Saturday, May 15, 2010

Marks of a Fantastic Missions Conference Pt. 3

I believe that this mark of a fantastic missions conference could be the most important, outside of having the power of God upon the conference. A third and very crucial mark of a fantastic missions conference is connection between the people of the church and the missionaries. I believe the key in seeing this accomplished can be summed up in one word: time. If the people do not have time to get to know the missionaries, then they will not get to know them.

This begs the question, "Why is it so important for the people to have a connection with the missionaries?" Here are a few thoughts.

1. The best picture of missions for the people of a local church is the missionaries themselves. When people have the opportunity to get to know missionaries on a personal level, missions ceases to be an abstract idea, and becomes a personal involvement. I believe that some of the most missions-giving churches are those churches that have a missions conference in which the people have plenty of opportunities to get to know the missionaries.

2. When the people of the church and the missionaries establish a good connection at a missions conference, the also establish a good prayer base, and this is a two-way street. Not only are the people better equipped to pray for the missionaries (because the missionaries are no longer just faces on a prayer card, but real people with real needs), but the missionaries are better equipped to pray for the church.

3. The more time the missionaries have with the people, the better the opportunity is for the missionaries to make an impact on the church- especially on the young people of the church. *On a side note, I believe it is vitally important to expose the teenagers to every missionary that comes through the doors of the church. If a missionary is just in for a Wednesday night service, it would be great if the teenagers could come and see the missions presentation before going to the teen service.

4. Having been in a few meetings in which a good connection was not made between the people and the missionaries, I can tell you that in those situations the entire atmosphere of the conference is a bit insipid. In order for an exciting, vibrant atmosphere to be present in the missions conference, there must be ample opportunity for the people of the church and the missionaries to establish a solid connection.

There are many venues that provide great opportunities for the missionaries and the church members to get acquainted and build solid friendships. Having a meal before each service that is open to all who want to attend is a great opportunity. Strongly encouraging the people to visit each display both before and after the services can also be rewarding. Allowing the missionaries to be a part of the various Sunday school classes on Sunday morning can be very beneficial. If at all possible, having all the missionaries in for the entirety of the conference, as opposed to having each family in for one night only, is the best way for the people to get to know the missionaries.

These are just some thoughts.

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