-ideas"

Christmas in August

August is the month Southern Baptists demonstrate special support for our North American Mission Board missionaries as they serve across North America through a wide variety of ministries. It’s not too late for you and/or your church to participate by purchasing items the missionaries have requested for their projects and ongoing ministries.

Lists of items can be found on Woman’s Missionary Union’s website. Go to www.wmu.org and in Search type “Christmas in August.” There are missionaries’ lists for every age group. Choose a missionary and then print their list of requested items. Do not purchase any items not on the list. You don’t have to buy all the items though! Publish the list in your church newsletter, bulletin and on your church website. Set a Christmas-decorated box in a high traffic spot in your church for the items church members will bring. Box the unwrapped items and attach the mailing address label to the outside of the box. Include a self-addressed stamped postcard for the missionary to acknowledge your gifts.

Christmas in August is an important way to encourage our missionaries in their efforts to tell others about Jesus and his love.

ANOTHER SUMMER MISSIONS IDEA

While children are out of school, it’s a great time to take them to visit local nursing home or care facilities. Spend time listening and talking to residents. Pray with them; write letters for them; and share Jesus with them. You could include some of these activities:

  • have monthly birthday parties (check with facility about diet restrictions)
  • provide music (piano, instrumental, vocal)
  • plan a weekly or monthly worship service
  • host holiday parties (July 4th, Christmas)

Want more ideas? Order Across the Street and Around the World by Diana Davis. Visit wmustore.com to order.

Take a Mission Trip at Home!

Here are some ideas for taking a mission trip right where you live. Finances or time may not allow you or other church members to travel overseas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in projects to share Christ in your immediate area. Plan several ways to reach out into the neighborhood around your church.

  • Enlist youth to visit local businesses and volunteer to wash their windows. When asked why they are doing it, they can reply, “We are grateful for what Jesus did for us when he washed away our sins, and we want others to see him clearly.”
  • Host a family fun night at the church, at an apartment complex, or in a block party format. Pinterest has great ideas for easy games such as fishing, ring toss, or pick a duck that children will enjoy. For information on making “salvation necklaces” go to wmu.com/projects  Invite non church members to participate.
  • Face-Painting is always popular and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Enlist volunteers with a bit of artistic ability and others to interact with the parents while they wait for their children. Find out some key information: Where do they live? Do they go to church? Have they heard about Jesus?
  • During warm weather set up a water stand in a community park and distribute bottled water. Ask to pray as you give away the water. Make labels with your church address and service times and attach to the bottles.

Planning Ahead

A missions emphasis in your church won’t form automatically! Establish a team that will specifically address the missions education needs of your congregation. Following are some questions you might consider as you develop a strategy for education your members about how Southern Baptists do missions.

What kind of missions education do you currently have?

   There are resources for different age groups to help you expand and strengthen how you do missions in your church, including a yearbook of mission projects and emphases to guide your planning. Start small and grow from there!

Will you need training for leaders and volunteers?

There is online training available through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center for age level missions leaders. Go to cwlc.com for information on the user-friendly courses. SEIBA’s Missions Education Consultant, Linda Clark, is also available for group and individual training or to consult with your missions team.

How do we begin?

With a plan and a strategy, you can begin as soon as this fall. Free starter kits are available upon request, and information on discounted curriculum is provided through the Indiana state WMU office. Contact Allison Kinion, director, at akinion@scbi.org  Information is also available from Linda Clark at lclark1213@hotmail.com

Summer Sign-Up

Unfortunately, hunger doesn’t take a summer break. Now is the time to get involved in your church’s or community’s feeding program. Many programs provide hot meals 3 days a week during summer vacation. Find out what your community does to alleviate the hunger issue and enlist volunteers to help cook, pack, and distribute food to children who might go hungry otherwise. This ministry is a wonderful way for your church to become involved with families in your town and to develop relationships with them.  Go online for information about these hunger relief groups:  New Albany Food Pantry, Dare to Care (Floyd County), Community Kitchen Inc (Jeffersonville), Summer Food Service Program (Clark County).

A New Chapter in Literacy Missions

As persons whose first language is not English continue to move into our area, the need for literacy grows. There are 3 categories of literacy missions your church might consider as it seeks to minister to adults and families who need to learn to read and to become more proficient in English.

#1 – Adults Reading and Writing (ARW): This approach works to improve reading and writing skills to enable adults to find better jobs, help their children in school, and raise their educational level

#2 – English as a Second Language (ESL): This ministry helps people with writing and reading and adds skills needed for those whose first language isn’t English. Learning English will help them navigate everyday activities such as shopping, going to the doctor, filling out school forms and taking citizenship classes.

