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Monday, March 30, 2020

10 Ideas to Bring Missions into Virtual Church

Photo by Tuce on Unsplash
Church has changed dramatically for most of the world's faithful. No more sitting in auditoriums, chatting in the lobby or leaving the kids with Sunday School teachers. Today most of us are experiencing virtual church from our living rooms. 

While we still get to worship, hear from our pastor and hang out with our small groups via Skype or Zoom, one thing can quickly fall to the wayside . . . our missions focus. 

Here are 10 ideas to help you bring missions into your virtual church experience:

  1. Ask your missionaries to record 1-5 minute videos that you play as part of the church service. Have them share about what the social distancing and lock down look like in their country and how the church is responding. This is a point of commonality everywhere and missionaries have some great insight. (See this post.)
  2. Everyone is eating more at home and cooking is now a thing, so why not ask your missionaries to send you recipes from the countries they serve in for you to make. Or maybe have them share tips and tricks for cooking from scratch; something missionaries have to do all the time. And when you eat that meal, take time to pray for them and the people of that country. 
  3. If you are doing virtual church or small groups with video conferencing, have your missionaries join as simply another member of the group. Integrate them into your time and allow them to engage with your congregation in a whole new way that they couldn't before. 
  4. Use Operation World to bring up a different country every Sunday as part of the service. Focus on countries where your church has current outreach. Also don't miss Operation World's special COVID-19 Website and their new eBook "Global Transmission, Global Mission."
  5. Go on a virtual mission trip. There are so many amazing videos about what God is doing in specific countries. There are also virtual tours of many of the world's famous places. Design a 2-3 night virtual mission trip and recruit a team to participate in it, pray together and give part of what you would have spent to fly there to an organization serving in that country.
  6. Many people are using quarantine time to learn a new language. What if you encourage people in your church to use an app like Utalk to learn key phrases in a language where your church has missionaries and then set up a Zoom call for them to practice with your missionary. 
  7. Many nonprofits (including mission agencies) are going to have very tough years financially. Ask your partners how they are doing and then host a live stream benefit concert with and artist in your community to raise funds for their work or organization. 
  8. Host a prayer service to pray for a specific country or type of ministry. Use the Prayercast videos to create the online event (Also don't miss their special COVID-19 video). Make sure to share news about how that country or ministry area is doing related to the crisis so people can be aware of the reality on the ground. 
  9. Create virtual group opportunities to write to the children your church is sponsoring or interact with a ministry as a community. You might want to invite a staff member from an organization to join you and share an update on what is going on through the ministries' work. 
  10. Launch a scavenger hunt where people receive clues via email and have to find specific resources online. As they find the clues they can be learning about various countries and ministries that are part of your missions strategy. 
What other ideas can you come up with to make missions a part of virtual church? Share them in the comments! 

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