In the last month, I have had the privilege of attending twogreat missions conferences— AzaleaGarden Church of God in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Cooper City Church of Godin Cooper City, Florida.
Both of these churches have hosted missions conferences forover 25 years! Each have a long-term pastor with a passion for missions andknow the heartbeat of God is missions!Each church began with a small congregation, but due to reaching outside thefour walls of their church, they have grown exponentially!
As LMR consultant, it is my privilege to visit severalchurches and learn how they carry out their missions program. What a blessingto experience their love for fulfilling the Great Commission and see theirdesire to support our missionaries and keep them on the mission field.
Both Azalea Garden COG and Cooper City COG invitemissionaries from around the world to spend several days with members of theircongregation who provide housing for them. The members bless our missionarieswith various gifts such as taking them to the salon for haircuts, manicures,pedicures, as well as shopping trips and short field trips. Sometimes they aregiven money for gifts such as computers, cell phones, etc. It is such ablessing to all who have the privilege in blessing our missionaries who aregiving their lives for ministry.
A typical missions conference schedule includes sessions inwhich each missionary is given an opportunity to share about his/her ministry.Each is provided a table in the exhibit area to display materials regarding thework in their country of ministry.
Special services are held each evening in which the membersof the congregation participate in praise and worship, and missionaries aregiven another opportunity to minister.
Because I have been visiting some of these conferences, itwill be a great opportunity for me to glean from these meetings for the futureplanning of the bi-annual LMR Rally and Celebration. Since the LMR Rally inJuly of 2011, several churches have had their first conference and are excitedabout what God is doing in their congregation.
If you have not had a missions conference at your church, asLMR, please consider visiting one. No matter the size of your church, it willhelp you with planning one. Many churches have started with a very smallcongregation and have built their church tremendously as a result of missionsconferences!