For a PDF of the information below as well as guidelines for parish to parish partnerships, visit the Companions in Mission folder in the File Repository
Vocation is “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deepest need.” Buechner
- Have you heard a call to you about a specific place/ministry?
- Has God been nudging you? (Dreams, coincidences, scripture)
- What are you passionate about?
- What pains you most?
- What connections already exist in your parish/town/family?
Prayer: Ask God to show you where you’re being called.
- Investigate the issue or locale – read, travel, talk to others
- Start networking; talk to people who are working in that Call Companions in Mission.
- Start to build a list of questions – and answers.
- Find out who else here is interested in that kind of work or part of the world.
- Establish contact with someone in that area.
Prayer: Ask God to lead you to the people and information you need, to open doors. .
- What do you need to go further?
- What gifts do you bring/ what gifts do you need?
- Who do you need to go further?
- Who are your partners in the other place? Meet with them and explore mutuality.
- How will you connect spiritually with your partners – in worship, prayer…
- What is God saying? Get people in your parish praying with you and for you and the proposed partnership/project. Don’t do this without prayer!
Prayer: Ask God to show you the gifts and resources – and ask for confirmation of this call.
- Gather a committed steering group (If possible, send some of them to the place you’re feeling called to work, to build more people-to-people connections – or bring someone to the U.S.)
- Develop mission statement, clear goals, a timeline, and budget. (Not set in stone, but something to work with)
- Develop action plans re: fundraising, publicity, team-building, mission trips, the project itself – communicate with your partners the whole way.
- Build buy-in and support in your parish – make it “our” project, not “Kate’s Project” - make presentations, write articles
- Gather a prayer-team that will intentionally keep the project in prayer and offer spiritual support, discernment and and wisdom.
Prayer: Ask God to guide your planning and to bless your plans, to bring you the resources you will need.
V. Dissemination (Spreading Seeds)
- Identify potential partners – who else might want in?
- Solicit support in the wider community – think civic organizations, corporations, media.Make presentations, write articles, send photos
- Solicit support from other churches
- Invite your congregation to think creatively about how to support the project, to invite their friends and family in (Christmas cards, dinner parties, concerts)
- Scatter broadly - use every opportunity to talk about the project/invite others into it.
Prayer: Ask God to show you fertile fields, to bless your seed sowing.
- Start putting your plans into action
- Get the business support you need to maintain accountability to partners and funders – accounting, legal advice, public relations, (letterhead?)
- Look into whether or not you need to set up a non-profit organization.
- Get your fundraising organized and rolling steadily
- Establish effective methods of communicating overseas (it’s worth spending money to help your partners get internet connections!). Be sensitive to cultural differences in communicating – notice when you’ve been obscure or offensive and talk it through
- Keep refining the plan with your partners – plan to have someone from your group visit the project at least every 6 months.
Prayer: Ask God to bless your plans, to protect your team, to multiply your offerings.