#3 – Tutoring Children and Youth (TCY): This program assists students in reading, writing, and math while learning in a safe place with an adult friend. The Bible is used as a textbook to teach cultural values.

Literacy missions began 58 years ago and is still a viable way for churches to expand their impact on newcomers to their communities. For more information go to Patches of Light blog at AnnKnowles.com  Knowles has worked in literacy missions for 40 years and encourages persons to volunteer to help change lives for Christ. 

Looking for a Way to Expand Your Church’s Global Perspective?

WorldCrafts has just introduced a Global Perspectives Collection that will help your church learn about other cultures and topics in a fun and exciting way. Each product contains activities and materials that are designed to inform, intrigue and inspire.

WorldCrafts, a fair trade ministry, provides financial assistance to artisans around the world. It is a holistic approach to financial security as it introduces artisans to God’s love through His Son Jesus.

The Global Perspectives Collection offers 3 kits: Africa, the Amazon Basin, and a special Christmas Around the World unit. They can be ordered online at WorldCrafts.org

Refugees Are Here…. Now What?

If your church is seeking ways to minister to refugees, consider the following steps to take to connect with newcomers to our nation and state.

  • Find out who they are. Displaced from countries experiencing conflict, most refugees are distraught, frightened, and alone.
  • Discover their background. Learn about where they’re from and what their home was like. Find out about their culture and what kind of trouble they’ve experienced.
  • Step toward, not away from refugees. Pray for guidance as God helps you overcome your hesitancy about unknown circumstances. Ask Him to free you from any fears you have about interacting with strangers.
  • Understand the many possibilities for ministry. Respond to needs as opportunities to share God’s love.
  •  Be a resource for refugees to receive assistance with learning English, applying for jobs, housing, or childcare. Connect with refugee families in a warm, friendly way and be ready to help them in practical ways.

Reaching out to people who have experienced great loss can be a rewarding ministry. The relationships you form will demonstrate God’s love and point them to a saving knowledge of Christ.  

Winter Missions Ideas

Now that we are in 2018, how about some fresh ideas to involve others in mission activities? Here are a few suggestions that might jump-start your church’s participation:

  1. Host an “Encourage the Nations” event – This can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Set a time before or after a worship service, at mid-week, or on a Saturday to feature praying for missionaries and mission projects around the world. Enlist station hosts to gather photos and décor items from different countries. Provide snacks from recipes of those nations. Station hosts should know facts about their country and share them as attendees visit each station. Provide prayer requests for missionaries in each area. This event is excellent for families and children, and it’s a great way to introduce your church to the scope of Southern Baptist missions.
  2. Purses with a Purpose project – Ask the women in your church to come to a Purse Party and bring a purse they no longer want (a purse in good condition!). Ask them to also bring personal items such as lip balm, tissue packets, purse-size lotions, notepads, pens, pocket-sized New Testaments, etc. At the gathering stuff the purses with the items and include a personal note or Christian tract sharing the good news of Jesus. Close with a devotion about reaching out to strangers in the area and ministering to their needs. Serve light refreshments. You can show a missions video from www.imbconnecting.com or www.namb.net  Deliver the “stuffed” purses to a women’ shelter or center.
  3. Make and deliver prayer baskets for children in times of distress. Fire stations and law enforcement agencies welcome the stuffed animals, quilts, and blankets to comfort little ones who are victims of fire, disaster or domestic abuse. You might establish an on-going group that meets on a regular basis to work on the blankets and quilts together for fellowship and encouragement. Pray over each basket before delivering it.

News Flash: The Holidays Are Almost Here!

If your church is looking for a fresh, new way to minister during the coming holidays, there are resources to help you!

“33 Easy Ways to Do Missions in Indiana” – This resource leaflet was written specifically with Indiana in mind! You can obtain a copy by emailing Linda Clark at: lclark1213@hotmail.com  User-friendly ideas are only a couple of clicks away!

WorldCrafts  Party – How about hosting a party that will help women artisans around the world? You’re going to shop for gifts anyway, so why not buy fair trade hand-crafted items from artisan groups that exist to provide women with a sustainable income while introducing them to Jesus? Go to www.WorldCrafts.org to view the online catalog and order a party kit complete with invitations, games, recipes, and a sample of items.

“Across the Street and Around the World” by Diana Davis & Autumn Wall is a new source listing ministry ideas designed for the amount of time you have. What a great idea!

Consider a Christmas ministry to missionaries in the United States for their stateside assignments. How about ministering to a care-giver in your church? Is there anything you can do to be an advocate for children in your community? Contact Caleb Creel, SEIBA’s collegiate minister, about ways you could help him (call SEIBA’s office to contact him).