Several groups are hosting an event to introduce people to missionary service, whether serving as missionaries themselves or to help support missionaries.
For people wanting to learn more on those topics, there are lots of resources.
The first is to check with your denomination. If it has a missions board or other educational or support groups, lots of materials will be available. These often include prayer lists of people serving through the denomination; descriptions of the work being done; job opportunities; stories, handouts and games to use in teaching about missions and much more.
There are also missions-sending groups, such as New Tribes Mission, usa.ntm.org, and Global Frontier Missions, globalfrontiermissions.org, who are not denomination based. They also have materials. Check the internet to find contact information for these types of materials.
In the world of books, here are a handful I have found useful. Some are still in print or have updated versions. Some are out of print but used copies are available very cheaply:
“A Mind for Missions” by Paul Borthwick
This book published by NavPress is an excellent tool for individuals, families or groups to learn about missions.
Borthwick uses 10 building blocks to help people become more concerned with the world around them. The actions are simple. Start with knowing Scripture. Then learn what is going on in the world. Have small firsthand experiences, such as eating food from another culture, visiting a foreign place, etc. He suggests meeting missionaries. After these building blocks, he suggests some lifestyle changes to help people live with a missions mindset.
“Missions in the Twenty-First Century: Getting Your Church into the Game” by Tom Telford
Written with a baseball theme by an umpire who worked in the major leagues during a strike, this book builds similar to “A Mind for Missions.”
It uses a series of actions to help churches train people for missions work and support. It lists mistakes to avoid. It talks about early training and about recruiting people. The book offers advice on holding missions conferences and on how to help keep people in the mission field healthy as well as how to work with other cultures.
“Operation World” by Patrick Johnstone
This is a resource that is updated on a regular basis. It is essentially a daily, alphabetical prayer guide by country. It lists geographic and demographic information about the country along with a list of specific needs for the country. It is also a website, operationworld.org, which offers the information online, sells its products in several forms including book and DVD, and has other resources. It has background resources and ways to get involved. All in all, the organization offers a wealth of missions-minded information.
“Understanding Christian Missions” by J. Herbert Kane
This is a college textbook, so it’s not for everybody. But if you are seeking an in-depth look at what missions is about, try this one. It considers theology, history and the roles of both culture and politics in missions work.
“The Biblical Basis of Missions” by Avery Willis Jr.
People who went to Baptist colleges or seminaries in the 1980s are very familiar with this book, which takes Jesus’ last instruction to his followers to make disciples and encourages people today to do the same, so that in turn, those disciples in can make more disciples. The book is available online.