Your role as an Advocate
CMS is a fellowship of Christian people and churches committed to global mission. We work with churches like yours to set apart, send and support long-term workers who cross cultures to share the news of Jesus. Our missionaries rely on the support of individuals and their link churches to do this vital gospel ministry.
Your role as an Advocate is to help your church members to be active supporters of your link missionaries and see the part they play in God’s mission. Churches with healthy mission partnerships work to stay in touch with their missionaries as they pray for them, care for them, and give financially to support their gospel work.
This document outlines several ideas as to how you can help grow the partnership between your church and your link missionaries. Please ensure you regularly touch base with your ministry team as you consider how your church might implement some of these ideas.
Keep your missionary visible
Church members are more likely to be actively praying and caring for their link missionaries when they are part of your regular church communications. Here are some suggestions as to how you can help to keep your missionary visible to your church.
1. Set up a missionary display
A great way to remind your church about your missionaries is to set up a missionary bulletin board or table, which you can update with resources as they become available. Below are some suggestions for what you could include in this display.
- Prayer Cards from your missionaries
- Photos of your link missionaries and ministries
- Description of their location and work
- Latest newsletter and photos they have sent
- Map of their location
- Information about how to partner through prayer and financial support
- Information about CMS
- Copies of the CMS Prayer Diary
- Information about other CMS events
2. Include your missionaries in your church newsletter
You can help your church stay updated on the ministries your missionaries are involved in by regularly including them in your church newsletter. This could mean printing their most recent prayer points, sharing updates from their location, and including a larger feature every so often reintroducing their name, location and ministry. You may need to work with your church administrator to include missionary updates in your newsletter.
3. Talk about them at the front of church
A great way to help your church connect to your missionaries is to regularly talk about them at the front of church. This could be done as an announcement or mission segment, and given by you, your minister, the service leader or someone else. Remember that there may be new members at your church who will not know your missionaries, so you may need to give a short introduction when you are up the front.
Some missionaries serve in secure locations, meaning that they are unable to widely share details of their ministries. Please do not communicate any details online about their work or forward and circulate their prayer newsletters. You can help your church to stay updated about your missionaries by encouraging them to sign up individually for their prayer points.
Help church members partner well
There are three main ways a church partners with their missionaries: through prayer, financial support, and showing regular care.
Praying for missionaries
Every missionary needs a team of people committed to praying for them. There are a number of ways you can encourage your church members to spend time in prayer for your link missionaries.
Weekly church services provide a great opportunity for your church to pray together for your missionaries. You could send an updated prayer newsletter to the person who will be praying up front at church, and then encourage your missionaries by letting them know that your church has prayed. You could also organise a prayer night or monthly missionary spot where all the link missionaries your church supports are highlighted and prayed for.
Help your church members to keep praying individually for your missionaries by encouraging them to sign up and receive regular updates and prayer points from them. They can do this through their Prayer Cards, by visiting cms.org.au/missionaries, or by contacting the CMS office at email@example.com or (02) 9267 3711.
Giving financial support
CMS relies on the ongoing financial partnership of both individuals and churches, who sacrificially give to see a world that knows Jesus. Many churches allocate funds in their budget to give to CMS, and there are many individuals who choose to give over and above this budgeted amount. More than two-thirds of our giving comes directly from individuals.
You will need to get in touch with your minister to find out how your church financially supports CMS. Knowing how your church supports mission will help you understand how you can encourage church members to keep giving. This must be done with the approval of your senior minister.
A great way to encourage church members to give individually is through making regular or one-off financial gifts direct to CMS. These gifts can be made at give.cms.org.au.
Caring for your link missionary
Missionaries also need the love and support of those who send them. When link churches and supporters get in touch with missionaries and show care in tangible ways, it can help to spur missionaries on and encourage them to keep persevering.
Appropriate ways to care for your link missionary include:
- Writing letters and emails
- Sending birthday and Christmas cards
- Organising suitable gifts for missionaries and their families
- Organising Skype calls from individuals, Bible study groups, or whole congregations
You may find it helpful to coordinate letter writing within your church so that missionaries have a steady stream of people writing to them throughout the year. If applicable, you can also encourage the youth and children at your church to get involved in writing letters to the children of your missionaries.
Each missionary is different, so ask your missionaries how you and your church can actively care for them. Contact details for your missionaries can be found on their Prayer Card or at cms.org.au/missionaries.
