POLICY OF GRACE BIBLE CHURCH,
Wappingers, New York
December 8, 1996 – Updated November 27, 1998 to conform to the
SECTION A. – PURPOSE
A-1. DEFINITION OF MISSIONS :
Missions at Grace Bible
Church shall be defined as those ministries occurring throughout the world that
seek to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
Fulfilling the Great
Commission would include any of the following:
D. Church planting (Matthew 16:16-18).
E. Church leadership development (2 Timothy 2:2).
While it is recognized that the physical and social needs
of man may need to be met as part of a gospel ministry, the emphasis of missions
is upon meeting the spiritual needs of man.
A-2. PURPOSE OF MISSION POLICY
A. To help achieve a clear sense of direction.
B. To build confidence and cohesion in the total church ministry.
C. To promote thoughtful evaluation of issues and avoid making haphazard or
D. To prevent confusion, inconsistency, misunderstanding, and hurt
E. To insure better stewardship of human and financial resources.
F. To insure accountability in the missions program.
G. To define the relationship of Grace Bible Church to both the missionary
and the missions agency.
H. To inform Church members, missionaries, and agencies of the principles
by which the Missions Committee operates.
I. To help new Missions Committee members quickly familiarize themselves
with the purpose, direction and operation of the missions program of Grace
J. To help maintain consistency as Missions Committee members change.
A-3. OVERALL RESPONSIBILITIES
A. To set measurable goals by which the missions program can be evaluated.
B. To maintain regular contact with the missionaries that are supported by
Grace Bible Church.
C. To care for missionaries on furlough.
D. To educate the congregation about missions.
E. To inspire and involve the congregation in as many aspects of the
missions program as possible.
F. To increase the congregations awareness of the needs of missionaries
supported by Grace Bible Church and promote intercessory prayer for them.
G. To maintain regular meetings for the purpose of prayer for missions and
H. To identify, encourage, counsel, disciple and commend members of the
congregation for missionary service.
I. To recommend missionaries, agencies, special projects and ministries to
the congregation for support.
J. To prepare and administer the missions budget.
K. To yearly evaluate missions efforts supported by the Church and
recommend for continued, increased/decreased, or removal from support.
L. To evaluate and update the Church’s Mission Policy.
A-4. FLEXIBILITY AND REVISIONS
Exceptions to this policy may be made after appropriate counsel has been
sought and such exception(s) receive the approval of a majority of all voting
members of the Missions Committee.
All policy statements shall be re-evaluated biennially (odd years) by the
Missions Committee for the purpose of updating and revision. Such revisions
shall be subject to approval by the Elders of Grace Bible Church.
SECTION B. STRUCTURE OF THE MISSIONS
B-1. CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
A. Elder Representative.
The elder that serves as a liaison between the Elders and the Missions
Committee will be a voting member of the committee and may be an officer of
B. Voting Member of the Missions Committee.
A voting member may vote on all committee business and may be an officer
of the committee. (Members who receive financial support from the current
Mission Budget shall not vote on financial matters that may affect that
C. Non-Voting Member of the Missions Committee.
A non-voting member may not vote on committee business or hold office.
They may enter into discussion of committee business.
D. The Senior Pastor.
The Senior Pastor of the church is a member of the Missions Committee.
B-2. MANNER OF SELECTION OF MEMBERS
A. The Elder Representative shall be appointed by the Elders.
B. Voting Members shall be appointed by the Elders from among themselves
and the church membership.
C. Non-Voting members are those who demonstrate an interest in missions by
attending committee meetings.
B-3. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING MEMBERS
A. All voting members must be Active Members of Grace Bible Church.
B. All voting members must be thoroughly familiar with the Missions Policy
of Grace Bible Church.
C. All voting members must be willing to help carry out the functions of
the Missions Committee.
D. All members must demonstrate a deep interest in missions.
B-4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
All members of the Missions Committee are responsible to:
A. Attend regular committee meetings, specially called committee meetings
and meetings of any sub-committee they may serve.
B. Maintain a regular prayer life, personal Bible study, and other aspects
of growing in Christian maturity.
