5 Benefits of a Missions Month

As a pastor, I am always looking for ways to make missions more of a focus in my church. I often talk with other pastors and missions leaders about how churches are highlighting missions. The goal is to see our church’s commitment to missions increase. One idea that is growing in popularity is having a missions month. This is where a church focuses on missions every Sunday of a particular month. This is something I’ve done in the past and plan on doing in the future. There are several benefits I have noticed to having a mission month.

1- A missions month provides time for an extended focus on missions.

The truth is that one week isn’t enough. One week out of 52 is not sufficient time to focus on missions. The church needs a more extended focus on this vital part of God’s plan. A missions month provides an opportunity for that extended focus.

2- A missions month gives everyone multiple opportunities to hear about missions.

I don’t know how it is in your church, but the chances of everyone being there on the week that you focus on missions is probably slim. This means that some families in the church may go a year or two without hearing about or being challenged with the message of missions. A missions month almost guarantees that everyone in your church will be presented with missions multiple times. This can’t be anything but good.

3- A missions month provides opportunities to have a different focus each week.

I have been in a number of one-week missions conferences that have had a singular focus. This is not necessarily bad, but having a missions month gives the flexibility to have a different focus each Sunday of the month. For instance, each week could focus on a different aspect of Acts 1:8 or a different part of the world. Having a different focus each week, encourages church members with different aspects of missions.

4- A missions month gives more time to do creative things.

In a one-week or three-day conference time is limited. This means that opportunities to be creative are also limited. Having a missions month provides more opportunities to think outside the box and do things a little differently.

5- A missions month gives time for the message of missions to sink in through the avenue of multiple speakers.

Typically, there is only one speaker in a one-day, thee-day, or one-week conference. The focus of that speaker, however good it is, is what will be driven home in that conference. Having a missions month allows the opportunity to have a different speaker each week. For instance, in our missions month we had different speaker each week: the pastor of a Spanish church, the director of a mission agency, an overseas national church planter, and a pastor who used to be a missionary in Central America. Our members heard about missions and outreach from several different perspectives, and I think that is a good thing.

A missions month might not be for you, but it can provide some benefits that are worth considering. Give it some thought. You may just find that a missions month is exactly what your church needs.


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The Church’s Response to Immigration

A Missiological Opportunity

Although this topic is political, this is not a political post. Instead, the goal is to help Christians think about a political issue in a Christian light. Far too often Christians let their patriotism define their faith – which ultimately leads to the distortion of Christianity. Rather, Christians should let their Christianity define their patriotism.

When we come to the topic of immigration, many Christians fail to look at the issue through the lens of their faith, choosing rather to view it only as a political and social issue. The truth is that the way government is to address this issue and the way the Church is to respond to this issue should be different. Have political lines been drawn on this issue? Sure. Are their social effects? Absolutely. However, I would argue that the eternal effects should be our top consideration.

What do I mean by the “eternal effects?” By that I mean that all people, including both legal and illegal immigrants, have a soul that will one day enter eternity. The eternal destiny of those individuals should concern us. That concern should drive us to seek the best way to reach those individuals with the message of the gospel.

Many immigrants who enter the United States of America have a much greater opportunity to hear the saving message of the gospel here than they would if they stayed in their homeland.

Why not view the issue of immigration as a missiological opportunity? Churches are spending millions of dollars to send missionaries to the foreign field. This is good and needed. But what if churches began allocating a significant portion of their missions budgets to reach the mission field that God, in His sovereignty, has allowed to come to us? Would that not be a more cost and time-effective approach to reaching other cultures?

Again, the problem is that Christians fail to view this issue in light of its eternal opportunities, choosing rather to view it through the lens of their political party.

Sometimes toeing the party line causes us to miss out on God-sent opportunities. It’s time we began looking at the issue of immigration as Christians, not just as Americans. In so doing, we might just find a pool of people who are hungry for the eternal Bread of Life.

I, for one, am glad immigrants have chosen to come to America. And I pray that Christians take advantage of this God-sent opportunity to introduce them to true freedom in Christ.


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What A Commitment to Missions Says About a Church

Some churches appear to do a lot in the arena of missions while others seem disinterested. Some churches often talk about missions, highlight missions in their services, send members on missions trips, and sacrifice financially in order to support missions efforts. What some may miss is that this commitment to missions says a lot about a church.

When I say ‘commitment to missions’ it is important that you understand what I do and do not mean. I do not mean that a church gives money to missions, but has no other real involvement in missions endeavors. I don’t mean that they are marginally connected, just occasionally participating in missions efforts. A commitment to missions is a willingness to send, give, go, and sacrifice all for the sake of local and global missions. When a church has this kind of commitment it says some things about the church. Here are a few of them.

1- It says they are outwardly focused.

A church that is truly committed to missions demonstrates that they refuse to be inwardly focused. They want to focus on others. They constantly look for ways to focus their attention beyond the walls of the church.

2- It says they mirror God’s love for the world.

Churches that are truly committed to missions understand God’s love for the world and strive to mirror that. Through how they interact with others and through their commitment to sending others to the mission field, they want to present the love of Christ that has radically transformed them to others.

3- It says they are willing to give in order to reach others.

A commitment to missions is revealed in how a church gives to that effort. Churches who are committed to missions give regularly, cheerfully, and sacrificially. They understand that giving financially furthers the mission. You can learn a lot about the heart of a church by examining their giving.

4- It says they care more about others than themselves.

This is closely related to a previous point, but churches who are committed to missions are filled with people who care more about reaching the lost than they do catering to their own comforts and preferences. They are willing to put their desires aside and focus on others.

5- It says they understand why they exist.

God has given the church a mission they are to pursue. While it is common for churches to experience mission drift, churches committed to missions demonstrate that they understand they exist to pursue their God-given mission.

Churches may think that missions is just something that is optional. They may think that it is not really that big of a deal. The truth is that much can be learned about a church by examining their commitment to missions.

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