Prayer, Presence, and Presents
Mission Partners = Prayer, Presence, and Presents
Mission Partners develop reciprocal, supportive relationships with one or more other ELCA congregations to encourage, empower, and expand the ministries of all. They seek to develop effective, healthy partnerships. To do that, they nurture a variety of characteristics:
Willingness to risk
Those relationships/partnerships are grounded in—and ever continue—in prayer.
Mission Partners pray for their partners:
- in weekly corporate worship,
- in the family devotions of members, and
- with individual praise and exhortation.
- Prayer is the gift we can all give. And what a blessing it is!!! It is at the core of everything we do. We want every mission developer and every ministry—especially our new and renewing congregations—to feel and know that they are SURROUNDED WITH PRAYER.
- Pray regularly
- That God might direct the initial planning for these ministries,
- That a site be chosen that will be effective in reaching people,
- That God provide effective, Spirit-filled leaders for these mission fields,
- That God provide wisdom, physical and emotional strength, and motivation to these dedicated leaders,
- That other congregations in the synod be welcoming and supportive,
- That God water and nurture the seeds of faith that are planted,
- That the ears and hearts of the hearers might be open to the message and presence of Jesus Christ, and
- That the resources may be found to enable these congregations to grow in numbers, faith, service, and giving.
Before a mission developer is even chosen, local synod or conference leaders will:
Start the discussion in area congregations of how each will be supportive.
Develop a prayer support team of at least five congregations who will include the ministry and the mission developer/redeveloper in the corporate prayers of the congregation and who will “recruit” subsequent individuals who will commit to pray. Create a schedule so that someone is always praying. Include young and old, men and women, active and shut-in, etc.
Once the developer is on-site, the developer will see that someone from the ministry keeps all the pray-ers up-to-date as to the current celebrations and concerns.
Mission Partners develop reciprocal, supportive relationships with one or more other ELCA congregations to encourage, empower, and expand the ministries of all.
“Presence” encompasses a broad understanding of “encouragement” that enables one’s Mission Partners to feel “cared for” and supported.
“Presence” may include a whole variety of things:
- Offering cards, letters, flowers, and phone calls,
- Sharing celebrations as well as concerns,
- Worshiping together,
- canvass the neighborhood,
- prepare news releases, brochures, and mailings,
- print worship bulletins,
- train Sunday school teachers,
- set-up for worship in rented space,
- mow the lawn,
- etc., etc., etc.
Mission Partners, out of the abundance that God has provided, generously share what each has.
The gifts that Mission Partners offer to each other are many and varied:
- Some congregations are strong in spirituality, hospitality, leadership development, outreach, or music, and freely share these gifts with their Mission Partners.
- Others have in-kind/tangible objects that might be utilized by the other: office equipment, Sunday school materials, choir music, lawn mowers, etc., and
- Still others might provide financial support toward the program needs of their partner.
All are “haves,” and each offers what it has for the good of the partner so that God’s mission in both locales might grow broader and stronger.