C. Pray for missionaries that are supported on a regular basis.
D. Maintain interest in communicating with supported missionaries.
E. Be involved in supportive fellowship of the other members of the
B-5. THE SIZE OF THE MISSIONS COMMITTEE
The number of voting members shall not exceed 15. The
number of non-voting members is not limited.
B-6. TERMS OF OFFICE
A. Voting members shall be appointed by the Elders according to the Church
Constitution, Article VI, Section M.
B. Officers of the Missions Committee shall hold their position for a term
of one year from June through May. They may succeed themselves.
C. Termination: Membership in the Missions Committee will be terminated for
failure to meet the criteria of Section B-3, "Criteria for Selecting Members."
Termination of membership may also occur for failure to fulfill the
responsibilities listed in Section B-4, "Responsibilities of Members." All
Membership terminations will be made upon the recommendation of the Missions
Committee to the Elders.
B-7. FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS
The Missions Committee will meet monthly and as needed.
Sub-committees will be formed to fulfill specific needs and meet as often as
The quorum for conducting business shall be a simple
majority of the voting members of the Missions Committee.
B-9. OFFICERS, MANNER OF SELECTION AND DUTIES.
A. The Chairman.
The Missions Committee shall select from among its members a chairman,
subject to the approval of the Elders. The Chairman will have the following
1. Preparing the agenda and presiding at all Missions Committee meetings.
2. Responsibility and oversight in developing, coordinating, and
administering the overall missions program in cooperation with the Church
staff and the overall plans for the entire church.
3. Responsibility for correspondence, contact, and coordination with
missionaries, mission agencies, and other churches. (This may be delegated to
others). Correspondence by church staff and others will be in consultation
with, and copies given to, the chairman of the Missions Committee.
4. Serve as an ex-officio member of all sub-committees
5. Submit an annual report to the Elders.
B. The Vice Chairman.
The Missions Committee shall select from among its members a vice-chairman.
The Vice-Chairman will be responsible to assist the Chairman as needed and
shall substitute for the Chairman when he is absent.
C. The Secretary.
The Missions Committee shall select from among its members a secretary. The
secretary will be responsible to record minutes of all committee meetings,
keep records of minutes, correspondence, a list of current committee members,
and a list of current Missionaries with current addresses and support levels.
D. Other Officials.
The Missions Committee shall select or the Chairman shall appoint other
officers of the committee as needed to carry out the functions of the
Other sub-committees shall be formed as needed to carry out the functions
of the Missions Committee.
B-11. CHURCH STAFF SUPPORT
The Missions Committee requests the Elders to consider the
needs and importance of this committee when considering the hiring of Associate
SECTION C. – RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE
C-1. GOAL SETTING
Goals, as contrasted with purposes, establish the specific item to be
accomplished, when, and by whom. To be true goals, they should be significant,
achievable, measurable, and manageable.
The Missions Committee will set both long and short term goals by which the
church’s missions program can be evaluated. These goals are to be reviewed
annually as to achievement and practicality.
C-2. MISSIONARIES ON THE FIELD
It will be the responsibility of the Missions Committee to take a lead role
in communicating with and caring for Missionaries who are supported by this
church who are in the field. Communication and care may be accomplished through:
A. Sending church newsletters, bulletins, tapes, etc.
B. A quarterly Missions Committee News & Prayer letter to be sent to all
C. Encouraging church groups and individuals to meet practical needs.
D. Establishing an "adopt-a-missionary" program by which various church
groups, families or individuals will become familiar with certain
E. Require that missionaries supported by Grace Bible Church send at least
3 letters per year to promote prayer and accountability.
F. Encourage people traveling near missionaries supported by Grace Bible
Church. to visit them.
C-3. MISSIONARIES ON FURLOUGH
It shall be the responsibility of the Missions Committee to take a lead role
in the care of visiting Missionaries and Grace Bible Church supported
Missionaries on furlough. The committee will help arrange for housing and other
needs of missionaries on furlough or visiting.
