As our missions conference approaches, the president of our ladies’ missionary group prepares for each Sunday School class a conference packet containing an information sheet, a needs list, and prayer requests for one missionary family coming to the conference. The packet also includes a computer-generated personalized card for each class to send to the missionary family. The cards are created to be age appropriate for the various Sunday School classes that will send them. Beginning six weeks before the conference, each class reads the information sheet, prays for that week’s designated missionary family, and signs the card. Our missionary group leader collects the cards and mails them on Monday. The following Sunday the same procedure is followed for the next missionary family. Getting to know our missionaries and greeting them prior to their arrival at the missions conference allows our church family to connect closely with them. Without exception, the missionaries express their delight and surprise at receiving these expressions of our love and encouragement.
We choose our missions conference themes from statements made by famous missionaries (e.g., William Cary, “Attempt great things for God”). Then we ask a church member with some acting ability and stage experience to research that missionary’s life and begin each conference meeting by presenting the missionary’s story in a three-minute skit, complete with a costume and setting appropriate for the country and time. For the missionary portrayal during the final service, our church member challenges people at the invitation time to heed the Great Commission. These missionary vignettes during our conferences have been very well received.
Bob Quick, Pastor
First Baptist Church
North Tonawanda, New York