Connect your church to the CMS family
Your church is part of a fellowship of believers in NSW & ACT who send and support over 150 missionaries as they proclaim the gospel to the nations. While your church will generally focus on the ministry of your link missionaries, it is valuable for members to be engaged with world mission alongside the wider CMS family. Below you will find some ways for you and your church to continue to connect with God’s mission and CMS.
Receive our monthly email update
Our monthly email includes stories, news and resources to help supporters keep engaging with world mission. Each month you’ll find a link to our regular publications, as well as receive information about upcoming CMS events. You can encourage your church to sign up to these updates at cms.org.au/subscribe.
Use our Prayer Diary and monthly prayer points
CMS sends out prayer diaries each year to help fuel your prayers for world mission. The Prayer Diary contains information about each of our missionaries and the locations they serve in. CMS also produces Pray Around The World, a children’s resource with activities and stories to help excite kids about world mission. To order copies of either of these resources for you and your church, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMS also publishes up to date prayer points each month to help you pray informed prayers for each CMS missionary. These prayer points are available in our monthly email, or you can contact email@example.com to request a physical copy. You can also subscribe to these prayer points through the PrayerMate app – find out more at prayermate.net.
Take part in CMS events and opportunities
CMS runs a number of events throughout the year to help supporters meet together and be inspired about God’s mission to the nations. These events can be advertised in church announcements and newsletters or featured on your missionary display board. Visit cms.org.au/nswact/events for up to date information about upcoming events.
CMS Summer School
Each year, thousands of adults and children attend CMS Summer School, a week-long conference in Katoomba. CMS Summer School is a chance to hear challenging Bible teaching from world-renowned speakers, listen to unplugged stories from CMS missionaries, and enjoy refreshment with fellow believers. Visit nswsummerschool.org.au to find out more.
CMS runs a number of regional events across NSW and ACT throughout the year for supporters to be inspired by God’s word and to be able to meet with and hear from CMS missionaries:
- CMS Canberra Mission Focus
- CMS Canberra and Goulburn Dinner
- CMS Canberra Prayer Focus
- Illawarra Mission Connect and Meet the Missionaries
- CMS Central West Missionary Expo
- Southern Highlands CMS Lunch, Youth Night and Mission Day
- CMS Coastal Mission Day
- Riverina Mission Dinner
Mission Up Close (formerly Friday Fellowship)
Mission Up Close is a free monthly event for CMS supporters held at the CMS office in Sydney. This is a great chance for your church members to grow their heart for world mission as they hear from CMS missionaries and pray for world mission. Mission Up Close runs on the fourth Friday of the month (except January, April and December). Mission Up Close event details can be found at cms.org.au/nswact/events.
Youth and Children’s camps
CMS runs great camps for youth and children throughout the year! CMS camps help students see the part they can play in God’s mission as they get involved in amazing activities and hear from God’s word. CMS Camp MMM is for students in years 7–9 and 9–12 and runs over two separate weeks in July. CMS Camp Milimani is a four-day camp in October and is for primary school students in years 3–6.
CMS camps are also a great chance for leaders to grow their heart for mission as they disciple children and youth. For members of your church who are interested in leading on a CMS camp, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make the most of Home Assignment
Missionaries periodically return to Australia for Home Assignment, where they meet with churches and supporters, build and strengthen partnerships, and share how God has been working in their location. Your senior minister will likely be the main contact person for your link missionary and will help to plan their church visit, including speaking at church services and various groups throughout the week. Your role is to work alongside your minister to help promote events during their church visit.
A great way churches can help care for missionaries during Home Assignment is to volunteer to help with the logistics of their stay. Each missionary family will have a primary link church, who is asked to take the main responsibility for caring for them.
If your church is not the primary link church, your minister will receive an email with the contact details of the primary church so that your church can offer assistance. If your church is the primary link church, you will receive an email with ideas as to how you can care for them during this time. Below are some suggested ways to care for missionaries during Home Assignment.
- Stock their pantry with initial food supplies
- Give them a welcome gift pack
- Offer babysitting for their children
- Source transport if needed
- Offer prayer support
If you have any questions about Home Assignment, or how to look after missionaries while they are home, please contact the CMS Deputations team at email@example.com.
CMS Partnership Support can help
The CMS Partnership Support team helps individuals and churches to build strong partnerships with CMS missionaries. Members of this team are available to speak at your church services or other events about CMS and world mission. To find out more, or for any questions related to your role as an Advocate, please get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.