C-4. MISSIONS EDUCATION, INVOLVEMENT AND PRAYER CONCERNS
It will be the responsibility of the Missions Committee to educate and
inspire others in the area of world missions and to develop an increasing
awareness of the absolute necessity of, and positive results from intercessory
prayer for world evangelism and for our missionaries. These task may be
accomplished through any combination of the following:
A. Missionary Conferences and/or Mini-Conferences.
B. Bulletin inserts.
C. Display Boards.
D. Missionary Books.
E. A missions section in the church newsletter.
F. Develop and/or promote missions education within the Christian Education
G. Special presentations, prayers, announcements concerning missions from
H. Encourage interaction between missionaries and the congregation (a)
through letters or other media, (b) by visits from missionaries, and (c) by
showing hospitality – potluck dinners, receptions, home stays, etc.
I. Congregational missions projects, short and long term.
J. Missions Committee members setting an example of involvement.
K. Provide congregation with periodic updates of Missionary support levels.
L. Encourage various church groups and the whole congregation to hold
special times of prayer on behalf of missionaries.
C-5. MISSIONARY RECRUITMENT
It is the responsibility of the Missions Committee to identify, encourage,
counsel, disciple, and commend members of this congregation for missionary
service. In its recruitment efforts, the Missions Committee will:
A. Urge prayer for God to call out those who should serve in missions.
B. Promote missions education.
C. Identify those in the congregation who have committed themselves for
service, or give evidence of missionary gifts.
D. Encourage participation in and provide support as possible for
attendance of regional and national missions conferences.
E. Provide literature and other media that informs about, and motivates
for, missionary service throughout the world.
F. Encourage involvement of young people and adults in short-term and other
G. Seek to counsel and guide those considering missions.
H. Evaluate the overall Missions program and recruit missionaries according
to its priorities.
C-6. MISSIONS BUDGET PREPARATION
It will be the responsibility of the Missions Committee to prepare the annual
Missions and Missionary sections of the church budget. Preparation of the budget
will be made in accordance with Section E of this policy and upon evaluation of
each missionary or missions organization in the following areas:
A: The faithfulness of the missionary or organization (1 Cor. 4:2; Luke
C: Their continued adherence to the criteria for missionary support set
forth in Section D of this policy.
The budget proposal will then be given to the Elders for their consideration
and approval before being submitted to the congregation at the Annual Meeting.
SECTION D – MISSIONARY & MISSION AGENCY
D-1 DOCTRINAL REQUIREMENTS
Missionaries supported by and missions agencies working with Grace Bible
Church shall be in agreement with its Doctrinal Statement and shall verify
continued agreement in writing as requested. Any mental reservations shall be
considered on a case by case basis.
D-2 CRITERIA FOR MISSIONS AGENCIES
A. Independent Missionaries:
In recognition that missionaries are more effective under an established
sending agency, it is the general practice of the Missions Committee to not
support missionaries who are independent of such sponsorship and direction. A
missions agency is a benefit to both the missionary and church. Independent
missionaries will be given consideration only under special circumstances.
B. Specific Criteria for Missions Agencies:
The missions agency is seen as a very important partner with the local
church in training, evaluating, supporting, and directing the missionary. It
is important that the missionary is with an agency of high quality. Therefore,
it is the policy of this committee to support only missionaries that serve
under agencies meeting the following criteria:
1. The Missions Agency shall be in agreement with the Doctrinal Statement
of Grace Bible Church. A copy of the agencies Doctrinal Statement shall be
kept on file.
2. The Missions Agency shall be a member of the F.O.M. (Fellowship of
Missions), or the E.F.M.A. (Evangelical Foreign Missions Association), or the
I.F.M.A. (Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association), or the A.N.A.M.
(Association of North American Missions). Agencies that are not a member of
one of these associations will be given consideration only under special
circumstances. Such an agency would then be evaluated individually as to their
integrity and stability, principles and practices of operation, management,
and benefit to the missionary. Such evaluations will be based on material from
the agency, its reputation among other missions agencies, its reputation among
supporting churches, its reputation in its field of ministry, and reports by
those working with that agency.
3. The Missions Agency shall be a member of the E.C.F.A. (Evangelical
Council for Financial Accountability) or similar association. Agencies that
are not a member of such an association shall provide the Missions Committee
with a yearly audit report prepared by some independent accounting agency.
4. A list of approved agencies shall be kept by the Missions Committee.
This list will be updated and re-evaluated at least every year divisible by
five (every fifth year). (See appendix).
