We love missionaries! As a Church, we want to help the next generation catch the passion for global missions. When a missionary shares at a Church, it can be quite a challenge for them to do a presentation that keeps a 5 year-old engaged while still speaking to the heart of a retiree. Missionaries can get stuck trying to use such a broad brush that they can’t effectively engage everyone at once. And so we are trying to develop opportunities for our missionaries to share their message in both age-specific ways as well as in multi-generational contexts.
It’s difficult to try and accomplish these goals in one hour on a Wednesday night - we simply need more time. And yet we realize that most family’s schedules are already brimming. So a pragmatic statement was made, “Everyone has to eat - why not eat dinner together?” It’s from the blending of these priorities that Meal with the Missionaries was born. By starting at 6:00pm, it nearly doubles our time together, helps simplify logistics for families, allows more space for fellowship, and gives opportunities for age-specific engagement with missionaries.
Several Wednesdays a year we will invite supported missionaries to come and present their ministry in three parts. First, during the meal-time, the missionaries will take 20-30 mins to share with adults, teens, and children an overview of how God is working in their ministry. Second, the missionary will take 30 mins to share a message directed specifically for children. Lastly, the missionaries take another 30 mins to share a message geared specifically for the Middle school and high school-age students.
Our desire is that this new opportunity will help spark a greater love for mission in the hearts of our young people, without adding additional burdens for already busy families. Our prayer is that God will stir up the next generation of young people at Maranatha who will take the Gospel to the ends of the earth!