Missions Principles and Policies
We believe that our God desires to be glorified by all His creation as the only True and Living God, and that it is the chief end of man to do so. The Great Commission is God’s mandated authority and responsibility to declare His glory and His grace to the people of every nation, tribe and language (Isaiah 45:6, Malachi 1:11, Revelation 5:9).
We believe that missions is primarily a ministry of purposeful evangelism, discipleship and church planting in an unreached culture other than our own. The ultimate goal being to establish local churches that are indigenous, independent, self-supporting and effectively impacting their culture with the gospel of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 13:1-3, Romans 10:14-17).
We believe that every born-again child of God has been given a personal mandate from Jesus Christ to share the gospel with every creature and to make disciples and, therefore, should be personally and prayerfully involved in the missions endeavors of his or her local church (Matthew 28:19-20).
We believe that Faith Promise Giving is the biblical model of prayerfully and financially partnering in missions that empowers each individual to personally embrace his or her missions responsibility and privilege after prayerfully seeking the Lord’s will in the matter (2 Corinthians 8-9, Philippians 4:10-19).
We believe a missionary must meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor as set forth in Acts 20:28-35, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, and 1 Peter 5; however, we acknowledge that there are also support ministries that are not necessarily pastoral in function, and are open to godly individuals who may not qualify to serve as a pastor.
First Baptist Church commits to be more than a benevolent contributor to missions, but seeks to be an active partner in all missionary endeavors. Prayer and financial support are essential elements, but we seek to also conduct regular visits to the mission fields we support as well as actively encourage short-term or long-term participation from our members.
First Baptist Church commits to budget our faith-promise missions income for both support of on-field missionaries as well as funds to assist local church members to go to the mission field for short-term support and assistance. Missionaries sent directly from our own church will receive priority attention and commitment.
First Baptist Church will seek to work in cooperation with sister churches of like faith and practice by giving priority consideration and support to candidates from our local congregations.
The annual total of Faith Promise Commitments received will be used to determine the annual missions budget presented. Our commitment for individual financial support will be for a five-year period, which will then be reviewed and may be renewed for additional five-year periods. Support will be evaluated on an individual basis using the “financial support matrix” established by the pastor and deacons.
We expect our missionaries to submit a monthly report to their supporting churches and keep them informed of the progress of the ministry, the problems being encountered, personal needs and prayer requests as well as blessings received. This report may be in writing or by voice communication. Each missionary supported must report in person, by phone or Skype or be visited on the field by a representative of first Baptist Church at least once every 5 years. We also commit to regular, personal communication and will endeavor to keep our missionary partners informed of the events and issues of our local ministry, prayer requests and praises. This will be done through the ministry of active missionary care groups, Facebook or other social media, Skype or e-mail or other technology that becomes available.
Any individual seeking support must be first commissioned (or ordained) and sent by his home church. He must evidence that he has been spiritually equipped, properly trained and prepared for the work of the ministry and must give an adequate testimony of his personal call to missions and burden for his specific field of ministry. We will not consider a candidate for support who does not have the support and blessing of his home church and pastor. Should the sending church revoke its commission or ordination at any time during the missionary’s term of service, support will be suspended until a careful consideration of the circumstances can be conducted and a decision by the church to continue support has been reached. In any case, the missionary in question must be re-commissioned or ordained by another church of like faith and practice.
The missionary must develop and work towards an exit strategy whereby leadership is effectively transferred to an indigenous pastor or leader. Leadership training and personal discipleship is of paramount importance. If, after a reasonable amount of time, no visible evidence of progress is observed, the missionary should consider relocating to another community or field of ministry or we may reevaluate continued support. We recognize that not every field can be evaluated the same.
In the event a missionary changes mission boards or fields of service, or changes any of his doctrinal or personal convictions, First Baptist Church must be notified. We reserve the right to amend or drop our support of the missionary in such instances.
We must acknowledge that the doctrinal positions of each missionary considered for support are compatible with the doctrinal positions of First Baptist Church. We must be informed in writing of any changes in doctrinal position.
First Baptist Church supports missionaries in the following areas:
- Dominican Republic
- Northern Africa
- Puerto Rico
- Republic of Palau
- South Africa