Newsletter Ideas for People Working Overseas

Newsletter Ideas For Overseas Workers

You are on the hunt for something fresh… newsletter ideas to get you in the writing mood.

You know it is time to send out your next newsletter but you just aren’t sure what to say.

You wait another month. And then another.

And pretty soon, it has been ages since you’ve last communicated with your support base.

Or, you send out newsletters regularly but no one opens them. No one responds to them.

Not only do you spend hours trying to get yourself to actually write the newsletter, when you do start writing, out flows this amazing, deep, full-of-numbers, picture-packed, newsy ebook that even your mom thinks is too long.

You probably spent a whole day designing the colors and the fonts and editing your pictures to be just so.

Only to have it go unread by the hundreds of people you’ve sent it to.

So why do it? Why should we send out newsletters?

I’ve been asked a few times recently for my thoughts on writing newsletters.

“We desperately want to write newsletters that people will excitedly read and not cast aside because they’re long and boring.” – new blog reader

Newsletter Ideas for People Working Overseas

Newsletters are important. Churches and supporters need a connection with you.

They need a real, boots on the ground picture of missions in far away places and countries. They want real life stories about what God is doing in unknown cities and villages.

These missions newsletters matter.

One of the main reasons this blog exists is because we believe that with a better understanding of missionary life, people will better know how to pray, give and support missionaries around the world.

We believe that the story of missions is valuable and worth telling.

We believe that life behind the prayer card is vital to keeping the church engaged in missions.

With the powerful tools of social media at our finger tips, we can engage the church back home in ways generations before us only dreamed of.

Missions and overseas workers need newsletter ideas to stay creative, fresh and purposeful.

We need to think outside the box of what that could and should look like.

As my friend Jeni tells her BizMavens, “People don’t wake up thinking about how many amazing newsletters they can read that day. They wake up with a worry, a problem, a fear, a feeling, an issue, or a question. How can your email be the answer to the problem they wake up thinking about?”

And in our lingo… missions pastors or coordinators don’t wake up wishing more missionaries would send them super long, newsy newsletters that they can’t possibly keep up with.

They want to connect. With you. With your family. With your ministry.

They want to know how to pray.

They want to know how to help.

They want a tidbit to share with their church or committee. A snapshot of your life. That’s it.

Your newsletter connects them to life and work overseas. Are you doing that?

I’m constantly working on ways to keep things new and fresh for our newsletters. I don’t always hit the mark.

But each newsletter is an opportunity to try.

Newsletter Ideas for People Working Overseas

I’m always asking myself, “Am I writing in a way that is easy to read and quick to understand?”

Newsletter Ideas

1} Check out ALL the different ways of sending a newsletter. There are services like Mailchimp, MadMimi, or ConvertKit that can help you easily design a simple newsletter layout, keep track of your email address lists and provide tips for sending newsletters. {You can see some comparisons here.} They can help you set up a system that will increase your open rates and make it easy for your newsletter list to connect with you. If you’d like to send out a physical mailing, sites like Vistaprint will print and mail your newsletter for you. Even a simple postcard can make a great newsletter option for connecting with your support base.

**I’m currently using MailerLite and really loving the easy layouts, features and open rates. Click this link to give it a try {aff link}

2} Choose your design and keep it simple. Read this post for how to design a beautiful missionary newsletter. She really says it all! Need design help? Try Canva. You’ll fall in love.

3} Start writing and keep it simple. Do not write an ebook. Do not overwhelm your support team with 3 months worth of stories, pictures, happenings, events, requests and needs. They will not read it. Think simple. And then simplify it again.

13 Types of Missionary Newsletters You Should Stop Writing– A Life Overseas blog

5 Tips for Newsletter Writing– Velvet Ashes

4} Get creative and change things up. Is your email subject line catchy? Is your story engaging? Do you have a top ten this or that? Have you listed all the bugs you saw this week? Or the creatures that find their way inside your house? Or the interesting modes of transportation in your country? Do you have a funny moment at the grocery store? Have you used these clickbait newsletter ideas yet? Have you googled “newsletter ideas” for some fresh tips? Support teams are hungry for real missionary life. Show them a glimpse into your day-to-day in a creative way. Change up your normal and surprise them with new details.

