Including secure CMS workers in your church service
Posted on: 1st June 2020
In many gospel-poor places around the world, public gospel ministry is not straightforward or welcomed. CMS sends missionaries to boldly and shrewdly share the name of Jesus in these locations, where most people will have never met a Christian.
These workers are referred to as secure. They may not be able to share their last name, country of service, or even a photo of what they look like.
If your church partners with a secure CMS worker, you will likely be aware of your limitations in sharing about their ministry with members of your church. If there is so much information I can’t share, how can I possibly include these workers in my church service?
This is a great question and one in which we aim to answer below. However, the most important thing you can do is to get in touch with your secure worker first and ask them how you can safely include them in your church service.
If your church service is streamed
Thankfully, COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to be eased in Australia, and many churches are now able to begin meeting in person. However, your church may continue to stream services for a long time as you seek to connect digitally with your community.
Below are some guidelines for sharing about and including your link secure workers in a streamed church service. It’s best to get in touch with your secure worker for specifics related to their situation.
- Don’t use your worker’s name in your church service, unless they have allowed this. Instead, use the first letter of their first name.
- Do refer to them as workers, not missionaries, since they are likely not allowed to work in their country of service as missionaries.
- Don’t mention their country of service, unless your secure workers are happy for you to do so. Instead, refer to their region of service (e.g. East Asia).
- Don’t mention politics or government related issues.
- Do pray for and share about the people your workers are ministering to. Just make sure to only use the first letter of their first name.
- Do use biblical prayers to pray for them, as you may not always be able to share specific details of their ministry.
Here is an example church prayer to help you get a sense of what this could look like.
“Heavenly Father, we pray for our link CMS worker, E, as she shares the great news of the gospel amongst children in East Asia. We pray that E will be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Help her to share this love with those she is ministering to, particularly T and A, who she has recently been able to read the Bible with.”
If your church service is in person only
If your church is returning to a service in person (no live streaming option) in line with the easing of government restrictions, then you have extra freedom to be able to include your secure workers in your service.
The CMS Prayer Diary can be used as a guide as to the information that can be shared (email email@example.com for a physical copy). If the Prayer Diary lists the country your workers are serving in, for instance, then it is fine to include that information as part of your church service.
Your prayer leaders are welcome to pray for your workers with the prayer points they share with you, as long as your service is not being recorded. You can also share updates on your secure workers in a church announcement spot, making sure to avoid sensitive topics.
When sharing photos from your secure workers, avoid sending them via email or through your church slides. Instead, print out any photos you’d like to share.
Help secure workers safely share Christ
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Our secure workers are seeking to share the love of Jesus boldly and carefully at the same time. Will you pray for your secure CMS workers, that they will remain strong in the Lord in places where public gospel ministry is not welcomed? And will you commit to boldly partnering with your workers, finding ways to share about them and pray for them with your church?