Missions "society"

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by bapmom, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. bapmom

    bapmom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi! Ive not been around much lately what with having just moved and all, but something new has come up recently and I was hoping some of you could give me some good ideas and/or insights.

    Id like to get a missionary prayer band or society started at my church. My husband and I went and talked to our pastor and he's very interested and supportive. He gave me several good ways to go, and in fact he has bigger ideas than I do....of course. :)

    Well, he asked me to do some research on what other churches do, how it's organized and run, and what they do to get people excited about it.

    Please, any suggestions, advice, funny stories, insights, etc., from anyone either on the foreign field or the home field.......basically anyone anywhere. :)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    bapmom,

    I would be shocked if the other missionaries here don't say with me, "our greatest need is prayer!".

    We have some churches that ONLY support us by prayer. They correspond with us pretty regularly, also. I make a practice of sending a prayer letter to every church we have ever been in as well as to several Christian Colleges.

    To have a successful ministry, my suggestion would be to start by initiating contact with the missionaries. Don't just depend on prayer letters. (Sad to say, most prayer letters do not do what they are supposed to do- induce folks to pray!) Try to make e-mail contact with the missionaries. It might be helpful to divide your church's missionary family up amongst the members of the group and rotate the contacts once a year or so.

    You might get the kids (and teens!) of your church involved by asking the MK's (or their parents) for their prayer requests and get the kids praying also.

    Looking forward to hearing some great testimonies from you in the future.

    Mex
     
  3. bapmom

    bapmom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Mex

    What got me started with this is that I type up selected prayer letters from our missonaries and this gets passed out each Wednesday night. However, I think only a small group reads them anyway, and there isn't room on the page to get in all the prayer letters some weeks, and then other weeks we don't hear from any of our missionaries. We also have some missionaries who send us letters each month, and others who only send us a letter every once in awhile, if that.

    My burden is that our 33 missionary families are not being prayed for very consistently right now, within our congregation. My vision for this is very much like what you suggested, Mex, with several groups of our people set up to pray specifically for certain missionaries...probably grouped by region of the world.

    And then they can get together as separate groups if they want to and organize a card being sent for birthdays, or a care package or something like that.
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    All the best to you.

    Did you know that most women's weekly meetings started as missionary societies? They were weekly meeting for messages from missionaries on leave, prayer letters and prayer sessions. They reached out to community as well as "missionaries".

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Glad to hear from you again, bapmom. I wondered how you folk were doing lately. :wavey:

    I will definitely second Mexdeaf on prayer being our biggest need. :thumbs:

    We have a couple of ladies groups that e-mail us regularly to find out our prayer requests. I believe they do it in rotation, so with 33 missionaries you might want to pray for, say 6 at a time, meaning you pray for each missionary about twice a month. Or, depending on the number of prayer warriors you can divide up into groups and pray more often.

    Other things ladies groups have done for us: bought English hymnbooks for our English service, given offerings for special projects (tracts, etc.), made prizes for Sunday School, sent cards for special occasions, etc.

    Last year three ladies from one of our supporting churches even visited us here in Japan. They were such a blessing to our folk and especially to my wife Patty. All of them have kept in contact, and one lady has become a wonderful friend to Patty. They write wacky e-mails back and forth all the time.

    Cautions:

    (1) This should go without saying, but if your group makes something to send to the field, make it top quality. You've probably heard the horror stories of used tea bags being sent to the mission field. We had some really junky home-made bookmarks sent over one time. We had to throw them away, because the Japanese (very quality-minded people) would have sneered at them. A friend of ours in Japan was once sent a whole box of empty pill bottles. What in the world was that about?? :confused:

    (2) Again, this should go without saying, but stay out of doctrinal issues. That is for the pastor of the supporting church to worry about. One ladies group sent me a doctrine/practice statement to fill out, and their pastor was very embarrassed when he found out about it. :rolleyes:

    (3) If you send something to the field, by all means check with the missionary first. Some items are forbidden, and others are taxed more than it is worth to send them. Also, on some fields packages are routinely stolen, so the missionary can tell you how to safely send them.

    (4) It will be a lot of work, but be faithful--do it for the long haul. You will be a blessing!

    I hope this all helps.
     
  6. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry I've come in a bit late on this one - though not as late as I first thought (I can't get used to thinking of 12-04-06 being in December; to me, it's 12th April 2006:)

    Does your church support any particular missionary, or organisation? If so, they might well have a website, or issue regular prayer-letters, and other "helps" to help spark interest, and to keep praying groups up to date. For example, we as a church support Grace Baptist Mission. If you visit their site at: http://www.gbm.org.uk/ and click on "Publications", you can see deatils of their monthly prayer diary, a quarterly magazine, "Hot News" giving up-do-date news of missionaries, in audio format (cassette, CD or MP3), a magazine for children, an annual handbook, and an interactive CD-ROM. Most of the individual missionaries have their own prayer letters, too. We find it helpful to concentrate our praying and giving on a particular area of the work of Grace Baptist Mission (radio work, in our case). That helps to form a more personal link and interest, and enables us to be much more specific in our praying. I am sure many missionary organisations will have similar helps available.

    One thing I would hope is that your desire to set up a missionary prayer group in your church is not because the church is not already "missionary-minded". If that is the case, my own opinion is that you should talk about that matter with the pastor/elders first.

    Apologies about that last paragraph - I've just noticed that you say in another message that you type out news of missionaries for your church, so there clearly is an interest.

    Every blessing,
     
    #6 David Lamb, Dec 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2006
  7. bapmom

    bapmom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're not late at all, David! Thank you for your help. Yes, our church is for the most part very missions minded. We are a relatively smaller church, but we support 35 different missionary families. And actually, I would not have presumed to ask you all about this without having asked my preacher first. :) He actually suggested that I go online and see what some other churches have done so we could get some ideas.

    Part of the problem Ive had is translating my bigger vision so that others can understand and catch it too. Our church is not very "sophisticated". Id say less than half of the congregation are internet-savvy. Although I have every intention (if we do this) of including any and all email addresses and websites of missionaries we support, there are only a few who will have the capability of looking those websites up. My desire to do this stems from us just having a rather clogged flow of information. The desire to know is there, the interest to pray is there.....but the logistics of getting that information and excitement going is what needs to be worked on.

    So far what I think I will be proposing to my preacher is that we have our missionary families grouped by region, and then ask for volunteers who are willing to commit to specific, faithful prayer, and then have those volunteers split into four groups praying for a region at a time. The groups would then rotate to a different region every 3 or 4 months. In order to get to know our missonaries better I want to provide prayer card notebooks, something that can be added to as we go along, but they'll include all info we have on each family. Then each group can organize any special fundraising or care packages as they see a need or as they are able.

    I also want to provide a specific prayer request hotline......something where as an urgent need comes in I could contact the people responsible for that family, AND have that prayer request shared in church.

    Hey, thanks for letting me use you as a sounding board! I appreciate any comments!

    :type: :thumbsup:
     

Share This Page

Loading...