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WMU groups form cyberspace partnership

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Looking for a way to get personally involved in missions? Want to help your church develop on-going missions opportunities? Want a tool to help your family pray specifically for a missions need? www.missionsmart.net has an answer for these questions and many more.

Originally launched June 1, 2001, www.missionsmart.net is a state WMU-initiated online resource for church and missions leaders. The founding state WMU organizations — New England, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Pennsylvania-South Jersey, and Dakotas — have been joined in their efforts by other state WMU organizations and state Baptist conventions.

National WMU has worked with the founding members to build and launch the Web site. Staff in the Birmingham office will continue to provide administrative support for the site.

During the WMU executive board, the announcement was made that the North American and International Mission boards had agreed to come on as partners. Resources from the two entities will be downloaded on the site in coming weeks.

“The idea behind MissionSmart is to provide a single point of contact for anyone interested in Christian missions education, missions mobilization and missions involvement,” according to the “Who is MissionSmart” section on the site.

“The focus is on providing individuals, small groups and churches with the tools they need to assess their missions efforts, to generate ideas and plan a balanced approach to missions, and to find the resources they need to make their missions plans successful.”

In addition to the “Who is MissionSmart,” the home page also features hot buttons for “sample plans,” “browse resources,” “join,” “member login” and “FAQs” [frequently asked questions].

Membership, which is free, has several additional benefits. Among them are assessment tools to evaluate a group’s involvement, options to create a group profile and request a consultation with an experienced missions planner and search tools to find missions involvement ideas that fit any group of any age or size.

The site also allows members to create and save customized plans on the site, enabling them to return later and retrieve, edit, update, extend and print the plan(s).

“I’m excited about the potential for MissionSmart”, said Gail Hallman, church mobilization director for the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and chair of an ad-hoc committee that helped develop the site. “Our dream was to have one Web site that would include all the resources from the entities [state and national] in one place.

“It is a tool that any individual, group or church could utilize to begin or grow their missions involvement,” she said. “It is a simple tool that can assist with finding a ministry idea for a Sunday school class or Women on Mission group and provide access to resources to help.”

“This is only the beginning,” added Ann Brack Lawrence, state WMU director for the New England Baptist Convention, “as the site continues to develop into an effective and useful missions tool.”

Both women noted the potential of the assessment tool that is included on the site.

Hallman said it would “not only help a church know what they are currently doing in missions but it will also provide ideas and information for future growth in specific areas of need or interest.

“I look forward to doing consultations with churches utilizing MissionSmart,” she said.

For more information on MissionSmart, visit www.missionsmart.net or email [email protected].
*Name changed for security concerns.

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  • Tanya Dawson*