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KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL MISSIONS CONVENTION

1.  Pastor's involvement is Key to congregation buy in. 
The key to success for any church-wide activity is the Senior Pastors direct involvement.

There is a trend among larger churches to have a mission's pastor to help relieve the load upon the Senior Pastor from mission's related activities.  The Missions Pastor is typically the one designing and coordinating the Missions Convention.  This often results in well-organized Conventions.  But there is a tendency for the Senior Pastor to not be as involved.  This can inadvertently result in a negative subliminal message communicated to the staff and congregation. 

A person commits his time and energy to that which he thinks is important. People respond to passion and excitement.  It will be the pastor's responsibility to communicate this with both his words and actions.

If the Senior Pastor treats the Missions Convention as something he is slipping into his schedule, then the entire staff and their departments will also do so.

This will result in scheduling conflict as the staff books activities towards departmental ministry goals as opposed to the global importance of Missions.

Little things speak loudly. 
Some pastors would never consider wearing a costume from another country.  It would be beneath their dignity.  Yet they like it when the visiting Missionaries wear costumes from the countries they minister in.  Costumes and clothing ad incredible color and flavor to every Missions Convention.  Senior Pastors who join in and require their staff to follow suit set an example that the congregation will passionately respond too.

2. Entire staff involvement. 
All departments should focus on the Missions Convention and only on the Convention. 

Mobilization of every ministry into a Missions focus will assure that the church's core becomes focused.  It will be the church core that carries the bulk of the financial investment into your Missions Ministry. Assign an aspect of the missions convention to every staff member.  Activities in all ministries must focus on missions.  Nothing else happens during missions week that would be a distraction.  Encourage your staff and praise and worship plus the choir to wear costumes.

3.  Entire volunteer staff involvement.
Every ministry leader should be brought into the planning for your Missions Convention. Their buy-in along with the passion of the Pastor and staff will become infectious resulting in momentum.

4.  Total church mobilization and coordination.
The entire church should be challenged in the weeks leading up to the Missions Convention. 

This can be accomplished through a number of Convention activities such as planning for a banquet, ladies tea, and a loose coin march.

The Missions Convention Theme should be integrated into all departments so that the entire church is speaking with one voice.

5.  Managing Expectations.
Why is it important to manage expectations?
Setting and advertising Faith Promise goals that are greater than could be reasonable expected set the congregation up for failure. 

A Missions Convention that concludes with only half of the Promises raised will seem like a failure.  No one wants to participate in something that fails.  Instead of rejoicing over the money they have raised, they mourn over the money that was not committed.

Setting goals that are reasonable and attainable sets the congregation up for success which can lead to incredible times of praise and thanksgiving.  Success one year leads to greater success the following year.

With God all things are possible. 
That being said, unless there is a supernatural sovereign move of God, most congregations will respond within predictable ranges.  We challenge people to respond with a "faith" promise. As leaders our idea of "faith" might be more mature and developed than that of the average person sitting in the congregation for whom it is a stretch of faith just to write a tithe check once in a while.  Thus, there will typically be a response that follows the "bell curve".  Some will not respond at all.  Some will respond with great faith.  The majority will fall to varying degrees in the middle.

Participation Level
Your congregation's participation level in the various activities and opportunities to give will be directly proportional to the energy and focus that the Senior Pastor, Staff, and Volunteer Leadership invest.

Advertising agencies understand that people typically do not respond to a single ad just a few days before an event or sale.  Rather, the most well attended events and sales are those that are preceded by an ad campaign.  An effective Missions program must be part of the DNA of the Pastor and church.  Monthly emphasis keeps Missions before the congregation.  A complete ad campaign, beginning 3 months out, and then accelerating in the weeks up to the Convention will build excitement and participation.

Poor planning, poor advertising, lack of church wide focus, etc., will result is poor buy-in and participation.

Faith Promises
What is a reasonable expectation for Faith Promises? 
There is a direct correlation between the emphasis placed on World Missions throughout the year and what will be raised.  A church with a mature missions program might expect Faith Promises to be equal to 10-15% of annual tithes.  (Tithes, not total church giving.  Great mission giving churches such as Faith Assembly, Orlando, make sure that their missions giving each year totals at least 10%, or a tithe, of their general fund.  Pastor Stephens believes in tithing; the congregation is taught to tithe, and thus he believes that the church itself should tithe to world missions.)

What is a reasonable expectation for the number of people participating in Faith Promises?
Most churches can expect as much as 70-90% of the core family units (families that regularly tithe and who are involved in church leadership)  to participate in some type of Faith Promise.  Simultaneously, most churches might expect 10-20% of non-core family units to participate in Faith Promises.

Cash Offerings
One time cash offerings typically have the highest level of participation. 
People love to give to projects as they can see a direct connection between what they are giving and what it will be used for.

What is a reasonable expectation?
Any one-time offering that is equal to an entire Sunday's regular tithe and offerings would be exceptional.  A one-time offering of 50% of an entire Sunday's regular tithe and offerings would be good.  Some churches have a few "heavy hitters" who have the ability to give large amounts of money.  These individuals have the potential to skew the giving beyond the average.

Missions Conventions

1.  Goals
Educate, Inspire, and Challenge congregation to become part of the Great Commission through prayer, giving, and on occasion, going.

2.  Keys
Mobilization
Inertia: a body at rest will stay at rest and a body set in motion will tend to stay in motion.

There is a direct correlation between doing and giving.  Individuals who have been set in motion doing something find it easier to give than those who are sitting back.  It takes much more energy to get those at rest moving than those who are already moving to be moved towards giving.

Get the congregation involved in mission activities related to the Missions Convention. Include plans that will involve children, youth, and seniors.  Involving children and youth will always also end up engaging their parents as well.  This multi-prong approach will increase energy and passion within the Missions program.

Seniors are a great untapped resource waiting to be mobilized.  Be proactive and include them in the planning and implementation of your Missions vision.

Incremental Giving
Once a person has determined to give something it is easier for them to be moved to give more.  Start small and inspire to do more. Loose Coin offerings such as the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters that are given to BGMC is an easy way to begin giving to missions.  Simply having people begin to save loose change weeks in advance for  a coin offering prepares their hearts to do something significant for Missions.

Begin small and work your way up.
Challenging people to do something in faith that is way beyond their perceived ability will result in them saying to themselves, "I can't do that."  Once they start down that trail it is very difficult to turn a "can't" into a "can."

Instead, challenge everyone with something they all can do.  A person will say to themselves, "I can do that."  Then the Holy Spirit will challenge them by speaking to their hearts  saying, "Yes, but you can do more!"  At this point they will almost always step up to a higher level of commitment than what they initially felt comfortable with.

 

RESOURCES

Missions Strategy

The Missionary's Budget

Keys to Helping the Itinerant Missionary

Your Missions Budget

Growing a Missions Budget $1 at a Time

Keys to Successful Missions Convention

Bridging the Generation Gap in Missions

 

 

 

Peninsular Florida World Missions

2699 W. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
954.731.5433

Pastor Thomas Manning
World Missions Director

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