Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Local Mission Opportunities

by admin |

Local Church

habitat for humanityWhen we hear the words “Mission trip”, we tend to think of flying to the nether parts of the world where there are physical hardships and language barriers. We may forget the abundance of opportunities in our own communities. In fact, reaching out to the people in our own backyard has definite advantages. We don’t have the expense that comes with traveling to other countries, seldom is there a language barrier, and the likelihood of ongoing relationships is greater.

In fact, local mission work is far less limiting than foreign mission work. It costs far less and because we are closer in proximity, we are much more available and can more readily become involved in all areas of the work, whether it is to evangelize, serve, or form relationships.

So what are some of these opportunities? Let’s take a look at some evangelism opportunities first:

• Prison ministry
• Youth juvenile justice
• Drug rehabilitation centers
• Homeless shelters
• Nursing homes
• Hospice
• Backyard Bible studies

The first six opportunities above require planning and also permission from the agencies themselves. Most of the residents of these first four are not allowed to leave at will, so you must go to them. You can have worship services, bible studies, craft activities, etc. right on site.

food bankBackyard Bible studies can be done in your own neighborhood or in the heart of a disadvantaged neighborhood. If working in a neighborhood you are not familiar with, try contacting a church in that neighborhood and combining efforts with them. I heard of a church in Tennessee that went across town to work in an area of poverty and got the complete mission trip “experience” by sleeping, eating, and worshipping, in the church they had partnered with. It was for them a time of focusing on the Lord and bonding with Christians from a different walk in life.
Service opportunities are easy to find; so many people have physical needs.

• Soup kitchens
• Habitat for Humanity
• Home repair for the elderly
• Special constructions for those that are physically or mentally disabled
• Christmas presents for kids in boys or girls homes
• Christmas presents for poorer homes
• Christmas presents for those in foster care
• Disaster relief
• Help for minorities and immigrants planting churches
• Food for those that are housebound

These are only a few. For more information about these opportunities, contact Habitat for Humanity, Angel Tree, or your local Department of Children and Family Services.

volunteerYou may have heard it said, “People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.” Each opportunity listed above requires a physical effort, but more importantly we have a chance to let people get to know Christ through us. Sometimes it means visiting just to listen. We all have a desire to be significant. God can use us to show those considered “the least of these” that they matter to Him and to us.

Recently, my church threw a fancy catered dinner for the women from the homeless shelters, abuse shelters, and rehab centers. There was music, testimony, worship, smiles, and laughter. The men served the food, and the women were blown away. In the end, many professed faith in Christ and there was much prayer and weeping for what had been lost. One said it was a magical night.

The mission field is all around us. We have only to look next door.

Habitat photo by tukanuk
Food Bank van photo by wschwabe35
Volunteer photo by  FirstBaptistNashville

3 Easy Ways to Get Plugged In

by admin |

Local Church, Long-Term Missions, Missions Organizations, Picking a Trip, Planning to Go

Plugged inMany people don’t realize the wealth of easily-accessible resources that connect people into missions and often give up because they simply can’t find a starting point. Here are some places that can help you get connected.

1. Start at the Church

Many churches have missions programs they can link you to, which may include local opportunities as well as ones abroad. Even if your church doesn’t have anything currently established, they will most likely have the names of any missionaries connected with the church. That leads us to door number two…

2. Long-Term Missionaries

If you know of anyone who is ministering long-term in another country, you should try contacting them. Let them know you are wanting to get involved in some way. Missionaries can almost always use a little more help in one way or another, and even if they don’t need the extra hands at the moment, they will greatly appreciate your desire and might be able to give you another lead.

3. Missions Organizations

Missions organizations are non-profit groups, usually unconnected with a single church, whose vision is to see people go to the nations. There are nearly unlimited opportunities found within these types of organizations. Many will have trips designed to fit certain gifts that you may have. For example, I lived in Perth, Australia on the base of a missions organization called Youth With A Mission (YWAM). They offer schools of worship, media, visual art, and evangelism just to name a few, in bases around the world. Each of this schools involved a short term (2-3 month) outreach that taught students how to use their skills in ministry. There are many organizations, like YWAM, that provide amazing opportunities to go to the nations.

Photo by jeremyfoo

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