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Work Better with Church Staff

As a WMU leader, a good working relationship with church staff is vital. Whether your church has just a few staff members or many staff members, get to know them and be aware of their responsibilities.

DO

  • Respect their time. Make appointments when you need to meet with them whether for planning or discussing an item of concern.
  • Include staff in planning. Ask for staff members’ input and ideas before asking for their help.
  • Thank them for their help. No matter how seemingly small the task, your appreciation goes a long way.
  • Honor church policies and procedures. Your cooperation helps the staff do its work and will help you achieve your goals.
  • Plan ahead and keep deadlines.
  • Honor your commitments to church staff. If you have agreed to carry out a task, then do it with excellence.
  • Pray for church staff.
  • Participate fully in church activities. Be supportive of the staff in all areas.
  • Volunteer to help with a variety of church activities. Staff members appreciate those who help where needed.

DON’T

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Responding to Global Hunger

Two years ago while on a missions trip to South Africa, I had the opportunity to participate in food distribution in the local community. The missionaries with whom I was working informed my team that the food had been purchased with Global Hunger Relief funds. It was a thrill for me to have a firsthand opportunity to hand out the bags of food and share with those receiving them.

Two hundred families had the all-important yellow card that allowed them to receive food. To my dismay, there were an equal number of families—including child-headed households—beyond the fence waiting and hoping for some food. Did these families riot when there was no food for them? No, they waited patiently—albeit desperately—for whatever there might be for them. As we concluded the distribution and had to leave, they were still standing there looking through the fence.

Scenes such as this change your life. I have always led in the Global Hunger Emphasis in my church, challenging our members to give so that we can do our part to alleviate hunger around the world. To be able to go the next step and respond personally has ramped up my efforts.

Educate Church Members about the Cooperative Program

The Cooperative Program is the foundational means of supporting Southern Baptist work in each state, nationally, and around the world. Without the Cooperative Program, missions offerings such as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions are simply inadequate. Yet there are many in our churches who have no idea what the Cooperative Program is or why it is so important. Cooperative Program Sunday—April 10—provides an annual opportunity to educate church members (and leaders!) about this vital approach to supporting missions.

Tips for Effective Missions

New church plants and even established churches sometimes lack funds and manpower, but there are several small, practical things that can be done to facilitate effective missions.

Global Missions Involvement

Getting the church involved in global missions can be intimidating. Distance, cost, language, and numerous other factors seem to prevent meaningful involvement, yet we know from Christ’s words in Acts 1:8 that we are to be His witnesses “to the ends of the earth.”

The church plant with which I’ve been working for a couple of years is still quite small. We do not have a lot of resources to send people to the ends of the earth, yet I have been so blessed to see how our little congregation has made such a big impact globally.

One of the primary ways we participate in global missions is through awareness and prayer. We take time during each service to discuss current events and intercede for the people of the world and the missionaries and ministries serving them. Time and again, we hear testimonies of God’s faithfulness in answering prayer. Prayer is one of the most effective, powerful tools we have, if we only make time and room for it in our lives.

Loving Local Missions

After growing up learning about international missionaries, I was quite disappointed when God established my missions field in an English classroom at my former high school. I felt so limited, but after I started teaching, I realized that I have more ministry opportunities in my classroom than I would have in many “ministry” positions. Through this realization, God gave me a passion for local missions.

The power of local missions is in the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. There are so many charities we could support, so many organized drives and walks and fundraisers in which we could participate, but study Scripture and you’ll see that Jesus didn’t do any of these things. Jesus lived alongside those who needed Him. He ate with them, laughed with them, cried with them, and built a rapport with them that allowed Him to ask personal questions and challenge sinful behavior. He didn’t help them because it was a good thing to do. He helped them because these were His friends and He loved them individually.

A Missions Gateway

Get involved in missions

If you pay attention to the news, watch YouTube videos, or read social media posts, then you will begin to notice that everyone seems to have a platform whether he or she comes from a religious background or not. People have causes they believe in and are willing to fight for. The numbers of people giving to charities, working with organizations to help those in need, and participating in community service are astounding. Colleges applaud volunteer work, and some high schools now even give special diplomas for students who earn a set number of hours of service. It seems many people have the desire to help others.

The biggest difference between secular acts of service and what we call missions is motivation. When we participate in missions, we meet people’s physical needs to introduce them to Jesus; missions is service with an evangelical focus.

In a world where so many people want to help others, Christians have an amazing opportunity to make a mission out of providing service opportunities.

Show Your Love and Say Thanks to Military Wives

In thinking about Project HELP: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, I thought it might be a good idea to plan a retreat for military wives. We honor the enlisted men and women who defend our country, but what about their spouses and the sacrifices they make? Little did I know that some of the military wives who came would share that their husbands have PTSD or were wounded and they needed this time for themselves so much!

To provide this time “away” was a blessing as I watched them connect with each other and our leaders. The retreat was beyond anything I could begin to explain—it was a God-appointed time just for them and they “soaked” it up.

Our purpose was to provide an opportunity for them to be refreshed and renewed. Using my military task force and my special PTSD task force, I had great resource people to help me think through this idea. I applied for a grant for military ministry, wanting to be able to use some of those funds to provide this retreat for the military wives so they would not have to pay anything to come.

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Connect the Dots

National WMU has launched a new growth plan called Connect the Dots. I believe you will find this to be an effective plan as you share the joy of what it means to serve God and His people.

Discover New Members 

Look around your church and discover how you can add new members to your existing WMU organizations. Many people are looking for ways to get involved; they just need to be invited.

Organize Groups 

Could your church form new WMU groups? Are you currently leading children in missions through Children in Action but could transition to Girls in Action for girls and Royal Ambassadors for boys? Do you have missions education for every age level, including young women? If not, consider starting a myMISSION group for them.

Teach Churches 

There are churches in your community without missions education for children and adults. Build relationships with the leadership in those churches and share the importance of ongoing missions education for all ages. Assist them as they begin and encourage them in their efforts.

Spotlight Entry Points 

Let It Go!

I had the privilege of being a part of an associational WMU celebration that included a mealtime and great opportunity for fellowship. I love meeting people and wanted to engage in conversation with the people around me whom I’d just met.

As I engaged in conversation with a woman seated across from me, I quickly learned that she was a part of the associational WMU leadership team. I thanked her for serving and she very quickly began sharing with me that she would be resigning her leadership position by the end of the year. She told me she no longer felt she should be serving on the leadership team because she was not needed. I asked her why she felt she wasn’t needed. The reason—the associational WMU director was not delegating or relinquishing any responsibilities to her. Under those circumstances, I believe we would all come to the same conclusion.

She went on to say, “Have you heard the expression that with some people it is their way or the highway? That’s what I’m dealing with.”

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