WMU Blog

Trust Him as You Reach out to Someone New

young woman reaching out

With summer here in full force, maybe it is a good time to ask, “How are you doing?”

If you are like me, then you are feeling a bit behind on keeping up with the details. Or maybe you have everything planned out and are able to enjoy time with people. Either way, it is comforting to know God is in control and He has a plan.

The summer may not go exactly how we have planned, but God is bigger than our plans. And He is always doing something new, something more than we have imagined, something with potentially eternal results both in our lives and the lives of those around us. How comforting. How exciting.

Connect with Others to Be a More Effective Leader

group holding hands

The technology we have today is wonderful, isn’t it? When I enter Starbucks, I immediately connect with the wireless system. My car is equipped to sync with my phone so I can retrieve my contact list and make calls. When I arrive home, my phone connects with our wireless setup, and I’m ready to go! My oldest son gave me a digital photo frame, and I’ve downloaded photos from my phone to my computer and then to the frame. If I wander into my office during the night, the frame immediately flashes on because it has a motion sensor.

Similarly, learning to connect with others can help leaders be more effective in mentoring, training, and teaching. New and experienced missions leaders must realize the value of connecting with other leaders, church staff, and members of WMU missions organizations. An entry point for someone not involved in missions activities can come through one of these connection points.

What, then, are some ways you can make connections that will help you inform people? Here are several suggestions:

Do I know you? Meet the New Preschool Editor

Julie Heath

I’ve answered this question and asked this question quite a few times in my life. Do I know you? You look familiar. Have we met yet/before? Preschoolers don’t always ask those questions. Depending on just where they are in their preschool life, some preschoolers will just sit down and start to play—if you have toys, you are my friend. So, I’m going to start and assume, if we could get together around a large cherry diet Dr Pepper with easy ice and (insert your favorite coffee/soda here), we would be good friends and be able to find something in common—if you love preschoolers, you are my friend.

Which Children’s Program Is Right for Me?

When making decisions for your children's ministry programming, it's always a good idea to be aware of the issues involved. Deciding which program is right for you can be hard, and there are many paths one might take. We often receive calls from children's ministers and parents alike who find themselves stuck between two paths. Often, the choice is between our traditional children's organizations like Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors and the coed group AWANA. The following provides an in-depth look at the differences between these two programs. You can also look over this comparative breakdown between other popular program materials.

Try Something New: Explore Cultures

two women sitting at table

Cultures are unique aspects of groups who share specific backgrounds or geographical locations. While some cultures vary more than others, every culture has unique customs and beliefs.

Meeting and befriending people from different cultures can be valuable and rewarding. By taking the time to get to know someone completely different from you, you may see many opportunities for gospel conversations arise naturally.

When it comes to learning about new cultures,

Be Genuine

Dietzes at worship service

Jason and Cheryl Dietz were appointed to serve as church planters in Dresden, Germany, in 2006. The part of the world they live in has been called the most secular region on earth. Religion and faith are almost a foreign concept for most, and the Dietzes’ approach is to initiate spiritual conversations with everyone they come in contact with. “Those who show interest hear more and more from us, the whole gospel presentation, and an invitation to respond,” said Mr. Dietz.

Germany: You Should Know These Facts

This month, you'll lead your group in learning about the Dietz family and the gospel work happening in Germany. Exploring many facets of German history and culture will help your group understand the situations and challenges the Dietz family faces every day. Throughout your curriculum, you will learn about:

  • the Berlin Wall,
  • the Leipzig train station (the largest train station in the world),
  • autobahns, or highways, which do not have speed limits,
  • the tech-savvy culture of Germany,
  • and the world's largest science and technology museum.

To dive deeper into understanding the culture and people of Germany, here are some additional fun facts you can share with your group:

Show Love to MKs Transitioning to College in the US

portrait of female college student smiling at camera

Throughout the summer, many International Mission Board workers will send their kids back to the United States to start college. This is an incredibly emotional time for us as parents, and it can be so challenging for our kids as they navigate a new culture—the American culture!

Because these missionary kids—sometimes called third-culture kids (TCKs)—look and sound like other Americans (mine even have a proper Southern drawl), people expect them to feel at home when they come to the States for college. But many of them have spent most of their life outside of the States and the transition for them can be like riding a rollercoaster: both exhilarating and terrifying with lots of ups and downs. Please pray for these kids and for their parents in these next weeks and months.

Here are a few insights and ways to help, in case you have the opportunity to love on some of our kids. It will mean so much to parents who must return to the field and to the kids they leave behind!

My (Not-So-Little) Sphere of Influence

woman on rock platform viewing city

I shifted my weight in my chair during lunch as the speaker encouraged us to consider our roles and write down our circles of influence on a sheet of paper. Well this won’t take long, I thought to myself.

My paper ended up with wife, family member, friend, and employee scribbled on it shyly and slowly so those around me wouldn’t be able to tell how short my list was.

As a young professional, I consider my roles and my routine pretty simple. I go to work, get home around dinnertime, and spend time with my husband. On the weekends, we go to church and sometimes hang out with family or friends. My circle of influence seemed pretty small.

Surely there was more going on outside my comfortable bubble.

Around that time, the Holy Spirit began to convict me about my “boring” routine and how I use my time. Conviction came in the form of Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV):

Go, Make Disciples

mother taking children to playgound

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” —Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

We like routine. Routines are good for us, for our children, and for our overall predictability of life. Typically, we shop in the same places, eat in the same restaurants, and go to church with people who are familiar to us. We drive the same routes, run the same paths, and keep a pretty consistent schedule of events from year to year.

As a pastor’s wife, it’s easy for me to find myself surrounded by believers (or those who have heard the gospel) all the time. It takes effort for me to look beyond the people of our church and in my immediate circles to see the unreached surrounding us next door.

The Book of Matthew tells of how Jesus reached out to those who were diseased and afflicted—those in need of healing and a Savior. These people were probably not a part of His normal routine. They were outside of His usual crowd of disciples.

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