Ministry Opportunities on the Mission Field
I love Pastor Trieber’s quote about our service to the Lord, “The ministry is GREAT!” That statement is not only true in the United States, but also true on the mission field. The ministry on the mission field is GREAT, and the opportunities for ministry are great!
No one was more committed to using every opportunity given to him to reach the world with the gospel than the first, great missionary, the Apostle Paul. In I Corinthians 9, he said that he had made himself servant unto all, seeking any opportunity to share the gospel. He became all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. Whether you are preparing for missions, just getting started in missions, or are a veteran missionary, the Apostle Paul is a great example for each of us. Two thousand years later, his philosophy of ministry is still very applicable.
Under the umbrella of the local church, there are many opportunities to share the gospel on a daily basis on the mission field. Listed below are some proven ideas to help you reach the lost around the world.
1. Orphanage Ministry
On nearly every mission field, there is an open door to minister to both the physical as well as the spiritual needs of orphans. If approached wisely and with a servant’s spirit, this great opportunity to serve the special needs of these dear children can be a tremendous door to share the gospel.
Each country is different, and you would need to be sure that you are legally allowed to work in their orphanages. You do not want to cause any problems for the orphanage director or jeopardize your ministry in any way. However, in most countries, orphanages would welcome a local pastor to teach the children Biblical principles such as respecting others, obeying elders, and becoming good citizens in their community. In most third-world countries, approximately 75% of orphans leave the orphanage only to become criminals. The only answer to this dilemma is the gospel.
In any city, town or village where we have served, we experienced open doors to work in the area orphanages. Each week, teachers from our churches conduct a Sunday school-type program for the children in the orphanages. We keep a list of each child’s birthday and do something special for him or her on that day. For most of them, this small gift is the only one they have ever received on their birthday.
2. Nursing Home Ministry
Other than orphans, perhaps the second most forgotten group in society is the elderly. On most mission fields, churches rarely have outreach programs in the nursing homes. These dear folks, who are at eternity’s threshold, are in great need of love, fellowship, encouragement and hope. Church members can become involved in this ministry on a weekly basis—visiting from room-to-room, sitting and fellowshipping with the bed-ridden, and praying with them. Each week, trained soul winners can visit with them, share the gospel and disciple them. The nursing home ministry is a wonderful avenue to be a blessing to those who are suffering in their last days, and an opportunity to see many precious, softened hearts come to the Lord.
3. Monthly Prayer Breakfasts
Many church members on the mission field have loved ones who may not agree to attend a church service. However, they may agree to accept an invitation to a breakfast for fellowship and prayer. Once a month, you could plan a Ladies’ Prayer Breakfast and a Men’s Prayer Breakfast at a nice, local restaurant. It works well for a leader in the church to bring a devotional, after which those in attendance can share prayer requests. The leader can then, perhaps after breakfast, privately approach the unsaved guests and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in dealing with them individually. This is also a great opportunity to invite the leaders in your community and have special prayer for them and for their service.
4. Vacation Bible Clubs
Most of us are familiar with VBS and the great opportunity it offers to reach families that we might not otherwise ever meet. Vacation Bible Clubs work especially well on the mission field, because most families cannot afford to send their kids to camps or go on vacations. Rarely have we seen parents refuse to allow their children to attend VBS. It would be very wise to include the orphans for your week of VBS, either held on the orphanage grounds or by busing them to the church each day. Here again, our experience has been that the orphanage director has been more than happy to allow the orphans to attend.
5. Children’s Neighborhood Bible Clubs
This would be much like a day of VBS, only it would be held at a park or in a schoolyard on Saturdays. Depending on the weather in your particular country, you could possibly have these weekly Bible Clubs for up to ten months out of the year. If you have enough workers, you could even run several clubs simultaneously each Saturday in different parts of your town. If this is organized like a bus route, with records kept and follow-up visits made, it also presents a great opportunity to visit the parents in the homes and share the gospel with them. One has to be careful, however, when asking for personal information at an activity such as this. Be wise and use much discretion when asking if you can make a visit to the child’s family in their home.
6. Hospital Visitation Outreach
Even though it is not permitted in most countries to visit in the hospitals without an invitation from the patient, one can visit the family members who are outside the hospital waiting to see their loved ones or awaiting word on their health needs. When approaching the family members, you can introduce yourself as a local pastor who is visiting the families of the patients, and offer to pray for the health of their loved one. Write down their names and their health needs, and pray specifically that God would meet those needs. In many third-world countries, the family members have to wait on the street for hours and even sleep on the street. They could always use water, fruit or sandwiches. Again, you would need to use much discretion in order to make sure you do not overstep protocol for such an endeavor. We have witnessed hundreds saved through the hospital visitation outreaches.
There are many other such outreach ministries we could mention. These are a few that will be a wonderful asset in helping your church reach out to your community, and getting the church members involved in serving others for the sake of the gospel.