How to send a short term missionary
Commission your team the Sunday prior to the team’s departure. A commissioning service is an important time for both a missionary and his or her sending church. Not only does it reaffirm their commitments to each other, it provides a time to rejoice and give thanks together before the missionary leaves for the field. Commissioning services can be held as part of a regular church service or as a stand-alone event.
A “charge” is to a commissioning service what vows are to a wedding. This part of a commissioning service is usually administered by the senior pastor, an elder or missions leader, and should highlight God’s call on the missionary’s life and affirm that the church stands behind them. It’s a time for the missionary to commit to faithfully serve the Lord, share the gospel, and act as an extension of the church abroad. This part of the service is a great opportunity to have the elders, advocate team and/or congregation pray over the missionary – a meaningful practice laid out by the early church (Acts 13:1-3). The charge is also for the church, and is a time for the congregation to commit to continually support and pray for the missionary and help in any way it can.
Be sure to encourage them to invite their family and friends to the event. It is a milestone for them and for those who have supported them during the journey to that brought them to this very day.
Get Creative! Churches have printed out prayer bookmarks with a photo of the team members, prayer points and travel dates to stick in their Bibles to remember the team members while they are gone. Others have hosted a coffee or lunch for the team members or facilitated a time of prayer, prophesy and encouragement.
There are many resources online for creating a meaningful commissioning, but we are also here to help!
Send your missionaries! As your mission team travels you can send them off in many impactful ways including:
A call from the pastor or leader
Create gift bags of must haves for the flight (ear plugs, mints, snacks, etc.). We have often seen these simple things placed in a ziplock bag. Simple touches go very far for your short term missionary!
Offer rides to the airport for your mission team
Send the mission team with gifts for the local hosts. Again, something simple goes a long way. Consider sending a pen, mug or t-shirt from your church as a thank you for hosting your missionaries.