Part of the Engage the Hui series.
After 30 days of prayer for the Hui, if your church chooses to pursue engaging the Hui with the Gospel, it will be important to form a Hui Advocacy Team. There are a few reasons for this. One, your church staff already has many responsibilities and even if they have a missions pastor, coordinating all aspects of engaging the Hui would be overwhelming. Second, it is important to have continuity between trips. Each short-term trip will be composed of different people, but it is important that a few people form a core to provide training for each team, communicate with field leadership and recruit teams to go. Third, it is necessary for someone (or a couple of people) to take ownership of developing a prayer strategy for the Hui in your local fellowship. Let’s consider this team’s mission, responsibilities, and initial plan of action.
Hui Advocacy Team Mission
Facilitate Insert Church Name engagement of the Hui by serving as the link between Insert Church Name and field leadership. Furthermore, they will guide Insert Church Name through developing a church-planting and prayer strategy for the adopted Hui population segment and then facilitate implementation of the plan.
Hui Advocacy Team Member’s Responsibilities (Recommend 3-4 people)
1. Church-Planting Strategy Development and Implementation
One individual will serve as the link between the field and church in developing and implementing a strategy for engaging the adopted Hui population segment with the Gospel. This will include regularly (does not necessarily have to be yearly, but that would help) taking trips to the adopted area and overseeing the planning, orientation, and debriefing for short-term trips to the adopted area.
2. Prayer Strategy Development and Implementation
One individual will serve as the link between the field and church in developing and implementing a strategy for intentional prayer by Insert Church Name for their adopted Hui population segment. This will include monthly prayer updates, days of prayer and fasting, months of prayer, prayer walking trips, etc.
3. Church Staff Member
One individual will serve as the link between the Hui Advocacy Team and the church staff to ensure that the church vision and Hui-engagement vision remain aligned. It is important for the church as a whole body of believers to own their vision and work among the Hui, not just a small group within the faith family. The staff member’s role is to ensure that the work of Insert Church Name among the Hui receives proper support from the church staff.
Hui Advocacy Team Initial Plan of Action
1. Attend a Hui Summit
It will be important for the whole team to attend a 2-3 day summit about Hui culture and history as well as learn how to engage the Hui with the Gospel. These summits will be opportunities for field workers to connect directly with advocacy teams to help each team begin developing a plan of action for their specific church and adopted population segment (a future post will discuss in more detail Hui summits).
2. Schedule and attend a vision trip.
It will be very helpful for the whole team to go together. The trip is probably best planned after a summit, but it is possible to go on a vision trip first. The vision trip is an opportunity to fly to Asia and meet with the field partners among the Hui. There will be a couple of days of orientation, but mostly this is time to get out and visit a few possible areas for that team’s faith family to adopt.
3. Select a Hui population segment to adopt.
After the trip, the team will report their findings to the church and share what they have learned, as well as recommend a specific Hui population segment for adoption by that faith family.
4. Lead the church in covenanting with field partners to adopt the Hui population segment.
Field partners in coordination with the Hui Advocacy Team will develop a covenant that will specify the responsibilities of the church and the responsibilities of the field partners in engaging the Hui population segment. The covenant will be for a minimum of five years (a future post will discuss this partnership covenant).
5. Lead the church in developing a prayer and church-planting strategy for the adopted Hui population segment.
This should include discussions not only with field partners, but hopefully also with church staff members, as well as lay leadership like elders and/or deacons.
6. Lead the church in implementing the prayer and church-planting strategy.
Regular trips should begin, as should intentional prayer for the Hui people in the adopted population segment. It will be important for the Hui Advocacy Team to provide continuity between each short-term trip as well as ensure that the work being done is advancing the Gospel among the Hui.
Please do not feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a Hui Advocacy Team or think that your faith family is not capable of forming a team and engaging the Hui. We want to help churches of all sizes to intentionally engage the Hui, so we do not have one model or plan that we are asking each faith family to use. We intend to help each church develop an engagement strategy that fits the size, skills and giftings of that specific faith family.
If you are a smaller faith family and are interested in partnering us, please contact us. No church is too small. There are also some other steps you can take to make the burden a little lighter on your faith family. For example, you could recruit one or two other churches to form a Hui Advocacy Team with your local church and then adopt a population segment together. Another option would be to encourage a local association of churches to commit together to engage a specific population segment. The Hui Advocacy Team then could be formed on an associational level and include a representative from each faith family. Be creative as you consider your options!
Note to individuals and families preparing to go…
If you are currently in the process of preparing to move to live among the Hui, consider how a Hui Advocacy Team might benefit your work. There are many benefits to having individuals and faith families back in the States who are not only intentional about praying for you, but also who are intentional about promoting your work to others and participating in/recruiting for short-term trips to help you. At the very least, I challenge you to find a prayer advocate in each of your supporting churches who will intentionally keep the prayer requests of your ministry among the Hui before that local faith family.
Prayer Advocate Potential Responsibilities:
- Mention your ministry’s prayer requests during prayer meetings or during Sunday school or small group meetings.
- Recruit more prayer supporters for your ministry.
- Organize days of prayer and fasting and/or a month of prayer for the Hui in that local faith family.
- Organize prayer-walking teams to come and pray in your target area.
Besides having a prayer advocate, it can also be beneficial to have a church partnership advocate. This individual’s role is to help keep you and your ministry among the Hui connected to a church partner. Staff members, and even church members, come and go over the years. The longer you are overseas the easier it is for you to slowly become disconnected from one of your partner churches. Finding a church partnership advocate is a great way to protect against this potential problem. This individual will also be able to help recruit and prepare short-term teams.
Church Partnership Advocate Responsibilities:
- Communicate regularly with staff members and provide updates about your ongoing work among the Hui as well as pass along any requests or questions the staff may have for you.
- Visit Sunday school classes or small groups to keep them updated on your work among the Hui (possibly in coordination with the prayer advocate).
- Set up video calls between you and a Sunday school class, small group or even the whole faith family.
- Visit you regularly by leading short-term teams to come help with your work among the Hui.
- Recruit and provide orientation and debriefing for short-term teams that come work with you.
- Organize care packages to be sent to you and your team members.
Note to supporters…
If you are reading this and wondering how you, your small group/Sunday school class, or church can better support your field partners, please consider any of the options above. Field partners would be thrilled to hear that someone or a church partner is taking the initiative to help them by finding a prayer advocate and/or a church partner advocate. If you want to go even further, I am sure the field partner would be excited to consider the future ministry possibilities that would be available if your local faith family began organizing a Hui Advocacy Team. Use this post as a guide, but be creative and mold your advocacy to fit your skills and giftings.
- Pray that field workers among the Hui will each find 50 new prayer partners during the next year.
- Pray that God will call some prayer partners to take on some more responsibility and seek more prayer partners for the field workers and/or people group in their area of influence.
- Pray that many churches will form Hui advocacy teams during the next year that will lead their engagement of Hui unengaged, unreached population segments.
Written by Dirk Dubose (pseudonym). Dirk Dubose and his family live among the Hui where they seek to shine for Jesus.