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The Mission Society shares Global Outreach Curriculum with other organizations


The Mission Society, a Christian-based organization that develops diverse programs and ministries, has what some might call a unique approach to missions. The Mission Society reaches out to churches and other mission organizations in an effort to demonstrate how the local church is God’s vehicle to send missionaries out into the world. According to Dick McClain, Vice President for Ministry Operations, The Mission Society equips the church to do this strategically, by training them and giving them the tools they need. “We give away our curriculum to churches and other mission sending organizations all over the world,” said McClain.

The Mission Society has reached out to several other mission sending organizations including OMS International, SIM (Serving in Mission), International Teams, and World Gospel Mission, and has shared materials, along with training, with these groups. “By working together, we can cultivate even more churches and help more unreached people in the world,” said McClain.

One organization has gone further than any other with The Mission Society’s model. World Gospel Mission, based in Marion, IN, has recently finished the training and will soon move into the implementation phase. According to Todd Eckhardt, Director of World Connection for World Gospel Mission, their organization has already implemented the materials and gone into six churches in conjunction with The Mission Society.

“We have received wonderful feedback from the churches where we’ve teamed up with The Mission Society,” said Eckhardt. “The first reaction is ‘wow, mission organizations are working together,’ and they are pleasantly surprised. But it’s not a competition. Everything we do is for the Kingdom.”

Eckhardt hopes that even when they are going into churches by themselves to teach church leaders about missions, they will continue to have a working relationship with The Mission Society. Stan Self, Senior Director of Church Ministry for The Mission Society, concurs and takes it one step further--into the mission field. “We are trying to support even more missionaries, and if someone is called to go to a country or state where we don’t have a presence, then we work in partnership with other mission sending organizations so people can go where they feel called to go,” said Self.

The Mission Society offers many workshops which provide intensive training experiences for pastors and church leaders who are serious about helping their church become more mission-minded. Two key programs are the Global Outreach Weekend (GOW) and the Global Impact Celebration (GIC).

A Global Outreach Weekend includes a six-hour seminar on a Friday evening and Saturday morning, and ministry to the entire congregation in Sunday worship and Sunday school classes or small groups. The Global Outreach seminar provides a deeper understanding of the biblical basis of the church’s mission both at home and around the world. It offers a fresh perspective on the peoples of the world. Participants are challenged to greater involvement in outreach. The seminar is designed for church leadership as well as for the entire congregation.

A Global Impact Celebration is designed to mobilize the entire congregation for global outreach by “bringing the world into your church" and by personalizing missions through interaction with cross-cultural workers and hands-on involvement with mission projects.

St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken, SC experienced a GOW in February 2007 and a GIC in January 2008, and is getting ready for its second GIC in January 2009. Rev. George Howle, senior pastor of the 1,600 member church has seen how these events have spiritually changed the church and him personally.

“When the folks from The Mission Society came for our Global Outreach Weekend they told us the needs of the world and that one-third of the world does not know Christ,” said Rev. Howle. “They asked me to go to Kenya, Africa with them to train pastors there, and by the time the weekend was over I was convinced I needed to go. The 10-day trip was a life changing experience for me and the vision caught on in the church.”

For example, the church usually gave about $50,000 annually to missions. After its first Global Impact Celebration, where the church met several missionaries from The Mission Society, they raised $240,000 for missions that year! The church has also sent teams on short-term mission trips to Honduras and Kenya, and they support six missionaries all over the world.

“This has truly changed the focus and direction of the church,” said Rev. Howle. “We have learned that missions adds to and vitalizes a church, and GOW and GIC give the local church a way to see how they can become so directly involved in missions and a real part of it. We can make a huge difference in a small part of the world and we are constantly looking to God to see what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go.”