Promoting missionary care in church:
* Be linked to a missionary and make sure they visit your church when they are on home assignment. Make their visit an event – interviews, a meal together...hands on. It’s your event...organise it well. And be generous with them as they visit you. Make it an opportunity to care for them as they serve your congregation.
* Take ten minutes from a service four times a year (March – before Easter, July, September and November – before Christmas), hand out A5 paper and pens and write short letters. In church! It is amazing how much you can write in ten short minutes. On Monday morning go to the post office and send off your parcel of encouragement.
* Publish fresh prayer points in the church newsletter every month. If you have nothing specific that is new and current then work in some of the general prayer points. What is important is to provide people with new, regular prayer points to keep them praying.
* Pray through those prayer points from the front of the church – in its own dedicated spot during the service or during the service prayer time.
* When a prayer letter arrives from a missionary, don’t just stick one copy up on the pin-up board. Photocopy it and hand it out with the newsletter for everyone.
* Midway through a missionary’s tour, hold an event at your church to refresh everyone’s memory. Have a national meal, give news, pray, maybe have a Skype link up if you can set it up or even just a live email exchange and spend ten minutes writing letters – or at the very least, send around a card that everyone can sign.
Incorporating missions into the children’s programme:
* During each of the school holidays, run a kids’ mission session with the Sunday School children. Tell them what the missionary has been up to lately and show photos if some are available, spend some time learning about the country (and try some food from that location if you can), pray for the missionary, write letters and draw pictures. This works especially well if you can link your Sunday School children up with a missionary family. The children may find this a bit abstract to begin with but if it is done every holidays, and if the missionaries make contact back with the children, a relationship soon forms and it becomes quite a natural thing to do.
* Take up a “kids’ collection” during Sunday School and direct it to a missionary.
Incorporating missions into a Bible study group:
* Have the missionary’s prayer card on the table each week – a visual reminder.
* During the prayer time share prayer points for the missionary and make sure they are prayed for each week, alongside the members of your group.
* Four times a year (or once a month even!!) write a letter – individual ten minute letters on A5 paper or pass around an airletter during the study for people to add a few lines, pass around a computer and add to an email or write a short note in a card.
* Take up a “spare change” collection (this can add up to quite a sum of money over the course of a year) and save it to give to your missionary for when they are on home assignment for a few luxuries – or direct it to their missionary support.