By Bryan Austring, Pastor of Helvetia Community Church
How do we get there?
How do we fulfill the mandate of Ephesians 4:11-16—“to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”. As the passage beautifully describes, ministry leaders training our church family effectively and graciously, produce believers actively growing in discernment, Christ likeness, and love…as well as workers united in serving Jesus Christ. We all desire this kind of vigorous unity, as we follow Christ together, especially in the area of our witness.
We pray, we plan, we strategize, we teach, we coordinate special events, topical message series, host missionaries, video chat with our missionaries during Sunday services, prep displays…you name it! Yet we also collaborate with the broader Christian community if possible, especially with a smaller church like ours. We know God provides everything we need to follow Him, and that includes the plentiful training and encouragement He provides through fellow Christians outside our local church family. Fortunately, the ministry of Mission ConneXion really fits here for us.
Our missionaries serving in Ecuador with World Venture, Titus & Stephanie Folden, attended the January conference for years, actively developing their plans for ministry. Now, when on home assignment, they share their training and expertise with others at the same yearly conference that challenged and trained them. Our Mission Aviation Fellowship missionary, Tim Brooks, leaving for Indonesia in January, took the Support ConneXion course to help with his support raising. Several on our church missions’ team have attended Care ConneXion, to better understand how to minister to our sent and supported missionaries.
One of our members recently attended Muslim ConneXion, in preparation for a short term mission trip to Indonesia in August with Global Health Outreach. And a young couple in our church is planning to attend The Journey Deepens in September, as they prayerfully consider fulltime missions ministry to Muslim Moroccan immigrants in southern Spain. Through contacts made through Mission ConneXion, we have teamed with a larger church for short term mission trip training in India, and now host our own STM trips to Ecuador, with plans for future Indonesia trips.
Over and over again, we find our people becoming confident and challenged to witness, locally and around the world! As a result of this type of impact, for the last several years, our church has included Mission ConneXion in our annual missions’ budget; since we achieve such an enormous benefit from the training, and feel compelled to help support the ministry financially.
So…how do we get there? Ministry leaders . . . growing believers . . . a fellowship of unified workers . . . this is all achievable through partnering with Mission ConneXion!