3 Reasons Your Church Needs A Missions Ministry
By: Nicole Cochran
“For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” – Acts 13:47
Growing up in the church, I was exposed to the idea of missions for as long as I can remember. I always had a deep stirring inside of me and knew I was called into missions, but my opportunities and examples were limited. It wasn’t until I was in college that I felt equipped with tools that could help me reach out to others about Christ. I began to fully understand the immense need for the church to step up and lead in this capacity.
So why should a church have a missions ministry? Here are 3 reasons and some practical steps to getting there:
1. The Bible says so.
Jesus spoke often of caring for the widows and orphans and to focus on the things not of this earth. In Acts, the church is formed around making disciples and multiplying to the ends of the earth. As much as a building can feel like home, the church is God’s people, not a building. Reaching out to those who don’t know Him and serving “the least of these” is God’s heartbeat.
Missions can take on a number of forms. Some are called to go to Africa, to the Middle East, or to another state, etc. Some are called to serve in their immediate community with inner city youth, the homeless, or sex trafficking victims. Others are called to support monetarily and through prayer. Everyone is used to serve the Kingdom in a different way, yet we are all called.
Missions ministries should guide and equip believers to reach those that don’t know Jesus.
2. It will impact the health of the church.
A missions ministry is a wonderful way for newcomers and veterans alike to become more involved, and for your church to create more “buy-in.” It can serve as a connector for your church, bringing more people in, as well as growing members spiritually. A healthy church is one that is reaching out into their community to seek out the lost and weary.
A missions ministry doesn’t have to follow an exact formula. It doesn’t even have to be run by a pastor; chances are there’s someone already part of your church that has a passion for serving others and could help spearhead a missions initiative. With the right guidance, healthy ministries will snowball on their own. People will begin inviting others to church, volunteer numbers will increase, and individuals will seek to reach others more and more in their daily lives. This love that is a part of every believer should be fostered and cultivated by church leaders.
3. Missions are a discipleship vehicle for members.
Missions can serve as a great vehicle for discipleship, not only for those you are serving but for church members as well. I’ve never grown more in my faith journey than when I’ve had the opportunity to share about my personal relationship with God. Create opportunities for members to practice sharing the Gospel, memorize Bible stories, and give their testimony. People learn best by teaching, so providing chances for members to do that firsthand will help develop their faith and deepen their relationship with God.
Another need for missions ministry lies in leading by example. Creating opportunities for families to serve together and for kids and youth to see these examples at an early age will raise them to be mission-minded. Take the youth group on a weekend trip to help paint a house or take the elementary students to a local food pantry to help. Spend time discussing how and why as Christians we’re called to do this.
Discipling all generations will add to the health of the church and its members.
So... Where do we start?
Start small. If your church is lacking a missions ministry, jump in, but don’t jump into the deep end yet; it’s okay to wade in slowly. Find a staff member or volunteer to lead and initiate the ministry. A great way to get started is to find some local, existing organizations to partner with and then expand from there. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Start in your own community and slowly reach further. Encourage weekend trips to surrounding areas and organize spring break and Christmas break serving opportunities.
Supporting existing missionaries is another great place to start. Have missionaries come and share what they are doing with your church congregation. This will help people to feel connected and a part of something global and God-focused. Small introductions of missions into your church can create a mission-minded community, one that is a light for those in need.
If your church is in need of a leadership role that can take on this new ministry, we at Vanderbloemen Search Group would be happy to partner with you in finding a Missions Pastor. For more information, read here.
How would a Missions Ministry benefit your church body and community?
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