As a Sabbath School leader, no one knows better than you the reticence some people feel about presenting the weekly mission report. They feel that it’s boring to read it verbatim, but they don’t think they have the time or energy to make the presentation captivating, touching, and fun.
The suggestions below can help make things easier for both of you. It’s filled with ideas that are practical, creative, and easy to implement. You can share them as a resource sheet for anyone you ask to give the mission story. It will help people feel more comfortable getting involved in your Sabbath School program and help you bring mission alive in your church. You’ll need to give potential presenters the opportunity to thumb through the stories in Mission to find one that touches them personally.
- Pray. Ask God to speak through you. Then relax. God answers prayers that are intended to glorify His name and His work.
- Choose a story that interests you. Nothing perks up listeners more than hearing you present something that really touched you.
- Tell the story in a style that suits you. The stories and reports in Mission are written in several different styles: first person, third person, as interviews, or for several people to present together. But the material in any story can be presented any way you prefer.
- Get into the story. It is easy to recite the plot of a favorite television show or a great book. Take that same attitude with the mission story. Get excited about what is happening in the story, but don’t get bogged down in the details. If you can’t pronounce a name, simplify it—or change it. It’s the story that’s important, not the person’s name or the city in which it happened. But if you can give some additional information about the country or region where the story took place, so much the better.
- Practice telling the story. After you’ve read the story several times, pretend to tell it to someone. Remember, no one in the audience knows the story, so no one will know if you leave out a detail. If you choose to ask others to join you in presenting the story, practice several times. Know who will take which part, so there will be no hesitation.
- Relax! Focus on the story rather than the structure of it or the details given.
- Be creative. If you think a mission story would make a good skit, go for it. But remember, the more people you involve and the more props you create, the more time it takes and the greater the chance that something can go wrong. So keep it simple.
- Try to avoid reading the story or presenting it word for word. Make notes or highlight ideas you want to cover or words that will remind you of a particular point. Don’t even try to memorize the story, but be familiar enough with it so that you can look up frequently to engage your audience with eye contact.
- Want more information? Once you have the story down, you may want more background information about the country or the special mission project being featured.
- More inspiration. Go to www.AdventistMission.org. Click on the “Resources” menu on the right-hand side of the main page and then scroll down to Mission Quarterlies. Here you’ll find the quarterlies in PDF format plus photos of the people whose stories are told in the quarterly. Download the photo and show it during your presentation. And if that isn’t enough, check out the Children’s Mission for a few words or a song in the language of the people being featured that quarter. There’s bound to be something there to inspire you and your audience to know that mission is real, the people are real, and the needs are real.
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists