We Can Help! Hosting Mission Coworkers
Mission co-workers - All current mission co-workers regularly visit the U.S. and are available to speak with your congregation or organization.
Other Mission Speakers - Many current World Mission staff members and former mission co-workers living in the U.S. are available to speak with your congregation or organization.
Young Adult Volunteer Alumni (YAVA) - After completing a year of international or national service, many YAVA are available to speak with local congregations and organizations.
What You Need To Know
Congratulations! You have taken the first steps in connecting with the world. Now the planning begins. Below are some frequently asked questions. When you are ready to take the next steps, contact Rachel Anderson, Program Assistant for Itineration Support, via email (Rachel.Anderson@pcusa.org) or at (800) 728-7228 ext. 5826.
What type of events should I arrange?
Be creative. Think about what your congregation likes. But also think outside your congregation. Consider your presbytery, the ecumenical churches in your area, the civic community and the community at large. Then try to be strategic. The mission co-worker is there to share, educate and connect in as many ways as possible, but not to just be “kept busy.” Put the mission co-worker to use and use him or her wisely. Some example events are:
- Sunday school and worship
- Prayer groups
- Potluck supper
- Prayer breakfast
- Bag lunch in a business area
- Presbyterian Women meeting
- Mission committee meeting
- Keynote speaker at a mission fair or presbytery meeting
- Arrange an interview with a local radio station or newspaper
- Book club
- Mission Fair
- The Jaycees or Rotary Club
- Interfaith dialogue groups
- Clergy Bible Study
- Vacation Bible School
How do I send the invitation?
You have two options. You can email Rachel Anderson at the World Mission office or contact the mission co-worker directly.
How should my congregation/ presbytery prepare for the visit?
Once you have the logistics settled, begin publicizing the event. Send out email blast to members and community friends. Invite other organizations or churches who might be interested in attending as well. Look on the mission co-worker's webpage. There you will find biographical information, a description of her or his ministry, links to blogs (if applicable) and links to letter the mission co-worker has written. Consider using the most recent letter as part of your newsletter or e-news.
Do not wait until the visit to begin praying for the mission co-worker and her or his ministry and partners. Immediately add them to your prayer group’s list. Lift them up in the weekly pastoral prayers. Ask Sunday school classes to spend a few minutes each week prior to the visit (and after) in silent centering prayer preparing their hearts to receive the message the mission co-worker will bring. Find a song in the language of that area and prepare the children’s choir to sing it as a worship introit or welcome to the mission co-worker. (Jesus Loves Me has been translated into almost every language.)
What do I do once he or she leaves?
This begins before she or he leaves. Make sure to give the mission co-worker important email and/or mailing addresses. You will begin to receive quarterly letters. Ask for specific prayer request. Consider adding the mission co-worker to your mission budget. Commit to pray for his or her work in worship at least monthly for the next year. Share your own prayer request. Send birthday and holiday cards. Start early on planning the next visit or arrange a Skype follow-up conversation for six months later.
What funding is involved in hosting a mission co-worker?
The hosting presbytery or congregation typically absorbs the travel and hosting cost of a visiting mission co-worker (detailed below). Mission committees are encouraged to include funds to host mission co-workers in their yearly budgets. This allows for as many opportunities as possible to be together – learning, growing, praying, sharing.
Cost Involved in Hosting a mission co-worker
- Airfare or mileage at 56.5 cents per mile
- Luggage fees
- Parking fees or transportation to the airport
- Food during travel and while with the host
- Transportation (airport pick-up, all transportation to events, return to the airport)
- Lodging (either with a host or in a hotel)
* Please note that no honorarium is expected, so if you usually pay a guest preacher, those funds might be available for the above cost.
My church cannot afford the cost. Are there scholarships available?
The short answer is, “Yes!” Please review the three different situations in which World Mission is able to assist with the travel cost involved in hosting a mission co-worker.
1. Just a small church? We can help!
Presbyterian World Mission is able to offer some scholarships to cover all or part of the travel expenses for mission co-workers visiting small churches. While there is some flexibility, typically this scholarship is available for churches under 100 members that are unable to cover the travel cost. The host congregation is still asked to cover all hosting costs.
2. Creating a cluster of support? We can help!
One way in which a congregation or presbytery can be part of a mission co-worker’s ministry is to introduce him or her to others. Share the good news! When four or more congregations join together to host a mission co-worker, Presbyterian World Mission will finance half the travel cost. The host is asked to cover half the travel cost and all hosting costs. (When appropriate, the Small Church Scholarship can be used to cover the second half of the cost.)
3. Meeting a mission co-worker for the first time? We can help!
From time to time congregations want to meet mission co-workers they have never met before, just to hear fresh stories of the amazing work God is doing around the world or to begin a deeper relationship with that mission co-worker. If you would like to host a mission co-worker you have not met before and need support meeting the travel costs, Presbyterian World Mission can fund up to $500 for the cost of their travel.
For more information, contact Rachel Anderson
Program Assistant, Itineration Support
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
100 Witherspoon St., Room 3414
Louisville KY 40202
(800) 728-7228 ext 5826