Mission Festivals can serve as occasions for mission education. They can help to raise a congregation's mission awareness, and they can become portals to increased mission involvement on the part of individuals or entire churches or circuits.
Mission Festivals often feature a guest speaker. Great idea! There are plenty of potential presenters right here in Central Illinois (see number 3 below), to say nothing of overseas missionaries back in this country temporarily. See the very last item listed below, "Tips for Hosting a Missionary Visit."
Your congregation is not limited to bringing in a guest speaker, though. Other things can be done. For example:
- No guest speaker? Your pastor can still preach a sermon encouraging mission. A suggested sermon is available below, number 1.
- Consider setting up a "mission fair" in a parish hall or classroom(s). Assign various groups in your congregation (youth groups, Sunday School classes, various committees, etc.) each to gather information on a particular mission or type of mission, then to create displays which attendees can view and from which they can learn. For additional suggestions along these lines, contact Dr. Ken Schurb at the District office, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Show powerpoint presentations on CID missions (number 4 below). These deliberately lack audio tracks. Via a succession of pictures they tell quite a bit about CID campus ministries and outreach in Spanish. These powerpoint presentations can be shown on a laptop computer at a table display or on a larger screen to be seen by a greater number of people as they come by.
- Share stories from CID missions. Several such stories are available as camera-ready half-sheets (number 5 below). These can be handed out at displays or included in church bulletins. Or, for a short program, several of these mission stories might be read aloud.
The national Synod makes available a number of resources to tell of several national and international mission efforts. See number 8 below for a sampling of these materials. More is available at the Synod's website, www.lcms.org
The following Mission Festival Toolkit material is available from the CID:
1. Suggested Sermons
2. Central Illinois District Missions
- CID Missions Listing from the Partnership in the Gospel brochure - PDF
To view entire Partnership in the Gospel brochure click here.
3. How to Get CID Mission Workers as Guest Speakers
- CID Mission Guest Presenter List (updated January 2020) - Word File | PDF
4. Powerpoint Presentations on CID Missions
5. Stories on CID Missions (set up as camera-ready half-sheets ready for copying)
6. Helping to fund Mission Festivals . . . and Missions!
- Consider hosting a meal in connection with your Mission Festival. Food often brings people!
- A member of your congregation who is also a member of Thrivent Financial could secure a Thrivent action team grant to underwrite the cost of your food. (See https://www.thrivent.com/making-a-difference/living-generously/thrivent-action-teams) Then any donations you might receive from those who dine can defray the costs of your mission festival (e.g., paying travel expenses for a guest speaker) and/or such donations can turn into a gift to a District or national-level Synod mission.
7. Others who may enhance your mission festival
- Your congregation’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League chapter or your LWML zone may have materials to display.
- You might also consider the Lutheran Laymen’s League (Lutheran Hour Ministries), which provides a variety of resources for outreach such as tracts, videos, and courses.
- Perhaps there is a nearby representative of one of the Synod’s Recognized Service Organizations. Dr. Ken Schurb at the District office can help put you in touch.
8. Mission Education Materials from the Synod
- International Mission
- US Rural Mission
- Mission Field USA - PDF
- Mission Field USA Map - PDF
- Rural and Small Town Mission - PDF
- Urban and Inner-City Mission - PDF
- Tips for Hosting a Missionary Visit - Word File | PDF
For more information, contact:
Dr. Ken Schurb, Evangelism Executive
LCMS Central Illinois District
1850 N. Grand Avenue West
Springfield, IL 62702-1626