Six reasons your church should visit your mission partner:
1. You can see and experience the ministry
At home you can read about it, pray about it, have your mission partner’s photo on your wall - but their ministry is still remote. Going about their work with them will help you to really know what it is and how it works. You’ll then feel more invested and be better able to pray and advocate for them when you’re back home.
2. It reminds the mission partner they’re part of a team
It’s easy for a mission partner to feel isolated or even regret. By visiting your mission partner you’re reminding them that God placed them where they are. You’re showing them that they’re loved and cared about and part of the church family. You’re reminding them they’re not doing this work alone.
3. It will open your eyes to global gospel mission
There are some lessons that are hard to learn from the textbook alone. To get your church really fired up about their need to take part in global gospel mission, send them to see it for themselves.
4. It’s really encouraging!
When you sent your mission partner out, part of the partnership package was mutual encouragement. Sitting across the sofa from your mission partner, you’ll provide 10 times as much encouragement as you can on the phone. And encouragement can be just what your mission partner needs to keep them doing what they’re doing!
5. It’s a chance to build deep relationships
You’re partners in the gospel so it’s a relationship worth investing in! Over a week-long trip you can talk about day-to-day life, how the family is doing, struggles, joys, spiritual growth, hopes for the future. And this is mutual – they want to know about you too, which is often hard to do via email and phone calls alone.
6. It will change you
We’ve heard it time and time again: ‘a short-term mission trip really grew me as a Christian’. The time together with church family gives plentiful opportunity for discipleship. Plus, seeing the sacrifices a mission partner has made – or their joy in carrying out gospel work – won’t fail to make you want to make changes in your own life.
Mission partner Jane Oden shares, 'We love it when people from partner churches come because they make us feel as if we are not alone in the work and remind us of its importance. Essentially we are amongst a small minority here who care about getting the gospel out in this city, and our work feels pretty weak and feeble, it's great to know that others share that concern and consider it important. Their prayers and passion for the work after seeing the needs and the challenges, and meeting some of the people we are working with will definitely be better fuelled, and we appreciate those prayers massively - they are essential to our work here. We also love it when they bring us "supplies" (Cadbury's chocolate...!).'
It’s worth the time and the cost: a visit of just a few days can have eternally-significant results.
Crosslinks loves to help churches visit their mission partners. Read about it here or contact Daisy to get the ball rolling.
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