C. Relationship between Missions Agencies and Grace Bible
The Missions Agency is seen as a partner with the local church. This
committee expects to receive status reports and evaluations of the
missionaries it supports. This committee will cooperate fully with agencies in
evaluating missionaries and missionary candidates. This church will endeavor
to work with agencies in producing well prepared missionaries.
D-3: CRITERIA FOR MISSIONARIES
1) Career Missionary: A Career Missionary is a candidate that desires to
receive support from Grace Bible Church for a period longer than two years.
2) Short Term Missionary: A Short Term Missionary is a candidate that
desires to receive support from Grace Bible Church for a period of longer than
three months but shorter than two years.
3) Missionary Project Worker: A Missionary Project Worker is a candidate
that desires to receive support from Grace Bible Church for period of three
months or less.
B. Primary Considerations
The Primary consideration is the candidate himself and not the particular
field of service. The Missions Committee wants to be assured of the personal
integrity of the candidate; that he is acting in the will of God; that his
ministry will be fruitful; and that he is capable of handling the task to
which he is called. For this reason, this committee prefers some significant
participation in Grace Bible Church"s program before undertaking support.
It is the general policy of this committee to consider for support only
those who are serving, or expect to serve, under approved Missions Agencies
(See D-2 above). Other candidates will be given consideration only under
Consideration for support will be given in the following order of priority:
1. Those who have been active, regular members of Grace Bible Church for at
least three years prior to candidacy.
2. Those who have grown up in Grace Bible Church and were active in it, or
who had been active members for more than three years, and though are not
currently members because of marriage, schooling, job transfer, etc., have
maintained contact with Grace Bible Church.
3. Active members of less than three years.
4. Children of missionaries supported by Grace Bible Church.
5. Regular attenders who are active in church life.
6. Former members.
7. Those who have no connection with Grace Bible Church.
C. Secondary Considerations
While the candidate himself is the primary consideration, secondary
consideration will be given to the field of service. Greater priority will be
given to those candidates seeking to be involved in ministries of evangelism,
church planting, leadership training or similar work. Ministries of mercy
shall be considered if it includes evangelism. The field of service will also
be considered in how it helps to broaden the perspective of Grace Bible Church
in its world wide outreach.
All candidates must meet the following qualifications:
1. Demonstrate a consistent & strong Christian life.
2. Demonstrate a desire to participate in Missions by involvement in
similar local opportunities – i.e. evangelism, discipleship, work projects,
Short Term & Career Missionaries
must also meet the additional qualifications of:
3. Be an active member of this church or other church of like faith and
4. Demonstrated their spiritual gifts & proven their responsibility in
using those gifts.
Career Missionaries must also meet
the additional qualifications of:
5. Been involved to a significant degree in a discipling ministry.
6. Earned at least a Bible Certificate from a fundamental/evangelical Bible
School or College.
D-4: PROCEDURE FOR SELECTING NEW MISSIONARY CANDIDATES.
All candidates will go through the following steps:
1. Each candidate will submit the appropriate application to the Missions
2. The qualifications of each candidate will be initially evaluated by the
chairman of the Missions Committee and the Senior Pastor.
3. A copy of the application and a copy of the initial evaluation report
will be distributed to each member of the Missions Committee not less than two
weeks before the candidate will appear before the Missions Committee for a
4. The Missions Committee may then recommend the candidate to the Elders
along with a suggested amount of support, (or in the case of Project Workers,
recommendations on methods of raising support if other than from missions
5. The Elders may then veto, accept or modify the Mission Committee"s
recommendation. The Elders may require the Candidate to appear before it.
Short Term and Career Missionaries must also proceed
through the following steps.
6. A report on recommendation prepared by the Missions Committee and
approved by the Elders shall be sent to the congregation at least two weeks
prior to a called business meeting.
7. A candidate shall be approved for support upon receiving a positive vote
from a 3/4 majority of the church membership present at a called business
meeting. A designated representative from the Missions Committee shall be
present to answer any questions. If the candidate is available, it is
recommended that he be present.
8. If the Missions Committee considers a candidate and does not recommend
church support for the candidate, the committee shall inform the Elders of
this action along with the reasons for not recommending the candidate. The
Elders would inform the congregation as it believes is appropriate.
