Christ laid out the church's mission when He told the disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19–20a, New International Version).
1. Host missionaries at your church
It used to be commonplace for missionaries to come to churches to talk about the their work and raise awareness of mission work around the world. It's fallen out of practice in a lot of churches.
When you think about visiting missionaries, don't assume that they need to take over the pulpit during a Sunday service. There are a lot of other ways they can impact your church. You can have them:
- Meet with your youth groups
- Hold a mid-week missions fair
- Plan an informal gathering with small groups
- Invite them to a board meeting to talk about outreach
Look for ways that missionaries can influence your church with their experience and expertise. Not only will this make your church more cognizant of missionary work, but it will also spur your church to become more missional.
2. Teach regularly about missions
There are so many topics churches can cover that impact the everyday lives of people, and missions often get overlooked. But it's essential that we regularly reinforce Christ's mission mandate during church services, Bible studies, youth groups, and small groups. We need to be reminded that the church is here to fulfill Christ's calling.
Find ways to regularly discuss the work that's being done around the world to fulfill the Great Commission, and even the edifying stories of missionaries past and present.
If you're looking for a helpful free curriculum for small groups or Bible studies, check out We Are All Missionaries. This four-week curriculum will help your groups discover their call to share the good news with the people in their lives.
3. Encourage short-term missions
Churches that send teams on short-term missions tend to have congregations that are more missions minded. There's something about firsthand mission experience that increases the passion for missions across the board. The more people who get exposed to mission work, the bigger the impact on the whole church.
You might be surprised at the effect these one- or two-week experiences can have on your church. Short-term mission trips can increase long-term mission focus.
4. Raise money for missions
When we talk about mission work, we tend to focus on the people in the field actually sharing the gospel. But the truth is that all mission work requires funding, and people who raise funds for missions are doing the work of missionaries, too.
There are lots of great ideas for raising funds for missions—even if you're raising the money for other organizations. One of the benefits to holding mission fundraisers is that you're creating a heart for missions in the life of your church.
5. Regularly give to missions
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19–21, NIV).
It's hard to come up with a better plan for storing up treasure in heaven than to use our earthly riches to support the Great Commission. And as Jesus implies, the added benefit of giving to mission work is that missions become a more significant part of our lives.
Serving missions today
Even if you're not able to serve on the mission field, there are still lots of ways you can help bring Jesus' story to the world. Check out the many ways you can help Jesus Film Project® share the gospel with 5 billion people by 2025 by visiting our How-to-help page!