This column provides information and encouragement to help church mission committees promote mission within our churches. 

So, you’re taking advantage of the world of technology that surrounds you, and using an online platform to interview your overseas worker? Great! But… interviewing isn’t your strongest suit? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Here are some tips for making the most of interviewing an overseas worker online.

  1. Time zones
    Don’t forget to organise the mission interview in advance! Chances are, if you randomly call an overseas worker during your Sunday service, you’ll probably be their alarm clock. Make sure they know in advance that you’re calling.
  2. Check the technology
    It’s the bane of every person who ever led a church service. You arrive at the vital moment and someone’s forgotten to connect a cable or misplaced the church Wi-Fi password. Take a minute to do a practice run, and make sure everything is working.
  3. Know your overseas worker
    If you’ve never met the person being interviewed, contact them in advance to introduce yourself! A quick call is even better so they feel comfortable with who they’re chatting to. 
  4. Prepare your questions in advance
    Send some questions to your interviewee in advance. That way, they can give well-thought-out answers rather than answering off the cuff.
  5. Make questions specific and relevant
    The questions you ask will make or break the mission interview. Supporters want to know what’s happening in the life of your workers today. Check out their recent newsletters or chat to them in advance to find out what’s going on in their life and community. Avoid general or trivial questions like, “What’s the weather like where you are?” or “What do the national people eat?” Focus instead on questions like, “You said in your last email that you were hosting an outreach dinner in a neighbouring town. How was that received?”
  6. Ask for specific prayer points
    Make sure the worker knows you are going to ask this so they can have specific needs ready. Another idea is to request these prayer points in advance and have someone in the congregation pray for them while the worker is online.
  7. Get people on board
    Use your interviews to help promote mission in your church. Make it obvious and easy for people to sign up for newsletters, contribute financially, or find out more about overseas work. Personal stories really are the most inspiring! 

Read other tips for church mission committees here: