Here are some ideas from MB Mission’s regional mobilizers on how churches can encourage their global workers.
Support existing friendships. Fostering genuine friendships takes time and presence, and should not always be “ministry” focused. Do your missionaries already have close friends in the church? Consider helping them spend time together either in Canada or overseas – even to holiday together. The church is not just there for financial support; we are their family.
Socialize. When workers are here, be intentional about socializing with them on a personal level, such as a supper invitation – not just at formal church events.
Give stage time. During home assignment, invite missionaries to share about their work abroad from the stage. Consider fitting them into the annual preaching roster. When they’re away, do this by satellite or Skype.
Offer a web page. Devote a blog or Facebook page to church-sponsored missions (local, national, global).
Make space. Create a mission wall in the church building for photos and updates. If there are screens in the foyer/nurseries, etc., loop a video of the church’s global workers between services.
Educate. Attend or host an MB Mission Church Partnership Postures workshop to learn about best practices in global partnerships. Evaluate mission commitments annually according to the values your church identifies.
Pray. Designate a prayer team for each worker you support. Sponsor the team to visit them. Pray for the worker in the service.
Advocate. Have a missionary advocacy team that assists workers with support and communication needs while they are in their assignment location and provides for practical needs such as a vehicle during their time in Canada. Tell their stories well to stir up the faith and engage others in prayer and vision for global mission.
Cross-pollinate. Bring workers here, and send teams there to return with a short but well-done video or slideshow to present to the congregation. Do it often.
Click here to read how Steinbach MB hosted a missionary-in-residence:
A deep relationship is mutually beneficial for the church and the cross-cultural workers they support – something Steinbach (Man.) MB Church lead pastor Walter Fast understands personally, having taught and pastored in Germany for 19 years.