Orientation for a New Missions Pastor
Lee Christenson, ACMC
When you become a new missions pastor, what do you need to
learn to quickly to become effective in guiding the church’s missions
ministry? Churches vary greatly but
here are some starter steps.
Current Missions Ministry:
your past and current missions involvement thoroughly so that he can build
on it and accent the areas you all agree are the most important or
strategic to you. Wholesale change
is generally not constructive. The
things your church does now were some church members’ great ideas at some
point in the past.
what people think. Your church
probably has strong lay involvement, but even if it doesn’t, you can
encourage it by asking what people think.
Even if you do not agree with their thoughts you can learn where
people are in their understanding and know better how to teach more about
missions. Missions is all about
training people to do ministry.
Church Orientation (to discover the place missions has in
the leadership and members of the church):
to each of the other pastors of the church to discover their heart for
meet with each of the elders or deacons on the leadership board. Understanding their missions interests
and values will help you plan a missions education program for the church.
to know the missions commission members as individuals and uncover the
specific interests, skills, and background they bring to the Missions
to the ‘historians’ of the church, the people who have been around and
involved in missions and the ministry of the church. They can provide useful insight into
what is important to the body.
Those with a high profile, but not involved in Missions could also
provide insights to build upon.
with the missions chair regularly, perhaps before each commission meeting.
(preferably over a meal) with your missionaries while they are on home
assignment. Everyone likes to have
someone in leadership listen to their story. Ideally this would involve both spouses if possible.
plans to visit missionaries on the field to get an idea of their ministry
and needs. Try to get to all of
them over a reasonable time frame at, say, two trips per year.
with the leaders of the local ministries you support. They are right here and if you can find
a way to encourage more involvement with them by the members of the church
you will have a ready made training program.
missions books and periodicals like EMQ, World Pulse, Missions Frontiers.
set up opportunities for training for the missions committee and the congregation.
- Go to
ACMC conferences and bring staff, lay people and potential missions
commission members with youJ.
Source: Lee Christenson, ACMC, Indianapolis