5} Write in your own voice. You can find all the newsletter ideas in the world through google. But if they aren’t in your voice, said in your way, told in your personality… your support base will know. They will see through it. Be yourself. Let your newsletter take on your humor, your laugh, your tears, your words, your thoughts. Be original, be honest and be true to you. For churches and pastors and families to really know you, this is a must.

My good friend Amy Young has written books about newsletters. Books that are must-read resources for learning how to write a good newsletter, writing in your own voice, getting creative with your newsletter ideas and more. Get her books. Read them. Share them. Especially this one:

6} Offer value. This is so important for the continued conversation about missions in churches and with pastors. What in your newsletter is of value to this conversation? A quick video greeting or promo that a pastor could play on a Sunday. A printable coloring page for children’s pastors to print and use with their missions lesson. I know what you are thinking… time, time, time. Yes. But the effort is WORTH it. A missions devotional they could play, print or email out. A prayer card. A blog post that makes them think. When a pastor knows they can open your newsletter and find something to help with missions, amazing. That is how we can support, help and resource our support team in a practical, real way. A way that will continue to sustain this missions partnership.

Can you tell which newsletters have offered value by the subject line?

7} Extend an invitation to connect. Encourage ways to connect by praying. Connect by giving. Connect by hitting reply and saying hello. Connect through facebook or instagram. Make sure your newsletter expresses more than just a one time update. Show them how to engage with missions in your context on a regular basis. This helps build relationship, broaden the story and truly build a partnership. Invite them to be a part of your life. And then show up. Be there. Utilize the tools available to you for connecting. More than just prayer requests. More than just Bible verses or quotes. But real life, actual pictures, stories and moments of overseas life. In real time.

Simple Social Media Tips for Beginners

How to Communicate with Overseas Workers

8} Ask questions about your newsletter.

  • Is it simple?
  • Is it quick and easy to read?
  • Does it need a 3rd, 4th or 5th read through or edit?
  • Is it concise?
  • Is the layout clear?
  • Does it answer the questions of your support base?
  • Is there anything you can take out?
  • Does it offer value?
  • Is there a clear way to respond?

9} Pray over every word. Whether it is on instagram or by email or a forwarded tweet… pray. Pray that God will speak through you to shine a light on missions in a new way that connects deeply with supporters. Pray that God will call others to missions work. Pray that eyes will be opened to new things happening around the world. Pray that people will be burdened with the unfinished task of the Great Commission. And any word that doesn’t line up, don’t write it. Our world is loud. It is chaotic. It is argumentative. There are enough buttons pushed via social media on any given day that you don’t need to add to it. Pray over every word. Let each word be uplifting and purposeful.

Now for those of you who are still thinking this all sounds complicated, difficult and too techy… stop.

Get help. Because you can do it!

We have a mandate to tell the story. Our story. HIS story.

Let’s use the tools available to us and tell it well.

What are some of your favorite newsletter ideas?

What have you found helpful for connecting to your support base through  newsletters?

Specific questions? Send me an email via the contact button above! I’d love to chat.


  1. Thank you! Saving this to read again in a few months. Right now we’re with an org that designs and sends out our newsletters for us (on our dime, of course), and will soon be switching to one that does nothing. Eek! It’ll be a steep learning curve, but this tips will be super helpful! Any other services especially for people in our line of work that don’t charge an arm and a leg?

    1. Mailchimp would be a good place to start for free. It is very easy to design your newsletter and build your newsletter list. Also, canva is free and helpful for graphics and things. Keep me posted if you have specific questions when you get started!

  2. YES! Thank you for this!! So many great resources for me to check out as I launch into using Mailchimp and search for ideas to get more people opening and reading my newsletters!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *