A Road Map for Getting Your Church Involved in Missions
By Ken Wheatley
First Baptist Church, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Because we have had so many people from our church involved in missions, many have called us “a church with a heart for the world.” But we agree with Charles Spurgeon on the matter who said, “Every believer is a missionary, or an imposter.”
At First Baptist Church Hot Springs we believe that Christians are not called to missions, but we are on mission. Christ told us to “go” in Matthew 28. It’s part of our DNA, our thoughts, and actions. So we expect every single member of our church from children to seniors to pray, give, and go!
Even in our deepest times of economic depression our church members have continued to go and give. In a church with an average Sunday attendance of 1,100, more than 50 percent of our members have gone on missions trips, and last year we raised more than $350,000 for international missions. If your church needs some direction on how to have a missions oriented church, this is my road map to help you find your way.
- Begin with a senior pastor who is sold out to missions, not just word and teaching, but in personal giving and going.
- Find a dedicated missions coordinator—a staff person or volunteer equipped with an assistant who has creative and organizational talents to implement publications, trips, and events. You must have dedicated support!
- Post missions emphasis information generously throughout the church and make it extremely visible at all times. This includes posters, signs, fliers, brochures, props, goal charts, offerings, and celebrations. Emphasis on missions shouldn’t be just once or twice a year, but every single Sunday.
We publish brochures with pictures and personal testimonies of church members who have gone on mission. We have a missions prayer breakfast once a month, and we often have teams from around the world call in during Sunday services.
- Invite people personally to go on mission. Ninety percent of first-time short-term missionaries are asked personally to go.
- Designate an information area when you can have these brochures and information available, and where people can give every Sunday. Set giving goals and use props in the sanctuary to report special missions programs and show progress when it relates to offerings.
None of this would be possible without the financial support of the church. There are over 200 people in our church who will tell you their lives were changed by giving.
We are a church that takes missions seriously, and we emphasize that by keeping missions opportunities in front of our congregation at all times. We honor the efforts in our own hometown as much as we do in Africa. There is a mission to suit any lifestyle, age, or gifting, and we won’t stop until the whole world has heard the Good News!