I would be approaching this article under a structure of headings and subheadings of outlined spiritual principles which have been tested, acknowledged, in use among students missionaries and passed down across many generations of school missionary leaders.
This outline is for the purpose of easy reference. Otherwise, it is all centered on the central aim which is to provide guidelines for both members and leaders of student missions on ways, mindsets, and strategies to build a thriving student missions groups filled with love mobilized for missions and growing in numbers.
The outline is as below;
N/B: these principles are not rulesforo growing a student’s missions groups. Maybe a guideline, but no hard and fast rule to it. The fact that every environment has its peculiarity and individuality of the persons involved is well noted.
STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING A THRIVING STUDENTS MISSIONS GROUPS FILLED WITH LOVE, GROWING IN NUMBERS AND ON THE GO FOR MISSIONS.
The following are strategies that the leaders, as well as their members may want to consciously watch out for:
What is missionization?
Missionization is the successful transfer of the student’s missions groups vision, passion and heartbeats to new members. Such that, the new members completely translates from one that is being mobilized and followed up for missions to a member who is in the position of transferring the passion to others, joins in mobilizing others and is ready-on the GO for missions.
How is one successfully Missionized?
Mobilizing believers for missions and to enrolling as a student’s missions groups members start with providing the person with information about the group. After such believers give their consent on joining as a member, the membership of such believer is still assumed ‘not strong’ until such membership is committed as verifiable with the persons continual participation ( including the PRAY, GIVE, and GO ) in subsequent missions.
The ways to help strengthen members commitment is summarized in what I have termed the ‘the tripod of missionization’. Explained below;
THE TRIPOD OF MISSIONIZATION
1. PURPOSEFULLY LIVING OUT THE STUDENTS MISSIONS GROUPS MANDATE
The fuel of a Mission’s group growth is in her ability to live out her purpose. It releases a breath of missionization on her members.
It is a common experience in Mission groups, that an individual’s missionization is often completed after such individual finally joins for an outreach.
But I want to add here, that it is not just any outreach, but after the individual attends a missionizing outreach. A missionizing outreach is simply a successful missions outreach.
In my experience, God manifests His presence in a very raw and crude sense effortlessly in missions outreach. Yet a successful missions outreach is one where God is Glorified, as Jesus is exalted before the people and God draws souls to Himself.
In addition, and very important too, a successful student’s missions are one where the participating member’s faith is revived, their spirit edified and tangible evidence of new height of Grace and operations of the Spirit imparted in the course of the outreach.
Thus, beyond reaching out to the lost souls, students missions should be a training ground for the students.
It is such experience that births a full students missionary who would not wish to miss any missions outreach to the pity of flimsy excuses. It is such experience that births such Student missionary who is ready to prioritize and daring to reach out to the lost souls with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit through love.
Having a missionizing outreach should be the desire/prayer points/lookouts/the concern of any students missions groups leaders and members planning any missions outreach.
2. MAINTAINING AN ATMOSPHERE OF LOVE
Every students missionary gatherings is characterized with an atmosphere of love. Even if you are not the type or you find it difficult in other gatherings. By just getting into the gatherings of students, be it along the road, in a corner in the campus, in the prayer grounds, in the mission fields, etc. You will immediately see a sense of commonest, love, playfulness, in everyone ones speech and behaviour.
Yes! students missions groups teaches in love, laughs and jokes… doesn’t roughen their face to show seriousness. should be flexible, play, joke… yet, should mean business.
School missions groups leaders as well as their members should consciously ensure that they work in an atmosphere of love.
I don’t know how this level of love reality in missions groups started. Maybe missionary pioneerscan tell us. But my experience is that you don’t need extra learning or efforts to live it out. I could call it one of the gift/spirit of missions.
Closely related to this pod of MISSIONIZATION; love also entails showing personal interests in people. Know their names, their welfare as much as it’s possible, stop by to gist with them-‘Faffing’. Etc.
3. PRAYING WITHOUT SEASON
Students missionary groups are prayer groups. students missionary outreaches are prayer missions, in the subclass of missions strategies. Students missionary meetings are with many prayers, few deliberations.
In fact, sometimes, the gatherings are for prayers alone. During outreaches, you prayerfully prepare, you pray all through in the mission field.
Remember, mission works in every sense of it is for spiritual believers. Many believers in school have a lot they are involved and occupied with besides their academics. When you have a chance of inviting one potential student’s missionary member to your programs, the only guaranteed motivation to having the person come back is a quality spiritual aural.
You don’t need to act this, this actually who missionaries are. You only need to be aware and conscious of it!
THANKS GIVING DINNERS
NEXT ON Strategies is Dinners. All work and no play…
Have a time, mostly towards the end of your calendars to gather together in a celebrating mode. Rejoice together, share testimonies, share moments and highlights of the year.
Examples of tags for such gatherings include; love feasts, sendoff of graduating members; giving them gifts and awards, Target Five meetings, etc.
Such meetings would help minister to those members and invited participants as you share your individual testimonies and moments with them.
MINDSETS FOR BUILDING A THRIVING SCHOOL CHAPTER FILLED WITH LOVE, GROWING IN NUMBERS AND MOBILIZED FOR MISSIONS.
