Information on putting On a Church Mission Conference
CHURCH: Mission Conference: TWELVE TIPS FOR A BETTER MISSIONS EVENT (ACMC)
By Ken Campbell <76362.2624@Compuserve.com> As published in the Oct. 1996 Networker Newsletter. Reprinted by Permission.
LEARN FROM THE PAST. Take time to evaluate how last year's event was received, then ask what could be changed to improve this year's event.
ESTABLISH A PRIMARY PURPOSE for the event. Focus on one main purpose, then write it down. Use this statement to develop a theme or slogan.
INVOLVE PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. Look at how much gray hair is on the mission team. Recruit conference team members from all ages in the congregation.
COMMUNICATE! Use every means available to inform church leaders of the event and its purpose. Consider a "vision breakfast" for all church leaders months in advance of the event to enlist their support and coordinate ministry goals.
PROMOTE IN A QUALITY MANNER. You are competing in a world where 5 seconds of blank TV screen means a channel switch or a misspelled word communicates poor quality. Use the best promotional pieces you can afford. You can achieve a quality look using specialty papers for your conference program, such as those available from Kingdom Graphics. Call 800.618.3133.
MINIMIZE SCHEDULING CONFLICTS. Check the dates of major community events, school vacations and programs, and other ministry events in the church. Better yet, schedule the missions events several years in advance to avoid internal scheduling problems.
RECRUIT SPEAKERS BASED ON THE CONFERENCE THEME/PURPOSE. Just because a speaker is available is no compelling reason to invite him or her. Recruit people who will address your theme/purpose. Communicate with your speakers so they come prepared to fulfill your purpose.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! As you prepare, pray much for the desired results. Include a prayer sub-committee as part of the event planning team. Pray for your pastor and church staff.L Their support is critical.
INCLUDE CHILDREN in the event. If young families are to be involved, there must be quality events for their children in time slots that fit family priorities. Research indicates nearly half of today's missionaries made a decision to become a missionary before age 18, and many under 13. See _I Don't Want to Wait Until I'm Grown Up_, Barbara Campbell, ACMC,1991, p2.
KEEP EVENTS ON SCHEDULE. One of the worst complaints that damages the image of missions is "missionaries never finish on time." Don't overprogram any part of the event, public meeting or home fellowship. Orient your guests to the time constraints that American churchgoers expect will be followed.
USE DRAMA AND MEDIA. Consider dramatic presentations as part of the event. This may be an opportunity to involve members of the congregation presently not interested in missions. Use media presentations, but be certain to preview them for length, quality and content.
FOLLOW-UP DECISIONS MADE. Many responses at a missions event are lost for lack of a mentoring contact. Plan for a follow-up team and program to preserve the fruit of the event.