Missions Conference Ideas

Every year, many local churches put together a missions conference.  Planning a missions conference can been very challenging, especially when trying to come up with ideas to make the conference fresh and exciting.  Here are few random ideas that I have seen and gathered from some of my missionary friends.  Special thanks to Philip Bassham for many of the ideas below.  Maybe one of them will be a help to you as you plan your missions conference this year.

  1. Find creative ways to spend time with the missionaries.  Take all the ladies out shopping.  Take the children to the zoo. Take all the men out for lunch and talk.  Have each one share their testimony and a little about their ministry.  Go bowling, golfing, or skeet shooting with all the guys from the church and the missionaries.  These “informal” times are great for building relationships, learning, and making memories.
  2. Have a Q and A panel with the missionaries. Open the floor for questions or pass out slips of paper for people to pass in questions.  The pastor or moderator should have some questions prepared to get the discussion started if necessary.  He should vet questions to make sure no embarrassing or overly personal questions are asked.
  3. Have a good keynote speaker that knows missions.  Be sure that you select a preacher that you believe will really help your church.  Often, it is helpful to choose a veteran missionary who has real missions experiences to relate to the church.  Be sure to communicate with him how much time he has, what the them of your conference is, and what your goals are for the conference.
  4. Do not make the conference all about money.  Find others ways that people can get involved besides just give money.  Maybe challenge people to pray for a specific country or region of the world over the next year.  Have people adopt a specific missionary as their prayer partner.
  5. Use Skype or pre-recorded videos to interview missionaries on the field that you already support.
  6. Make or get good videos about missions to show during the conference.  These could be sermon clips, missionary stories or classic quotes turned into videos.
  7. Treat the missionaries like ambassadors and march them in behind their flag in a flag ceremony.
  8. Each night of the conference, try to simulate a mission field experience (a village, persecution, understaffed, work with what you got, etc.)
  9. Have a candlelit service showing how carrying the light affects the world. The could missionaries light their candles and go to different parts of the room.
  10. Have your choir or special music in each service be missions songs.
  11. Sings songs to familiar tunes but with missions words.
  12. Hand out cards with info about every country and have the whole church praying for the whole world at the same time.
  13. Have families in the church sign up to take the families out for a meal or feed them in their home.
  14. Give out the contact information for the missionaries (email, blog, twitter, facebook, etc.) and encourage the people to get in touch with the missionaries.
  15. Use the missionaries as much as possible in the service to present, preach, show videos, teach classes, give testimonies, and sing.
  16. Prepare for the conference by giving out packets of information to the church with missionaries names, contact info, and country.  Encourage people to do research on the countries and the missionaries, so they can know what kind of questions to ask.
  17. Give welcome packet to missionary with everything explained and maybe letters from different people they will be connected with throughout the week, schedule, addresses.
  18. Send a follow-up email to the missionaries asking them for ways to communicate better, ways to make their stay more comfortable, and any ideas that they might could implement in the future.
  19. Started a world death calculator that runs throughout the whole conference, showing people the urgency of the task.
  20. Find out special needs the missionaries might have and raise money for the those needs all year long in your Christian school or Sunday school classes.  Present the gifts to the missionaries in the conference.
  21. Have special classes in the morning or afternoon with the missionaries and all those who would like to come to discuss missions informally with the pastor and church staff.
  22. Make sure to plan time for naps and rest especially for those with young children.  If the missionaries are on the road alot and have meetings every night, it can get tiring.
  23. Assign someone to each missionary family to be a guide, host, and servant.  They can help them get set up, know where their way around the facilities, and meet any needs they might have.
  24. Set up rooms each night before the services where each of the missionaries are showing their presentations and answering questions.  Each night, people from the church can arrive early and pick a place to go to learn more about the missionary and their ministry.
  25. When giving gifts, be sensitive to the fact that missionary has limited space in his vehicle and may be on the road for many weeks at a time.  Gift cards, small toys for children, and things that don’t take up too much room are a good idea.

If you would like further ideas about how to customize your conference, go here.  Other ideas can be found here.

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