SPIRIT OF TEAMNESS
Having a thriving and growing school chapter requires that all hands should be on the desk.
It needful that all her key members are committed and passionate about successfully mobilizing and executing a missionizing outreach.
This means for instance, that each member talks about Sowers, shares his /her testimonies, and introduces Sowers to his/her friends, classmates, fellowship, church members and all the persons that would give a listening ear.
If this is the case, there would be a networking effect that would get every believer in the given school aware and in the know of the presence of the student’s missions groups.
The team spirit is very important. The leaders should watch out that they properly delegate. Everyone must be equally committed to the goal, not necessarily the role.
Yes! Do all with a compassionate heart for the souls yet to be reached!
FAITH THAT DOES NOT GIVE UP
All involved and especially the leaders must have a pressing further, non giving up faith.
The mission is a work of faith. You need faith for finance, you need faith for laborers.
Most times, when you are mobilizing for missions, it is hard to conclusively tell who will come. The faces very likely to your mind may come up with cogent, inexcusable reasons why they would make again for the outreach.
Those times, you need a Faith to know that once a mission date is fixed, having mobilized, one thing is sure is that there are people that will come. And these are actually the people God need to make the outreach successful…(The Gideon armies principle). Somebody could come that departure eve and declare willingness to join.
You also need faith, and not quitting on those who end up not making it to the field, those who promise but end up not making it to your programs. You would still continue to remind them in subsequent programs/meetings.
Also faith on the partners, both those who promise to help and not meet up and those who said no from the scratch. You would continue to go to them subsequently, yet believing in them.
A HELPED MOTIVE
But then, why would you have to do all these?
Because you understand the Great Mandate. You understand the Great Commission. Because you understand the terror of hell. You understand how all man deserves an opportunity. You understand the solution and the national peace that the salvation of mankind in all creeds will bring. Etc.
It is pertinent to always pulse and check your motives and Praying God to help your motives/set your heart.
The strengths of your compassion reflect in all you do and say. It reflects in The passion of your voice while you explain to others. While you share and mobilize others, they would connect with your passion, your heart!
This is necessary also in the time of challenges and trails. The offense could come. Then you would need to decide to focus on the common goal of reaching out to the lost souls, prioritizing it to the challenges.
WAYS FOR BUILDING A THRIVING SCHOOL CHAPTER FILLED WITH LOVE, GROWING IN NUMBERS AND MOBILIZED FOR MISSIONS.
CONSTANT PERIODIC MOBILIZATION
Knowing that a campus environment is a transitory environment; people get admitted, graduate and join city missions groups, it is pertinent to have a program of continual mobilization of new members.
A good example of such a program is to always launch a mobilization campaign each time there’s an upcoming outreach. Do this by dividing the members into groups. Send each group to each fellowship. Having obtained permissions from each fellowship leaders to allow you to have mobilization for your upcoming outreach in their fellowship meetings.
Those are opportunities to express your need for resources, laborers, and welfare materials as the case may be.
This way, you would have at least two mobilization campaign per semester.
Also, each time there’s a joint Christian fellowship gatherings-these is good times to make mobilization.
Besides mobilizing, in programs like the joint Christian meetings, get permission to make a sensitization on missions and the missionary. You take the role of keeping the campus mission conscious.
N/B: at a good stage in your growth, your student’s missionary groups should/would be an arm of the joint Christian fellowship of your school.
School chapters need a lot of partnership, especially with the various fellowships and churches on the campus. That is why it is pertinent that you have your student’s missions groups introduced in details to the campus fellowship until they accept and acknowledge the presence of your student’s missions groups.
Make them know that your student’s missions groups are not another fellowship. While trying not to run your student’s missions groups like another fellowship, by not colliding your programs with general fellowship schedules. Every student’s missions groups members is a member of one fellowship or the other.
For instance, it is more effective to chose your outreach date around when the school is about going for a holiday or when the school just resumed from a break.
Get to each fellowship leaders through your members closest to them(the good shepherds comes through the door principle).
Go to the fellowship and campus church leaders for help as they arise per outreach. For instance, YOU could need their equipment, their bus etc.
Most times you would not get these help by mere asking, you would need to explain in details, showing all sense of need and prayerfully following on them till you get their positive response.
This is the work of God, you are not in it alone. There are other persons God Has positioned to help out. Try to locate this person’s in your various campuses.
Proper communication within members, especially in the areas of financial commitment. Let dues not shy away your members. Properly communicate the prioritizing of each members presence. Financial support to be after secondary.
Sometimes, I would say it is better when fund for missions is raised towards the outreach date by calling for internal-within members and external support.
The concern is, Let schedules of due not shy away from your members when they are not able to meet up. Properly communicate, clearly emphasize the priority.
DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ALL
Finally, yet the most important. Depend on the Holy Spirit. You can’t even do this except in His strength. Always stop at each point and let Him lead, direct make and execute the plan.
Building a thriving students missions groups filled with Love, growing in numbers and on the GO for missions is not easy. But with God working it, it is very much effortless.
Grace to you!