“…People are needed … In this way we have the chance to spend
more than just money in preaching God’s Word to the nations.”
A green light now shines on the avenue to lay participation in a broad range of mission related activities. At the last synod convention the delegates approved the Mission Helper Program (MHP), a program in which volunteers can assist in the work of missions. One layman and two pastors of the synod have finished writing guidelines and applications to begin this venture. The intention of the MHP is to make use of the variety of talents found among our members for foreign and home mission stations where help is needed.
The program receives no funding from the synod budget. While mission stations are encouraged to assist volunteers, volunteers will ordinarily support themselves. We are also hoping that members might be willing to fund specific projects or make special donations to the program at large. Members of a congregation or family members might be inclined to offer financial assistance to help one their own to go and complete a project in one of our missions.
Projects themselves are not narrowly defined. There are possibilities to assist both here in the US as well as overseas. If the members of a mission station find a need where they think others in the synod can help, they would complete an application requesting help. Volunteers with talents they would like to use in this special way are encouraged to fill out an application offering their services. The projects can involve mechanical or technical assistance, evangelism, or teaching help, or a combination of them all. The length of service will vary based on both the project need and volunteer availability.
What does all this mean in plain speech? We hope to put the talents of mature Christians to use in mission stations where specific talents are needed. College students on sabbatical, retirees, school teachers on break, and even “vacationing” moms and dads would be welcome participants. In smaller congregations there might be needs for VBS teachers, canvassers for an evangelism effort, plumbers, and carpenters. We might not immediately recognize how important these jobs are until we think about trying to have a Vacation Bible School with only three member families, or trying to engineer a new sewage system in swamp land.
Why would we do this? In Christ’s command to preach the gospel to the whole world, He didn’t give detailed instructions. As our mission congregations go about presenting the message of God’s grace through Christ’s life and death, a great deal of labor is involved. From hitting the streets to making sure the sidewalk is swept, people are needed to do the job. For many, giving more money is difficult; but they might have time and talents to spare. In this way we have the chance to spend more than just money in preaching God’s Word to the nations.
Would you like to help? Please contact Prof. Paul Nolting at Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire, for more information and applications.
–Pastor Leroy Dux