BLOG: Is your church prepared?

In this series we’ve been looking at how to prepare ourselves as individuals for mission in the Arab world. But in reality, we don’t go alone. AWM-Pioneers facilitates, guides and supports missionaries who are sent by their local church. The church has a crucial role to play in the Great Commission. In the words of Andrew Fuller, who helped to send William Carey, if a missionary is the one climbing down into a cave, venturing into the unknown, then the church is the one who holds firmly to that rope, faithfully supporting and encouraging. Some churches are experienced at this, others are entering with fresh eyes. How can we help them prepare to faithfully and intentionally support missionaries in ministry?


Like most things in life, communication is key! Share your heart for the unreached with your church leadership. You don’t need to have a clearly defined plan for your next ten years of ministry, but it’s a good idea to let others know your thoughts early in the process so that they can help you think and prepare. You don’t need to make any big announcements but just ask for a quiet conversation with the relevant person. In Acts 13 we see Paul and Barnabas being chosen and sent out by their church. The church fasted and prayed and received wisdom from God that this was their calling. Your church can help you to discern God’s leading, so work together and begin to open your heart.



If cross-cultural mission is new to your church, invite them to join in learning with you. You could form a book club and look at missional books together. In the current pandemic, many mission agencies and conferences are going virtual, offering webinars, training events and resources. If you see something of interest, try to bring along a friend or two! Involving your church in discovering the unreached world will encourage and build them up, as well as giving them greater understanding of your heart. If you’re able, why not suggest a missional speaker for your own church events?


Form a group

As you get closer to stepping into cross-cultural mission it can be a good idea to form a small group who can support you. Depending on the size and structure of your church, this might be a part of your mission committee, or just a group of close friends. They can keep in regular contact with you and should be trustworthy people that you can be accountable to. You should be able to share your prayer points honestly with them. Whilst you will want opportunities to share with the wider church, these point people can be conduits of prayer points and other information whilst you are away.

The best support groups are thoughtful and creative, thinking of ways to encourage and keeping you connected with home church life. Many send care packages and in some cases even arrange visits to better understand your new surroundings. Some have business savvy people who can help advise and understand the innovative approach you might need to take to be where God has called you. They can also help with the practical elements of Home Assignment or, if needed, returning from the field. They may be able to help find accommodation, a car or understand the local school system if children are returning.

Reaching the unreached with the Good News of Jesus is exciting! And being part of a support network to someone in the midst of this ministry is really exciting too. We are one body and we need each other. As we love one another well, and be honest and gracious with our expectations, we display Christ to the world.

To inspire your church, why not book a speaker? Or for more ideas, take a look at the rest of this series.

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