You’ve bought the book for everyone in your congregation. Here’s the breakdown of what to do each week to maximize the impact of How To Be A Missionary In Your Hometown over the next 3 months. I put as many links in as possible to make it as easy as possible for you to have success. Each week is also linked to my sermon recorded through facebook live – feel free to steal each sermon and make them great for your church.
Here’s the basic spreadsheet I used to move the church through this material.
Here’s much more detailed step by step rundown – You Got This!
4 Weeks Out:
- Start praying for your church’s faith!
- Teach lessons on faith to get hearts ready
- Purchase the books from IPIBooks.com
- Fill in your church calendar with the events you’ll do
- See Hometown Missionary Events for suggested events
- Take into consideration holidays and other events and be flexible
- Make a calendar or bookmark with events to hand out
- Go to Vistaprint.com and make general church invitations
- Make sure you have a simple bible study series printed and available for free that people can use to share the gospel with their friends
- Ask someone to create a Mission Map to display throughout the campaign
- This is a large but simple map of your area that people will fill with notes (Mission Moments) as they complete challenges from the book
- Can you store it at your facility?
- Do you have post it notes or a way for people to add their Mission Moments to the map?
2 Weeks Out – Intro Video:
- Give out the books (We only had pamphlets – this campaign became the book)
- Put the Mission Map on display
- If your church is on social media start using #hometownmissionary (if your church isn’t on social media get after it!)
- Hand out events calendar/bookmark covering the next 3 months
- Start talking about becoming hometown missionaries
- Put invitations and bible study booklets out so members have all the resources they need
- Check out the launch slides we used for week 1 – change it up with your own graphics or use graphics from the linocuts in the book
1st Sunday Launch – Week 1: The Heart of God
- Introduce the book
- Participants will read a chapter a week and do a daily devotional Monday through Saturday
- Here’s our launch slides
- Try to announce everything coming up 4 weeks in advance
- Have leaders or elders pray
- Preach a sermon based on the first chapter of the book
- Emphasize not sharing your faith – this is all about God and getting our hearts right.
- Many have been wounded by events like these in the past that were done with a humanistic focus
- The first few weeks should be healing and trust building
- The challenge this week is to write a love letter from God and post it on social media – this is kind of the first sharing of the campaign without really sharing.
- Use the #hometownmissionary #loveletterfromGod
- This is a powerful way for people to out themselves as Christians
2nd Sunday – Week 2: The Place of Prayer
- During the week before the 2nd Sunday create a place of prayer.
- If you have a 24/7 facility then it can be in a room that is accessible
- If not it can be in a public place (Capitol or county building steps, park by a river or lake, someone’s backyard, etc…)
- If you can, make 4 posters:
- 1 explaining the High Priestly Prayer of John 17 and how to pray through it (See book chapter 2 for details)
- 2 explaining the Lord’s Prayer of Luke 11 and how to pray through it
- 3 for people to sign that they prayed in this spot
- 4 to write the names of the people they are praying for to come to Christ
- Here’s what our prayerspot looked like
- If you have to do this in a public space you can do it online with a link to a google presentation. Everyone logs on at the spot and goes through the four slides. Just send out a shareable link. Here’s and example.
- Preach about the power of prayer from Revelation!
- Make sure everyone uses the prayer banner template in the book or give out a printed template of your own – I don’t have one so be creative – but here’s a pic of what we handed out
- People should put their personal prayer spots up on the mission map
Week 3: The Power of Gospel
- Don’t teach your church the plan of salvation (the response to the gospel). Teach your church the gospel and how to see gospel (Spirit, creation, death, redemption and restoration) all around them
- This should be refreshing and exciting
- Still encourage people not to share – but to look for the parts of the gospel in their lives.
- When they see a part of the gospel (like a weed growing from a crack in the sidewalk representing creation) they can take a picture and post it with the #ISeeGospel
- This is kind of a way of sharing and as more churches participate there will be a lot of cool pics with all the hashtags each week
- They will fill out a page in the book this week that teaches them to see gospel everywhere – here’s a printout if you need extras
- Are your announcement slides all set so everything is being talked about 4 weeks in advance?
Week 4: The Presence of Jesus
- This chapter was going to be all about how Jesus shared his faith – but it’s way more powerful to look at the fact that he is still sharing his faith with us and through us! Preach a sermon on that.
- This week people will actually begin sharing their faith!
- It may have been a long time for some since they’ve shared their faith – we should be so excited about this week!
