Focus on WMU: It’s about Missions

Focus on WMU is not about WMU. It’s about missions. It’s about the work of God through the church by which the gospel of Jesus Christ is extended in word and deed to all the people in the world.

WMU is just a vehicle through which Christian believers can “understand and be radically involved” in the work of God. It encourages participation in the work of the church and denomination. It aids in developing spiritually toward a missions lifestyle, which includes learning about missions, praying for missions, giving to missions, serving in missions, and supporting missions.

WMU is about learning about missions. Annie Armstrong, WMU’s first corresponding secretary (now referred to as executive director), knew that missions education would inspire missions involvement. “After study of God’s word comes study of the fields. Then people pray. Then they give,” she noted in a message to WMU on its 50th anniversary in 1938. Everyone—young or old, male or female—can find a WMU missions organization to help him or her learn about, pray for, give to, and do missions in an age-appropriate way. During the week you observe Focus on WMU, highlight what groups in your church are learning and doing. Invite those who aren’t involved to get involved, even if that means you have to start another group or a new organization.

WMU is about praying for missions. In fact, praying for and giving to missions in China is how WMU got its start in 1888, after missionary Lottie Moon urged Southern Baptist women to organize. Today through WMU missions organizations, preschoolers, children, students, and adults are encouraged to pray for missionaries, their work, and lost people. Students and adults get in the habit of praying for missions each day by using the prayer calendar, which lists missionaries by their birthday. The prayer calendar is available in monthly issues of Missions Mosaic, where it is a part of the daily devotional Prayer Patterns, and on wmu.com/prayercalendar. Visit this page and print off the list of missionaries celebrating birthdays the week of Focus on WMU. Distribute the list to all students and adults in the church the Sunday before Focus on WMU begins, and encourage them to include these missionaries in their individual or family prayers throughout the week.

WMU is about giving to missions. WMU believes in the importance of stewardship and giving to missions. It actively promotes giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and giving through the Cooperative Program, which supports the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention and state Baptist conventions. Remind church members that the Week of Prayer and Mission Study for North American Missions is coming up March 4–11 and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering will be collected around that time. Share your church’s offering goal and ask church members to consider what they would be willing to sacrifice in order to increase their giving this year.

WMU is about serving in missions. Money isn’t the only thing you can give to missions. Time and talent are always welcome gifts, and WMU provides hands-on missions experiences so that members of missions organizations aren’t just reading about missionaries but have opportunities to follow their example. Adults, students, and children as young as 6 can go on a WMU trip. But missions can be done at home, too. For example, volunteer with a Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps site. Children’s Missions Day falls on the Saturday of Focus on WMU week, so plan a project that gets the children of your church out into your community to share the gospel in word and deed. Glean ideas for effective projects from wmu.com/cmd

WMU is about supporting missions. Consider the countless ways to support missions efforts through WMU. One of those is WorldCrafts, a division of WMU that develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. The vision of WorldCrafts is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth. You can not only purchase WorldCrafts products but also make a tax-deductible contribution to the Isaiah 58:10 Campaign at the WMU Foundation to help WorldCrafts support additional artisans. And of course, you can pray for the artisans. Make it easy for members of your church to support the spread of the gospel by finding a date on the church calendar when you can host a WorldCrafts party. Invite all the women and teenage girls in your church and encourage them to invite their family, friends, and neighbors. Request a Support Freedom Catalog. Ask attendees to bring any WorldCrafts items they have previously purchased to display.

So what are you waiting for? Focus on WMU February 12–18 (or any time) by focusing on how your church does—or could do—missions.

Kathleen Penton is an assistant editor for WMU.

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