If you are in a group, chances are that you care about the other people in your group. But how can you reach past the walls of your living room into God’s world-wide mission?
1. Praying in General
First, if you are praying together regularly as a group (which you should be), include the nations in how you pray. Pray for nations that you heard about in the news. Pray for nations that those in your group are travelling to (for work, vacation, or a Vision Trip). Discover some unreached people groups through resources like The Joshua Project and pray for them sporadically or regularly.
2. Praying Specifically
Second, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; it breeds compassion. Has someone in the group gone on a Vision Trip to a particular area? Do you have a friendship with one of our missionaries? Do you have a particular burden for an area of the world? These are perfect excuses to have the group focus in on one missionary, partner, or area of the world.
If you haven’t gotten enough exposure to our missionaries and partners yet, here are five ways to do so:
- REACH: College Park’s annual missions emphasis season
- First Fridays: a monthly dinner, presentation, and prayer gathering to hear more and pray more about missions. A great first step!
- Journey In Missions Night: a monthly class for those interesting in being a missionary
- Barnabas Teams: a monthly prayer team that gets updates from one particular missionary
- Vision Trip: going on a trip to catch the vision
3. Host a Missionary
Missionaries come back to College Park at various times of the year (especially in October during REACH), and they love to connect with other brothers and sisters and share some of their stories of seeing God at work.
Hosting a missionary for the first part of your Small Group gathering is a great way to encourage them, hear their stories, and remember to support them over the course of the year. To find out when missionaries are home, contact the Global Outreach team.
4. Vision Trip
I went on a Vision Trip years ago with another member in my Small Group, and it still gives us memories and a passion for this country that seeps into our group.
By going on a Vision Trip, by yourself or with others from your group, you are catching the vision of what God’s doing in a radically different part of the world, and you are uncovering ways that you can encourage that work from afar. There is nothing quite like it.
A Note About Giving
You may be surprised not to see “give financially to missions” on this list. God’s work in the nations certainly requires resources. But for many people, that is the second step. Their first step is to pray for God’s work to rescue men and women across the world. Then that heart swells into an overflow that wants to give where it is needed most. Building relationships and praying for missionaries and nations may very well bud into the fruit of giving financially to this worldwide rescue effort.
How Can Your Small Group Affect the Nations? by Nate Irwin