Planning a Yearly Mission’s Conference

The success or failure of the Mission’s Conference rises or falls with the leadership. If the pastor and leaders do not get excited about the Conference, the people will not get excited.

Why Should Your Church Have a Yearly Conference?

• To give your church more of a burden for missionaries around the world.
• To give your church information about new missionaries and their fields.
• To challenge your church to have a deeper prayer commitment for individual missionaries and their fields.
• To encourage your church to pray that the Lord will raise up new missionary candidates from your church.
• To increase your church’s mission giving so that it could take on new missionaries and increase the support of its current missionaries.

When Should Your Church Schedule the Mission’s Conference?

• Select the date that doesn’t conflict with anything that will compete for a large section of your congregation.
• Most Conferences follow one of these three schedules: Wednesday through Sunday; Sunday through Wednesday; or Sunday through Sunday.
• Set the date and theme at least a year in advance.

What Are Some Themes, Slogans, and Quotes Your Church Could Use?

• There are many different themes you could use: ”The field is the World”, “Laborers Together,” “Go Into All the World and Preach the Gospel,” “Pray! Give! Go!” “Do You Hold the Key?” “Missions, Heaven’s Heartbeat,” etc.
• “I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” — John Keith Falconer
• “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply” — Hudson Taylor
• “God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him” — Hudson Taylor
• “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed” — Hudson Taylor
• “If I had 1,000 lives, I’d give them all for China” — Hudson Taylor
• “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.” — Hudson Taylor
• “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” — William Carey
• “To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” — William Carey
• “Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?” — William Carey
• “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” — Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia
• “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950’s trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador
• In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been” — Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone
• “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” — David Livingstone
• “Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” — C.T. Studd
• “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” — Oswald J. Smith
• “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” — Oswald J. Smith
• “The mission of the church is missions” — Oswald J. Smith
• “If God calls you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a king” — Charles Haddon Spurgeon
• “You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael

What Are Some Things Your Church Should Do to Start Preparing for the Conference?

• Budget the Conference’s expenses in yearly mission’s budget. This amount should cover Conference expenses, plus a good love offering to each missionary.
• Begin preparations at least six months prior to the Conference.
• Recruit an effective leader to head up planning the Conference.
• Involve as many people as possible in the planning and preparing of the Conference.
• Find the best keynote mission’s speaker you can get. He will set the tone for the Conference.
• Develop a program that includes skits, creativity, drama, and storytelling. Skits and dramas are very effective in challenging hearts for missions.
• Three weeks before the conference, give Faith Promise Sunday school lessons to the teachers to teach for next three weeks.
• Children’s church can also hear Faith Promise lessons and raise special missionary offerings for various projects or missionaries.
• Have Sunday school teachers and Junior Church leaders teach a mission lesson each week for 4 weeks prior to your conference.
• Bathe your Conference in prayer. Prayer is the single most important part of the Conference.
• Organize cottage prayer meetings several weeks before the Conference, asking people to sign up and be a part of the effort to pray for the success of the meeting.
• Promote your Conference as the best event of the year for your church.

What Music Should Your Church Use for the Conference?

• If you have a choir director, have him plan a missionary theme song to be sung each night of the Conference. “Lift Up Your Eyes”, “Look Unto the Fields”, “How Shall They Hear”, “Here Am I, Send Me,” “Come Over and Help Us,” etc.
• If you do not have a song leader, select someone to lead songs for the Conference.
• Sing missionary songs for each conference session.
• Choose a missionary theme chorus to sing for each night of the Conference.
• Use missionary emphasis words with familiar hymns. (Check my blog for examples January 17, 2012; Mission Conference Songs)

How Should Your Church Advertise for the Conference?

• Publicly verbalize enthusiasm for world missions and encourage financial support for the Conference.
• Three weeks before the Conference, send each family an encouraging and challenging letter about the Conference.
• Encourage each member to look for ways to minister to the missionaries during the Conference.
• One month before the conference, decorate sanctuary with large theme banner.
• The Conference program should be printed ahead of time to insert in the church bulletin at least two or three weeks prior to the conference.
• Posters should be placed about the church including pictures of missionaries and information about their fields.
• Prepare a Prayer Guide booklet for your people. This will have a listing of all your missionaries, their contact information, their prayer requests, interesting facts about their ministry and the country they represent.
• The church marque should carry appropriate advertising of the Conference.
• Place articles in the local newspaper with news releases and pictures of the missionaries.
• Make contact with local radio and television stations for public service announcements.
• If there are Christian schools in your area, contact them and let them know that you have missionaries who would be available to speak in their assemblies and classrooms.
• Put up a book table with stimulating missionary biographies and stories for the people of your church to purchase.

How Should Your Church Treat the Missionaries Who Participate in the Conference?

• Be sure to correspond well with the missionary before the conference.
• When the missionary arrives, show him around the church facility, introduce him to staff, and show him where to set up his display.
• Give him a welcome packet that includes:
1. Itinerary of where he is to be throughout each day and what is expected of him.
2. An envelope with some spending money for him to use during the Conference.
3. Directions how to get to his host’s home/motel and back to church.
• Pray with him. Ask the Lord to use him effectively during the time he is with you and that your people will be responsive to his ministry.
• Invite him to join you in prayer before each service or function in which he takes part.
• If you plan to do something fun with missionary while he is with you, find out what he enjoys. Be sure to give him the option. Your concern is to meet his needs. Some may need time away from the children after spending hours or days traveling in the car. Others may need to rest or catch up on correspondence. Be sure not to make him feel any pressure.
• Be sensitive to any dietary restrictions he might have.
• Don’t feel obligated to provide three large meals each day. It’s usually more convenient for the missionary to have breakfast at the host’s home/motel.
• Provide an evening meal at the church for missionary/missionaries. Be sure to include the pastor and his family, the staff and his family, and the family or Sunday school class who provided the meal to join the missionaries. (This gives other members a chance to interact with missionaries so that they can begin to know, to love, and to appreciate the missionaries)
• Use Skype to involve special missionaries who are not able to attend the Conference.

What Should Be the Schedule of Your Faith Promise Sunday?

• Take commitments in each Sunday school class. Assign one spokes person to read the class commitment in morning service. (Ex. By faith Pastor_________, the primary girls will give $10.50 each week for world-wide missions)
• After sermon, hand Faith Promise Cards to every member in the service. Have prayer. (While people are writing out their commitments, have two people to set up a power point display to calculate total commitments)
• Collect cards from morning service and have someone total those cards.
• Call out a representative from each individual class to audibly give class commitment.
• Rejoice over total promised for the coming year.