In 2007, I went on my first of several trips to Costa Rica. We were going on mission to connect with a church with which we had previously. The project – to build a bathroom facility adjacent to their church building. Apparently the government was cracking down on churches that didn’t have these types of facilities (even ones in villages where virtually all the domiciles had dirt floors), and they needed this in order to keep open. So off we went.
Just like other mission trips I had led, and taken part in, we had mandatory orientation meetings. If you wanted to go on the trip, you had to attend. And this made perfect sense. We didn’t want to take unprepared people, and we wanted our team to be fully equipped for the opportunities that would present themselves. This, after all, is our job as pastors, isn't it? To equip the people of the church, for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12-16). We would offer several different meeting times. That made it workable for everyone who was involved. At these meetings, we’d cover a variety of topics, including:
- The basic schedule and overall vision of the trip
- How to effectively communicate the gospel message
- Cultural to-do’s and not-to-do’s
That sort of thing.
Global = Local
Now, my focus is not on leading any one church congregation. Instead, I come alongside you, as a leader of a congregation, helping you be more effective in mobilizing your people for mission. Primarily, mission in their own neighborhood.
I’d love it if every pastor we worked with here at 6 Stones, viewed every project we do in HEB and beyond, the same way we viewed international mission trips, back when I pastored Palm Harbor Church. The task is the same, the travel is just much cheaper.
We want to help you equip your people for mission.
Operation Back to School, on Saturday August 12, should be considered a mission trip for the people at your church. We’re not getting on a plane land we’re not staying in tarantula infested hotels (thank the Lord), but we are engaging people for the sake of our King’s Kingdom.
As a result, I want to invite you to bring your team to one of our Church Host trainings. You might even consider making it mandatory for participation. People from churches all over the mid-cities will be volunteering in multiple areas at Operation Back to School, but perhaps the highest concentration of those volunteers are our Family Hosts. These are the people that tour the families through the Social Service and Back to School fair. And this is a perfect assignment, because it gives volunteers the opportunity to really engage in conversation with the families, hopefully including spiritual conversation.
We want to help equip people for exactly that.
There’s logistics to go over, certainly. But more than that, there’s helpful training on what to do and what to say in regards to spiritual matters. Think about the vitality that will come to your church body after a day where a handful – or a bus load – of people use their mouths to tell others about the wonderful story of Jesus! There can’t be any better church growth strategy on the planet! There isn’t.
I want to encourage you to urge your people to come to one of two orientation opportunities:
- Tuesday, August 8 from 6-7pm, or
- Wednesday, August 9 from 6-7pm.
If necessary, we can also work with you to arrange a custom meeting at your church facility, but you’ll want to hurry on that, because space and time is limited.
Host volunteers who attend one of these meetings are not required to attend the mandatory meetings taking place the following week (on Monday, August 7 and Thursday, August 10). These meetings will take the place of those, for Host Volunteers only.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and to schedule when your team will be attending an orientation.
Together, we’re going to bring Hope to this community. Not only with backpacks and school supplies, but with the light than shines in the darkness.