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“Missions Sunday?” More Like “Missions Month!”

Many churches dedicate one Sunday a year to promoting missions, but Pastor Tim of Waynesboro Grace Church (WGC) dedicated two months of weekly Sunday Schools to promoting missions.

Each week, participants alternated between meeting together as a large group of about 50, and meeting as smaller groups of around 10. On the weeks they met as a large group they watched a 30 minute interview of one of their church’s missionaries, and for the rest of the hour, an elder shared stories from historical missionaries like Hudson Taylor and Jim Elliott. On alternating weeks, smaller groups used Encompass’s book, “Discovering Global Missions,” to engage with missions on a more individual level. He says, “The book helped them interact with missions and challenged them to think through how God has called them to either give or go…and what that looks like.”

That format proved to be really effective, because it allowed for lots of information to be delivered while also challenging participants to engage and respond on a personal level. Tim says, “Extending the conversation out over eight weeks—as opposed to just one Sunday morning—allowed it to really simmer, allowing us to take advantage of different opportunities along the way.”

One such opportunity came from Dr. Francios Ngoumape, a Charis Alliance leader visiting the US from the Central African Republic. After Francios spoke at their church, Tim said, “You could just see a level of engagement that was far deeper and richer than the video interviews. It generated a tremendous amount of buzz as we got to interact with somebody from Africa who loves the same Jesus and hear about what his life looks like.”

When asked about the fruit that came from the initiative, Tim said, “We’ve seen a growing excitement to be engaged, an increase in missional awareness, and an increase in relational proximity with our missionaries.” The congregation now feels much more personally connected to their missionaries, and Tim adds, “It has also positioned us to be even more ready to receive those people when they’re with us in the States.”

When asked about the heart behind the initiative, Tim said, “We wanted to challenge our congregation to think through how God has called them to either give or to go and what that looks like. Lord willing, the next generation of Encompass missionaries will be sent in part through Waynesboro Grace.”

We’re so encouraged by Pastor Tim’s creative approach to generating awareness of missions in his church. Could your church benefit from something similar? If you’d like to have an Encompass representative speak at your church, reach out to our Director of Mobilization and Recruitment, Dave Pacheco.