As part of our continuing series on missionary support raising and communication we look at expanding the breadth and width of missionary communication by using the purpose and proposition statement explained in earlier posts.
Missionary Support Raising and Communication
Legendary Oregon State track coach and Nike cofounder Bill Bowman coined the multi-national company’s purpose and proposition statement.
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Nike’s 1988 trademark, “Just do it,” is much better known, but like other communication, objectives and strategies that came along for the company, it is only an expansion of the original purpose and proposition statement.
God spreading His gospel through His people is the ultimate and greatest multi-national endeavor. It far surpasses what any juggernaut like Nike or Coca-Cola can dream of. Yet, in a similar way I propose the purpose and proposition a missionary candidate provides will be the link for all other communication in explaining objectives and strategies. The statement provides for clear, concise and certain communication allowing the pre-field missionary to share with confidence. It will then open the door to expand and explain vision and actions within the statement’s parameters.
Understand and Expand Why You are Going
Once a pre-field missionary understands the importance of a purpose and proposition statement, has worked with their home church to develop the purpose and proposition statement, it is then time to expand. For a practical exercise, write or type out the purpose and proposition statement at the top of a page. Underneath write out as many bullet points as necessary to explain the why of the calling. Here are some examples:
- Why God is glorified in your going to serve?
- Why the people you go to serve will benefit?
- Why do you feel there is a need for a missionary work where you are called?
- Why you care enough to leave all that is comfortable and familiar?
Understand and Expand How You Will Go
When you are comfortable you understand why you are going to the mission field, begin a similar exercise to explain how you believe God is leading you to accomplish the why. It may be tempting to jump into lengthy explanations of what you expect to do on the field, but be disciplined to remain focused and concise on how you believe God is leading you to purposely engage with people. Like the exercise above, write or type out your purpose and proposition statement and then make some bullet points of how God will send you:
- How do you expect to bring the gospel to the people you are called to?
- How will your living and ministry expenses be provide for?
- How can others become involved?
- How will you communicate with your prayer and financial supporters?
All the answers will support the initial purpose and proposition statement, keep the missionary focused within communication and yet allows for as much expansion as desired in the setting.
Sharing the missionary’s initial responses with a missions pastor or other key person at the home church allows for refinement, but also opens discussion encouraging unity and clarity of expectations. All answers should somewhat anticipate the questions people will ask and then provide clear and concise responses for verbal and written communication.
Pastor Ed Compean, along with his family, served as missionaries in Kenya and Mexico for more than 12-years. He is now engaged in church relations and communications at Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators. Shepherd’s Staff facilitates for churches who send their own. We do that through facilitative coaching for local churches and their missionaries, and by providing administrative services for local churches to send missionaries with excellence.