TO BE A MISSIONS MINDED CONGREGATION  

“To give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ

In Vestal, the Triple Cities and beyond to the whole world!”

 
March, 2009

GOAL:  Being a local congregation that is a part of the P.C.A., our goal is be a missions minded congregation that is burdened for Worldwide Mission and Church Planting.  It is our desire to worship and honor God, to study His Word, and to actively proclaim the Best News of our Lord Jesus Christ by praying for, financially supporting and sending forth those who have been called of God into worldwide missionary service.  We desire to involve ourselves in sharing the vision of God here in Vestal and around the world so that people may be given “the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 4:6). 

 

OBJECTIVES: 

 

1.  To be a missions minded congregation with an active Missions Committee in the Church. 

 

2.  To be a Missions Committee that encourages our Church family to be a missions minded congregation that thinks big because God is big, and not to think small because we perceive ourselves (our church) to be small).  We do not want our perception of ourselves to hinder our service.

 

 a.  One way to share this perception is for the missions committee to encourage the congregation to adopt financial goals for missions with target dates for these goals to be reached:

 

            - to increase missions giving by our church each year by at least 10% of total annual Church Budget as adopted each January. 

 

            To adopt a goal of total missions giving by the year 2007 to be at 25% of our total annual church budget. 

 

            To adopt a goal of total missions giving to grow in the first five years of the next decade to a level of 50% of total annual church budget.

 

3.  To be a Missions Committee that shares the vision of missions service with our congregation in such a way that our enthusiasm for the work of God here in Vestal and around the world is shared and captured by our congregation, prayerfully and financially supported, and entered into in a committed and enthusiastic manner through local evangelism, short-term missions projects and sending forth those who are called of God into worldwide missionary service.

 

4. To be a Missions Committee that shares the vision of missions service with our congregation in such a way that the message of the Gospel is communicated in a manner equal to its greatness.  Our task is to openly, clearly and faithfully manifest the whole Gospel, trusting God to accomplish His saving will (Col. 4:2-4;  Is. 55:10,11)

 

5.  To actively involve ourselves in the above objectives we will need to accomplish at least these tasks:

 

  a.  To work with the Ministry Development Team and the Deacons to see that new shelves are built in the church for a Church library and a Church Book table combined.

 

  b. To develop and maintain a missions corner – bulletin boards and relevant info displayed.

 

   1).  One bulletin board needs to be maintained as a local Vestal and Greater Binghamton missions and church planting concern.  It will need a map of the area and the surrounding Central New York area, locating each family that worships with us by a numbered pin.  A separate list of these families will be kept on the board with their picture, name, address and phone number listed by the corresponding locator number found on the map.  Over this bulletin board we will need a permanent presentation of the above listed objective of missions: “To give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ here in Broome County .”

 

            Purpose:  The purpose of this board is to keep before the congregation the whole church family;  how we are spread out throughout our area, and the possibilities for expanded ministry to unreached areas of our local area of service.

 

   2).  The second bulletin board needs to be maintained as a worldwide missions concern. It will need a map of the world, locating each missionary (family) that our congregation supports prayerfully and/or financially by a numbered pin.  A separate list of these individuals (families) will be kept on the board with their pictures (missionary prayer cards), name, address, phone number and sending agency listed by the corresponding locator number found on the map.  Over this bulletin board we will need a permanent presentation of the above listed objective of missions: “To give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ around the world.”

 

    a).  Included on the above map should be the most recent missionary update (letter), along with prayer requests on small forms to be taken with us to pray effectively for our missionaries.

 

    b).  Included also on the above map should be an area map of our own New York Presbytery locating each local church and present church plants.  Again, we will need numbered pins locating each church and plant with a printed list of each Church, address, phone number, pastor, and Church planter identified by their corresponding number.  Being a part of either of the above boards, will already be a permanent presentation of the above listed objective of missions: “To give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ here in New York ”)

 

   3).  To instruct the congregation on the best way to give to mission work and to maintain accurate records of missionary giving by church = to whom, how much, how often and how disbursed (through what agency?).  This information can also be listed on the above board(s).

