CHURCH–MISSION COALITION

None of us likes to hear an electronic voice when we dial for help or assistance. Listening to looping music interrupted only by a voice that says, "All our lines are busy but your business is important to us" doesn't excite us about doing business with a company.

Unfortunately, the only contact many churches and church members have with mission agencies is receiving an occasional computer generated receipt and accompanying letter asking for more money. If a church supports an Avant missionary, that missionary becomes the face, hands and feet of Avant, but the organization's "torso" consists of a few letters of the alphabet and a logo.

Most churches that support Avant missionaries have only 50-500 members, but there is great potential for missions in these churches. CMC could help unlock that potential.

John F. Kennedy's famous statement could be applied to missions.  "Ask not what your country can do for you; but rather ask what you can do for your country." Avant needs to ask, "What can we do to help churches obey the Great Commission?"

Objectives of CMC
  1. To activate, motivate and assist churches in fulfilling their missionary commitment to the LORD of the harvest and His kingdom.
  2. To inspire healthy and spiritually profitable relationships between churches, missionaries, mission agencies, and Christian organizations.
  3. To create a rich soil for producing quality missionaries.

CMC Participants

Churches
Nearly all interaction between missionaries and churches goes through the pastor. Unfortunately, many pastors are overworked, not overly enthusiastic about missions or possibly not well-liked by the membership. The key to success in CMC is keeping in touch with members of the Mission Committee. The Chairperson may change from time to time, but all committee members are seldom replaced at once. If there is no Mission Committee, there are often members who show an interest in missions.

Avant
Missionaries on home assignment, Ambassadors, retirees and even new candidates can be involved in CMC. A designated person would serve as coordinator under which a committee or team could work. The mission coordinator's duties could be outlined as follows:

  1. Providing materials and instruction to mission reps, Ambassadors, and missionaries
  2. Finding and equipping people in regions of the country to be available for speaking in area churches
  3. Planning and leading an annual conference of pastors and mission committee members
  4. Preparing and mailing quarterly newsletters to churches, groups and persons involved in CMC
  5. Networking with other mission agencies, churches and organizations
  6. Overseeing a website

I see the last item above as the first to attack. Once the website is started, we can build up the various segments and ministries around it.

The 17 points below can be posted on the website from the start. The home page or entry page would provide links to the other pages. In the beginning stages, we should make people aware that this is a budding venture and invite suggestions, contributions, comments and ideas. Once there is enough substance, we can make the website better known.

17 Aspects of CMC

  1. Providing inspiration - encouraging churches to sponsor events and conferences or to get involved in mission teams and projects.
  2. Create a Missions Library: stories for youngest to oldest, seek materials from past and present missionaries: Most important lesson learned; greatest challenge; greatest blessing etc.
  3. Suggesting ideas and themes for conferences and events.
  4. Offering blank forms for invitations, sign-up sheets, to-do lists, hospitality schedules, and other matters.
  5. Offering resources such as posters, table decorations, place mats, maps, flags, literature, and media.
  6. Present a list of resources (commercial, links to websites, Christian organizations)
  7. Maintaining a database of available materials, persons, projects and ideas.
  8. Mission Shop: T-shirts with mission website URL, mugs, pens, posters, books, articles made by natives.
  9. Providing tips and principles relating to publicity, legal matters, utilizing media, organization, fund-raising.
  10. Providing or suggesting motivational speakers and those who could lead training seminars.
  11. Suggesting or helping to organize and expedite summer mission teams.
  12. Suggesting or helping to organize and expedite special projects. List of mission projects for every pocketbook.
  13. Mission Support Teams: Volunteers who refurbish furniture, repair appliances, fix boats or cars to sell, giving proceeds to missions. Knowledgeable individuals can offer to teach missionaries how to create websites and PowerPoints or do it for them free. Gifted handcrafters can make decorations and articles for mission conferences. Missionary wives can offer national recipes for a recipe book.
  14. Inviting pastors to various fields as speakers, guest teachers, counselors etc.
  15. Invite and encourage input from churches.
  16. Sharing and incorporating ideas, personnel and materials.
  17. Sponsoring an annual CMC conference (perhaps regional) for members of mission committees and pastors and any others involved (see points 1 & 2,  "CMC Participants").

I am convinced that churches should be producing missionaries. The sole purpose of the church here on earth is to win the lost to Christ and make disciples. All other activities and aspects of the church must have this goal in focus. Some Christians may never get to a foreign field, but they should nonetheless be involved in missions.

Avant's role in this process is assisting the church to accomplish its task in remote regions of the world where the local church has little or no access. In order to partner effectively, we need to provide adequate information and incentives and not just recruit missionaries and support. We need to be recruiting missionaries from the cradle to the grave, not just among college kids.