- Pass out a hospitality night planner and have people pick locations/times/friends for hospitality which will happen in two weeks
- Is there an event you can do to serve your community or HOPE Worldwide in week 9? Now is the time to plan it!
Week 5: Heroes of Faith Old Testament
- Preach it!
- Encourage people to put their mission moments (places they shared) on the map
- Point out the map each week and take a picture so you can see the visual impact happening
- This week features a crazy fun scavenger hunt.
- Some people will think it’s fun
- Others will think it’s crazy (and possibly not like it)
- Just explain that it’s for fun
- You could give a prize (100 grand candy bar) to anyone who completes the scavangelism hunt – this will take longer than the week so let people know this is ongoing
- Encourage people throughout the week to share with text messages
- Have people put their completed sharing on the map (for example “Goliath” on a post it note)
- Here’s a link to a printout you can pass out to your church
- Create invitations for the Gospel night that will happen in 4 weeks at Vistaprint.com
Week 6: The Art of Hospitality
- This is the most important week of the entire campaign – if your church can become hospitable it will grow!
- Make sure people understand the difference between hospitality and entertaining – hospitality is simply letting people in and has little to do with a gourmet spread or a clean house
- Even as we execute our hospitality nights this week we need to be planning our bibletalks that will happen in just two weeks
- We did not have bible talks set up so we did it in the easiest way possible. At a service I said, “Who wants to host a bible talk, stand up?” (After explaining what they are).
- Then I had everyone else go to their bibletalk – go find someone standing up – in 5 minutes they all had times and locations nailed down – boom!
- Here’s a planning sheet you can use
- There are bible talk starters from the parables in the appendix section
- People can share their hospitality experiences with the hashtags in the book and at your service – this is a very positive activity
- Have people put this on the Mission Map
Week 7: Heroes of the Faith New Testament
- This week is more about casting a long time vision of awesome things that followers of Jesus can do. Very few of these things will be completed by the end of this focus but these should be the focus of our actions as disciples.
- Plug the bible talks
- You’re over the halfway point – be dreamy – review what you’ve done so far
- Make sure people are still praying
- Get the materials needed for your week 9 giveaway bags with a sign up sheet with the following things that people will keep in their cars for beggars:
- Bags (reusable or paper)
- Gloves or hats if it’s winter
- Business cards for shelters or helpful government organizations
- Cards with encouraging scriptures
Week 8: The Word of Life
- It’s bible talk week! God is going to do great things all over your town!
- Have people share their bible talk stories and put post its on the Mission Map
- The map should really be filling up now with all of the sharing and events
- Even though it’s bible talk week we’re planning for the next event in 2 weeks – Gospel Night
- Start talking about what it will be
- Hand out special invitations if you made them
- In the appendix there is a script for the Gospel Night we had, “How’s Your Soul Doing?”
- It was a great talk and we had people start studying the bible and keep studying the bible because of the event.
Week 9: The Least of These (No Sermon – Michigan Snowstorm in April Cancelled Church!)
- Activity at church – make giveaway bags
- Have people write in the cards and make an assembly line – great to get the kids involved with this!
- Make blank encouragement cards available too for the congregation. People can use this for their family nights or just bring them the next Sunday.
- Imagine a service with encouragement cards flowing!
- No hashtags this week – give in secret!
Week 10: The Harvest Is Plentiful
- The Gospel Night is this week.
- Text, email, social media – whatever it takes to encourage people to invite friends to this event. This conversation can change the eternal destiny and direction of someone’s soul!!
- The discussion is in the Appendix and here’s a low quality, poorly lit video of our talk
- We’re in the homestretch – make sure study booklets are available and that your leaders are doing a good job following up with visitors
- The harvest will come – but not until the weeks and months after this campaign is over – just like a real harvest!
Week 11: The Workers Are Few
- It’s getting near the end. This week’s challenge is simple – ask people to share their faith every day.
- Start to talk about this being a lifestyle change and not just a campaign – that’s up to each person to decide by how they live after these 3 months are over.
- Let people know that the next Sunday is going to be a celebration.
- We had breakfast, a sunrise prayer time and general fun before and after church.
- You do you!
Week 12: The Celebration of the Saints
- Party at church!
- Pray (all night, sunrise, prayer chain, you decide)
- End by talking about God – that’s all that matters.
- No one should feel like a failure because God makes it grow.
- Finish the Mission Map and take some time during your service to talk about it – show the before picture and marvel at how much you shared as a church!
- You could even give out certificates declaring everyone as hometown missionaries.
Rest up the week after and then get to work!