 

6. To actively involve ourselves in the above objectives we will also need to accomplish at least these tasks on an ongoing, continual basis:

 

 a.  To encourage at least one member of the congregation to maintain regular, at least monthly written contact with a missionary (family), and/or church plant.

 

 b.  A regular feature of our monthly worship services to feature a missionary or missionary family of the month in a “Missions Moment” to be held on the 3rd Sunday of each month.  This “Moment” needs to include the sharing of highlights of the most recent newsletter received, prayer requests, information received via personal contacts with missionaries, and a prayer time for the featured missionary or family. 

 

Objective here is to maintain a sense of missions involvement and participation by each Church family in/with missionaries supported by our church.

 

 c.  To encourage the pastor and Missions Committee to plan a missions conference once a year to be held in the month of March(?) each year.

 

 d.  To encourage the pastor to plan sermons twice yearly (other than during Missions Conference) that set forth our Scriptural responsibilities and privileges of world evangelization. 

 

 e.  To start and maintain a tract rack in the Church foyer (or near the local area map) that can be utilized by our congregation for personal evangelistic contacts.

 

 f.  To ask a member of a foreign Mission board to speak to our church (MTW, MNA), and to set forth the goals needs, study, and oversight involved in their boards work.  To happen during the missions conference, and at least once a year.

 

 g.  During missionaries visits, to encourage varied participation in hospitality in the homes of various members of our congregation and to maintain accurate records of such participation so this involvement might be distributed evenly.

 

 h.  To work with the CE and Fellowship committee to organize a poster contest by our children that display a missions theme, location, particular work, etc.  This can be done at various times around various themes.

 

 i.  Send information CD’s/DVD’s to our missionaries/prospective missionaries asking them to talk informally about themselves, their work, and needs.  (Or, request that they make contact through our website blog, etc.)  This info can then be used selectively in different small group settings by the church to disseminate the information as widely as possible.

 

 j.  To plan a church dinner around the time of the Missions Conference that would feature a typical meal eaten on the mission field, with special food, music, other cultural phenomena, climaxing with focused prayer for missions service on that field.

 

 k.  Plan a dramatic presentation by our youth in which one of the challenges to missions on a particular field is communicated to the congregation:  e.g., the language barrier.  This can be done in a humorous or informal manner and done during a regular fellowship activity or Church business meeting, etc.

 

 l.  Arrange a special trans-oceanic telephone conversation (SKYPE) with a missionary or national Christian on the field to convey to the congregation the needs and challenge on the field and to answer questions.

 

 m.  To plan with the CE & fellowship Committee a one-quarter Sunday School class on mission goals, motive, recruitment, policies, methods, adjustments, and our church’s participation, etc.  In time this should be a regular feature of Sunday School program, perhaps held during each fall or winter quarter, encouraging every family to attend at least every three years.

 

 n.  To make available through the Church library or book table good books on missions and encourage and allow various individuals to present brief reviews either orally during the Missions Moments, or in writing via the Church website.  Be sure these books are available for circulation in the church.

 

 o.  Encourage the youth classes to maintain contact with a missionary of their choice.

 

 p.  Contact MTW and MNA for information on short-term missions visits or service by our church family, encouraging them and helping them to participate in short-term missions service.  Allow sharing of these experiences to be featured in worship services as needed.

 

 q.  Encourage creative development of missions projects to provide items for missionaries on the field:  e.g., ministry ideas, C.E. materials; study courses for personal devotions, discipleship materials to be used on the field, helpful books, etc.  Missionaries do not usually have access to Christian Bookstores as we do.  They may often crave new, fresh material to be available. 

 

            (One church we pastored developed a monthly sending of one book from our book table to each missionary financially supported by our church.  The appreciation expressed by our missionaries was tremendous.)

 

 r.  Remain open to new ideas and methods of keeping missions in the forefront of our congregations thoughts.