By Jorge Navarrete
Have you or has your church been thinking about starting a new or revamping an existing mission outreach ministry but do not know where or how to get started?
As mission coordinator for the conference, I would be happy to come to your cluster meeting or to a district training and help do a planning retreat with your group.
In the meantime try jotting down the answers to the following “Things to Ponder” list of questions and you will be on your way to putting together a preliminary plan.
Things to ponder as a mission outreach group:
• Who are we?
• What are we about?
• Why do we do missions?
• How long have we been around?
• What have we done in the last three years?
• What have we learned in those three years?
• What does Jesus want us to do in the next three years?
• Has God given us a dream, project to start or grow the outreach ministry?
• What have we done to respond to that calling? What will we do now?
• How many materially or spiritually needy people have we helped last year?
• What is the need in our community?
• How many more folk can we help?
• What kind of resources does it take to carry on our Mission Outreach ministry today in terms of funds, staff, volunteers, time, talents, effort, prayer support?
• How have we financed our ministry in the past? How has God responded to our needs?
• How much more resources will be needed; how much more time, effort, new talents and prayer support will be required next year? In three years?
• Do we know our church people and their gifts and graces? The needs of the population and individuals we can serve? Do they match?
• How will we recruit the team of volunteers, find the talents and finance the vision next year? In three years?
• What does our church, our volunteer team, prayer supporters and the folk we serve want (expect) from us?
• Most importantly what does God want us to do?
• Who and what Is needed to achieve the goals of our mission outreach ministry?
• When and how will these worthy goals be achieved?
Got a plan?
Additionally, check out the Mission Outreach Handbook and go to Appendix 1A on pages 17-23 for some handy planning sheets; consult also pages 5-7 for an outline to a planning retreat. You can find the Handbook by going to the conference site, www.mississippi-umc.org and searching for handbook.
For additional information or to obtain a hard copy of the Mission Outreach Handbook please contact email@example.com or call toll free 1-866-647-7486.