Nazarene Missions International (NMI) monthly emphases

Calendar of Nazarene missions monthly themes

This is the traditional list of monthly emphases used for years by Nazarene Missions International groups. The list was formed with USA calendars in mind. The list does not easily "fit" the calendars of holidays and events used in many other countries. So, it is not promoted on a global scale. It is presented here to help USA and Canadian groups keep something about world missions in front of congregations each month.

Promoting world missions month by month

January      |      February      |      March      |      April      |      May      |      June     |      July      |      August      |      September      |      October      |      November      |      December

To fulfill its purpose and reach its stated objectives, Nazarene Missions International used to heavily promoted a different theme or ministry each month of the year

Having a different focus every month keeps global missions promotion fresh. It reminds people that world evangelism has many different aspects to it. People's attention is caught by different things. Thus, rotating through a variety of world evangelism activities during the year offers a chance to get more people on board with your church's commitment to be involved in ends-of-the earth outreach as well as local near-neighbor evangelism.

"Pastors and other local church leaders need to do a better job of helping the congregation understand that reaching the nations is not optional. It is a fundamental calling that God has given all Christians." -- Jennifer Bergland, Nazarene Bible College student

Ideas by Bev Borbe, past NMI global president

January - Volunteer ministries emphasis

Play a quiz game "What's My Job?" Get several people who are willing to pretend to have different occupations such as teaching English as a Second Language, one of the construction trades, various medical professions, IT technicians, Bible college instructor, broadcast studio technicians, agriculturalist and so on.

Divide the audience into two teams. Let teams take turns asking a question of the person about his/her occupation. But they cannot ask what their job is until they think they know the answer. If they guess wrong, the other team wins the point. After each occupation is guessed, the leader mentions that Nazarene volunteers in that particular occupation may be serving in short- term mission service in some country of the world. Include any current information you have on short-term mission needs. [ more on Nazarene Missions Teams ]

Mission trips | What happened this month in missions history?

This is also the time that some churches take a "forgotten offering" offering to make up for one of the monthly emphasis offerings that slipped through the cracks.

February - Alabaster emphasis

Have someone build a simple, small-sized church in front of the audience. All building materials should be cut out and ready to go. As the church is being built, the leader should talk about how the Alabaster Offering has helped to build churches, houses, schools, and other buildings on mission fields around the world.

More on Alabaster    |    What happened this month in missions history?

March - Easter offering

Have several children partner together. One child in each pair should carry a large card with the words, "Marching for Missions" while the other one is distributing Easter Offering envelopes to seated worshipers. Do this for a couple of services before you receive the offering.

March is also the month for the Nazarene Global Week of Prayer

More on the World Evangelism Fund | What happened this month in missions history?

April - Global awareness emphasis

Divide your missionary lesson into four parts. Ask four people to study their part and come up with five yes/no questions on the lesson. Prepare an answer sheet with 20 blanks. Give the questions while the audience fills in the blanks. Give a prize to the one with the most right answers. Have the four people give answers to the questions.

How to mobilize local churches  |   Missions e-books  |   What happened this month in missions history?

May - Missionary medical plan emphasis

Have someone acting as a doctor examine several people. As they are examined, the doctor should say things like:

More on missionary medical plan | Order forms: Distinguished Service Award -- Memorial Roll Certificate | Missions anniversaries

June - World Mission Broadcast emphasis

Buy several large, brightly colored balloons. Attach a string and a large card to each one. The cards should read, World Mission Broadcast goes places missionaries can't go! Read one of the cards. Then, remind people that just as the wind carries balloons to many places we cannot go, so world evangelism broadcasts on television, radio, and the Internet can go to places where missionaries cannot go.

Facts to use:

Close by giving the balloons away to people who can repeat one of the facts you just read.

What happened this month in missions history?

July - International ministry, Bible schools and seminaries

Interview a couple of high school students. Ask them general questions about their school, their assignments, and their future plans. Then, ask the students how they would feel if they could not go to school because they could not afford to go, or how they would feel if they had to stay home to help earn money for the family, or if the only school in their area charged tuition and they had no money to pay. After this interchange, challenge the people with the fact that many poor students cannot afford to go to school to study for the ministry. Challenge them to give and to pray for these students. Also, challenge them to pray for their own students - those interviewed, and others.

Number of Bible colleges and students | What happened this month in missions history?

August - Links missionary emphasis

Every two years Nazarene congregations have at least one missionary family assigned to them by their district NMI leadership.

Place note paper and pencils in baskets to distribute to the audience. Give a brief update about your Links missionary family. Ask everyone to write them a note. When they are through, collect the notes and pencils. Pass out other baskets filled with a small candy treat. Mail the notes to the Links missionaries. When they respond, read the letter to your group.

more on Links missionaries | What happened this month in missions history?

September - Membership, Alabaster

  1. Make bright and colorful name tags that say, "I LOVE missions." and pin them on everyone in attendance.
  2. List all the things members can do throughout the year to help support the program. Some of your NMI members may not know what they are supposed to be doing. Challenge them to give, to pray, and to learn. Call for their involvement. Describe how they can be involved in Compassionate Ministries, Nazarene Missions Teams, and Mission Corps.
  3. Have children come in carrying a banner that says, "Future missionaries? Pray for us!" Have a prayer time for the youth and children of the church.

More on Alabaster | What happened in missions history on this date in September?

October - Mission Priority One awards; Thanksgiving offering in Canada

This emphasis used to be called "Mission Award" and before that, it was "Star Society." The emphasis gives local churches guidance in taking advantage of opportunities to do their part in fulfilling Christ's Great Commission.

  1. Scramble the letters of the phrase "Mission Priority One" and print them in large size on a chalkboard or paper.
  2. Let the audience try to figure out what the three words are.
  3. Give a prize to the person who unscrambles the words.
  4. Write the words correctly and tell people that to keep the NMI goals unscrambled and stay on a straight course to be a Mission Priority One church we must be involved in:
  5. Discuss how your church is meeting these goals.

What happened this month in missions history?

November - Thanksgiving offering in the U.S.

Have a Thanksgiving Harvest march offering to God for His bountiful provisions. Inside a wheelbarrow, place a large box of red apples. Push the wheelbarrow down the aisle of the church and place it near an offering collection plate. As each person comes by the wheelbarrow to give their offering, they take an apple. Even those who give no offering should be encouraged to take an apple.

November is also when one Sunday is used to have special prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Parable of apple pickers

What happened in November in missions history?

December -- Nazarene compassionate ministries; Thanksgiving offering in countries other than Canada and the U.S.

Challenge everyone to do one compassionate deed each week of December. This could be a phone call to a sick person, a plate of cookies to a needy shut-in, or a plastic bag of food to a homeless person on the street. Suggest a good deed for one week would be to contribute an offering to the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Fund. In January, have testimonies about the blessings received from participating in this month-long compassion emphasis.

Some mission fields ask for used greeting cards, used clothing, and sample medicines. Contact the NMI office in Kansas City for the current list of missionaries requesting such items.

End-of-the-year party - Celebrate all the emphases

At the end of the year, set up booths with displays for each one of the monthly emphases. Serve cake and refreshments. Invite the people to browse and enjoy the displays. Gather together for a short program in which each council member tells what has been accomplished through their particular emphasis throughout the year.

January      |      February      |      March      |      April      |      May      |      June     |      July      |      August      |      September      |      October      |      November      |      December

"Recently, I came across your website and have been enjoying the various helpful and interesting articles. -- Paul E., Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    -- Howard Culbertson,

You might also like these