We talk about “prefield ministry” all the time… and we realized the other day, that it’s possible not everyone knows what that means. So today, we want to fill you in on what “prefield ministry” looks like for our family.
To put it simply, prefield ministry is what we do now, intentionally preparing for moving to Togo.
It includes a lot of different components and activities:
- Communicating with our partners and friends
- Finding prayer and financial partners
- Completing assignments required by ABWE
- Praying for our teammates and future ministry in Togo
- Engaging in discipleship here in Wasilla
Of course, life never stops, so these must be completed in conjunction with day-to-day non-prefield life: my full-time job, Allen’s classes, doctor’s appointments, kids, running a home, church, preparing for baby #3, etc.
So what does that actually look like?
This is what we do daily:
- Reach out to our partners. We make it a point to contact at least a couple of our partners daily: we ask how we can pray for them this week, ask about specific events or needs in their lives, or just tell them we’re thinking about them.
- Pray for our partners. Allen and the girls pray for a different partner every day at lunch time. I keep a weekly list of specific prayer requests in my planner. And if we know something big is happening on a certain day, we make a note and pray for that, too.
- Develop content. Daily, we plan, write, or schedule content for this website, our social media accounts, and our monthly newsletter. We recognize that this is where a majority of our friends and partners get their information about what’s going on with our family, so we put in quite a bit of effort to making sure it is updated often with relevant information. We have a running list of topics that we pull from and, as special things come up, we make sure to share it here. We also check the stats for our website daily – we see how many people are looking, where they live, etc. We get a kick out of seeing what countries have had people access our site (we’re looking at you, N. Korea!).
- Check our ABWE support account. We check our account every single day. Why? If new partners have come on board, we write them a thank-you note. If we have recently shared with someone who is interested in partnership, we see if follow-up is necessary. We celebrate and thank God for every single partner who joins our team. And we mark every percentage increase on a calendar so that we can see how God is working over time.
Weekly, we always:
- Update ABWE Assignments. I update our progress on various assignments: discipleship efforts, books we’ve read, etc.
- Submit our KCT Coaching Report. Prior to our weekly meeting with our KCT Coach, we submit a report of our partnership development progress over the last week. We report on our current levels of support (both monthly commitments and our O&P account), how many times we reached out to our partners, any challenges from the week, etc.
- Meet with our KCT Coach. Every Tuesday, we have a half-hour long coaching session that helps us stay on-track with our partnership development, talk through challenges that are going on in our prefield ministry and lives, and share our action plan for the following week. Our coach, Hannah, has been instrumental in helping us keep the right focus during this time of our lives on both what we are doing now in ministry and what God has called us to in the future. We are so so thankful for her friendship and coaching!
Our monthly activities are as follows:
- Write our newsletter. The last Wednesday of every month, we publish our newsletter. This is distributed via email to about 100 people (including ABWE staff) and forwarded on from there by various churches. We also post it here on our website and on social media. Planning, writing, editing, and distributing takes several hours of dedicated time. This month we also began creating our video newsletters which are posted to our YouTube page.
- Complete reports for ABWE. Every month, we report to ABWE several things, including the number of individual, small-group, and church appointments we scheduled and held and our evangelism and discipleship effort.
- Make an Instagram Video. This is something that we mostly do for fun, to highlight a special day/event (such as World Orphan Day), or to discuss sharing at a new church. These “high caliber” videos are just another way we try to engage with our partners and friends.
- Plan a partner get-together. Every quarter, we invite our partners to our house for a little fellowship event. We share some new or developing information about our ministry, have some yummy snacks, engage in a time of prayer, and give our partners a small gift as a token of our appreciation. We hosted a dessert party in August and a brunch in November. Our next one will be in February, so keep an ear out for more information after the Holidays!
As you can hopefully see, we put a lot of effort into developing, cultivating, and maintaining relationships through regular communications and prayer.
That’s really the crux of prefield ministry: relationships.
Seeing relationships grow has been our favorite part of prefield. We LOVE having people over to our house, sharing a dessert by our cozy fireplace, sharing about the passion God has given us for Togo, and hearing the passions He has placed in their hearts, too. And we LOVE seeing where those two passions intersect in the desire to make disciples.
Discipleship takes many different forms: teaching Sunday School, leading a small group, being a stay-at-home/homeschooling parent, working in a corporate office, etc. But if the passion to make disciples is the same, we have a launch pad for a lasting relationship.
Let us know if you have any questions! Leave a comment or shoot us a message and we’ll fill in any holes that remain.