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10 ways to advance missions discipleship during a pandemic

Our Partners at the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) have put together a list of 10 ways churches can do missions and still be intentional in their discipleship and ministry to their communities in the midst of unusual times.

Whether your church is gathering in-person or scattered, WMU has a myriad of ways to still experience missions discipleship. From personal spiritual growth to virtual meetings to family-focused missions, here are just 10 opportunities to be a part of God’s mission and be inspired as you see how God is at work.

1. Subscribe to On the Journey Conversations with Sandy Wisdom-Martin, a podcast.  Sponsored by the Christian Women’s Leadership Center, these podcasts are very engaging conversations with some of the most committed Christ followers of our generation. These conversations will fuel your passion to go deeper with Him in your personal journey of faith. A new episode releases each Wednesday and each ranges between 15-30 minutes. Invite your friends to listen as well and discuss the episode with them; they will thank you! This podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Google Podcasts.

2. Encourage a woman in your church with a subscription to Missions Mosaic. An annual print subscription is $22.99, a digital subscription is $20.99, or get both versions for just $24.99. That’s only about 6 cents a day for a year’s worth of inspiration through missions stories, insightful articles, prayer prompts and devotions offered in this monthly publication.

3. Gift curated boxes of books to send to those isolated in senior care facilities, hospice centers, hospitals and seniors sheltering in place. Each box contains titles from three categories: Bible studies, Christian living, and Christian fiction. All curated books are new and free. The only associated costs are for shipping and handling. To gift a box, simply go to honor62.com, select a box size, indicate where to ship it, and provide payment information.

4. Gift a few friends the book Relentless and have a weekly virtual Bible study. While many are feeling weary and ready to give up, Relentless offers a scriptural reflection, as author Taylor Field revisits the stories of Scripture’s most persistent and grittiest people. Field, who is also a missionary and pastor, shares a new perspective on familiar stories to inspire courage in the discouraged, develop grit in the fainthearted, and demonstrate how our God brings hope to those who relentlessly hold fast to Him.

5. Give a gift to the Vision Fund to support the ministry of WMU. National WMU is supported primarily through the sales of magazines and products, but there has been a decline in sales as many churches are not meeting due to COVID-19. Your donation to the Vision Fund will help advance our ministry of making disciples of Jesus who live on mission as we seek to continue our current level of kingdom impact in every state and 39 countries and also reach out in new spheres of ministry. Simply mail a check payable to the WMU Foundation, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242, designated for the Vision Fund; or give online at wmufoundation.com/vision.

6. Take an online mini-course to learn more about WMU’s Compassion Ministries such as WorldCrafts; Pure Water, Pure Love; and Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps. Additional courses are also available on the church’s response to poverty, human trafficking and refugees. Visit ChristianLeaderLearning.com for more.

7. Advance your leadership skills with online, self-paced courses offered through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center. Three courses are available each month with 30 days to complete the course. Those available September 1-30 are Missional Living, Leadership Theory, and Leading with Integrity. Visit ChristianLeaderLearning.com to sign up.

8. Invest in the children in your church. Girls in Action will still want to connect this fall, and you can make it happen! Consider ordering each girl her own copy of GA World and deliver to her home in a gift bag along with a GA identity item and maybe a few other fun items you know she’ll love. Then conduct a virtual lesson on a platform such as Zoom, or consider meeting outside. She will remember the kindness you have modeled! Royal Ambassadors would also appreciate a gift bag and outdoor or virtual meetings. There are all kinds of RA patches your boys will enjoy earning and identity items they would appreciate. See these resources for Royal Ambassadors and more at wmustore.com.

9. Teach children Biblical truths with Tell the Story: Bible Storying for Kids. An ideal resource for families or virtual Bible study sessions, this Bible storying kit contains a storying cloth developed by the International Mission Board; 40 Bible story sessions; and 60 different activities, games, craft ideas and memory verse activities to help kids understand God’s Word and apply it to their lives. Affirm their Bible knowledge with a Tell the Story Badge.

10. Help preschoolers understand that God loves them. Nurture preschoolers with story books such as One Little Child which shows them they can have a place in helping others as a part of God’s plan; Always Remember to Pray that teaches God wants His children to pray to Him in every situation in life; and Sometimes I Am Afraid which instills the truth that preschoolers can trust in God when they are fearful. Help them know wearing masks during this pandemic is also nothing to fear by sharing this video, “Don’t Fear the Mask.”

Additional free resources, including ideas for virtual lessons for preschoolers, children and students are available at wmu.com/covid19 or click the button below.

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