How to be a Successful Foreign Missions Ministry Director in the Local Church
By Susan Thomas
Sis. Patricia (Moore) Giwa-Agbomeirele, tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.
I am a retired Associated Science & Technology Technologist from Dow Corning Corporation. I received the Holy Ghost and was baptized in Carrollton, Kentucky on Feb. 12, 1983. I attend Pentecostal Temple in Midland, Michigan where I have served in numerous roles, such as World Missions Director, Uplift Singles Director, Prayer Ministry Leader, Golden Eagles Leader (group for seniors at church) and the SHIELD’s Group (group that sends birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards to all the missionaries the church supports). I am currently the Children’s Ministry director and young adult class Sunday school teacher. My main focus is helping and inspiring children to work at achieving their goals in life, no matter what their world is like around them in living for God. I am also the co-author of a book for children, You Can Be a Chemist. In the book, I share my experience as a young girl of disadvantaged circumstances who dreamed of something more.
Where did you get the inspiration to write When God Calls, a book for local church missions directors? What’s the story behind it – why did you write it?
I became the World Missions Director when my previous pastor asked me to fill the position. At that time the church supported missions but did not have an active missions program. I had no idea what to do or how to run a missions program. Reaching the lost in foreign countries was very dear to me because my husband (at that time) and father of my two sons had left us and returned to Nigeria.
I was World Missions Director for over 15 years and during that time, through prayer and seeking God for this ministry, God inspired me with skits, dramas, ideas and songs which were used to inspire the congregation to give generously to missions. For many years, Bro. Leaman, director of the UPCI World Missions Department at that time, came to Pentecostal Temple’s missions conference to speak. He found himself touched very deeply by the skits, dramas, decorations and ideas the Lord had given to me. And during one of the times, he said he wished that other churches knew how to have a conference and run a missions program. Thus with years of praying and seeking direction from God, When God Calls was written to help churches start a missions program. I recognized that God was inspiring me in such an abundant way so that souls could be reached; therefore, the book was given to the UPCI World Missions Department to help churches and raise funds for missions.
Why should a church consider having a missions conference each year? What are the advantages?
A missions conference helps the whole church to have a time to focus on the great commission: “go ye into all the world.” We must keep missions fresh in people’s minds so they will remember that it is a very important and vital part of reaching the lost. We reach out to our communities, but a conference helps us to remember there is a world outside of our city, state and country. People need to know that they too can be a part of reaching the lost. To me it helps the church to see that God wants people everywhere to hear the gospel. The truth must be preached everywhere, not just in their part of the world. There are souls wanting and needing to hear the Gospel. That is how one can play a small or big role in helping enlarge God’s church . . . through missions. And in this way if you have not reached a soul in your community… your $1, $20 or $50 a month can help a missionary reach a soul for you. Whether with financial contributions or with prayer, everything for missions is appreciated and welcomed.
In your opinion, what are the key aspects of a successful missions conference? What are the primary duties of a local church missions coordinator?
A successful conference always starts with prayer. Prayer is very important. We cannot fulfill God’s plan for the lost without it. We need prayer for the missionaries and their work. Much work is going on behind the scenes in missions that nobody sees; only God knows, and that is why prayer is so vital. We all need to come together in prayer for the lost throughout the world; there are many souls crying out for truth, and missions brings it to them. Secondly, planning brings the mission field, the missionaries and the burden to win the lost alive to the congregation through songs, skits, dramas and missionaries themselves. Come before the church monthly with updates from the mission field, reminding the congregation of their commitment and the reason for that commitment . . . to reach the lost.
We also need to hand out missionary reports, put out decorations and hand out letters from the missionaries to the congregation to keep missions in the minds of the church. Monthly, while speaking to the congregation, take a “Change the World” offering. This money goes to the missionary that comes to the conference for special projects that they may have. Ask the congregation to save their pocket change during the month for the “Change the World” offering.
Visit Sunday school classes when possible (5 to 10 minutes) and talk about missions. This helps the kids to start developing a heart to serve and give to missions. These are things that can be done monthly. And, of course, host a yearly missions conference.
Share some ways that a local missions director might promote missions in the church.
I encourage prayer and keeping missions fresh in the minds of the congregation as being the most crucial. Mention missionaries and the work being done to reach the lost at every opportunity. Keep that hunger to reach the lost and dying souls in the heart of every saint. You may buy the book, When God Calls, from the Pentecostal Publishing House for a cost of $7.50 PPH Stock #13458. Money from the book goes to the missions department.
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