SECTION E – FINANCIAL POLICIES
E-1 MISSIONS BUDGET
The Missions Committee shall annually prepare Missions Budget Recommendations
based upon past budgets and future opportunities (See Section C-6). The Missions
Budget Recommendations shall be submitted to the Elders of Grace Bible Church
for their approval before being submitted for congregational approval at the
Annual Business Meeting.
E-2 AMOUNT OF SUPPORT
The amount of support given to any missionary will be based upon the criteria
given in Section D, and the need of the Missionary. It is presumed that the
Missions Agency will take into consideration factors such as size of family,
cost of living, education of children, insurance needs, retirement plans, etc.
when setting the amount of support needed. However, the Missions Committee will
oversee the agency’s provision in these areas and may provide for special needs
in these areas as they arise.
The amount of support received by a missionary will be a percentage of the
total support level needed as set by the sending agency. In keeping with the
church’s desire to be involved with its missionaries, all missionaries will
receive a minimum of 5% of the total support needed. Missions agencies may
receive any minimum amount decided by the Missions Committee. Missionaries who
have been active in the ministry of Grace Bible Church may receive up to 25% of
the total support needed. Other missionaries may receive up to 10% of the total
support needed. (This policy provision is not considered retroactive to
missionaries supported by Grace Bible Church prior to 1996).
E-3 MISSIONARY FURLOUGHS
A furlough is generally understood to be a leave of absence from field duties
after a designated time of field service has been completed. The Missions
Committee recognizes such a furlough designated by the sending agency and will
continue support throughout its duration.
The Missions Committee also recognizes the need for some missionaries to take
a study leave. A study leave is defined as a leave of absence from field duties
for the purpose of additional study in preparation for future work. While the
Missions Committee considers continuing education to be a responsibility of the
sending agency, it will continue to support missionaries on study leave up to
one year. Study leaves of longer duration will be considered on an individual
E-4 MISSIONARY RETIREMENT
It is expected that the Missions Agency will provide a retirement program for
its missionaries. However, support may be considered for those who retire from
missionary service because of age or ill health. Each case will be considered
individually based on such factors as length of service, amount of support from
Grace Bible Church, sources of other income, and financial need.
E-5 REQUIREMENTS OF MISSIONARIES
Grace Bible Church supported missionaries may not actively solicit
additional support from individuals or groups in the Church. This does not
preclude information on support needs that is circulated to the missionary"s
general mailing list.
The Missions Committee expects to receive a personal letter semi-annually,
in addition to newsletters.
Grace Bible Church supported missionaries are expected to visit the Church
while on regular furlough. The missionary will meet with the Missions
Committee and report to the congregation by participation in various services
and/or small groups as directed by the committee.
E-6 WHEN SUPPORT BEGINS
Support will begin when the missionary leaves for the
field, or earlier, as determined by the Missions Committee.
E-7 WHEN SUPPORT ENDS
Support may be terminated for causes such as failure to maintain the
standards used to qualify for support (see Section D), specific incompetence,
moral problems, failure to fulfill responsibility to Grace Bible Church as
outlined in E-5, a change of assignment or agency affiliation, or full support
from other sources,
For missionaries who are in good standing, support will cease at the end of
an adjustment period of up to six months. This will allow a returning missionary
adequate time to make adjustments and find other employment. For missionaries
who are not in good standing, support will cease upon a date designated by the
Support will cease at the beginning date of a leave of absence if other than
a furlough or study leave as designated in E-3 above. Support for retiring
missionaries will end when the sending agency designates them as retired. (See
Section E-4 for exceptions).
E-8 OUTGOING EXPENSES
Grace Bible Church shall provide for a percentage of the outgoing expenses at
least equal to the percentage of support being given to the missionary.
Additional funds may be provided as directed by the Missions Committee.
E-9 EVALUATION AND REVISION OF SUPPORT
Missionaries and Missions Agencies will be evaluated yearly according to
Section C-6. It is desired that as funds are available a minimum of a cost of
living adjustment (indexed to the field of service) be given to all
missionaries. Any increase or decrease in support will be based on the criteria
given in Section C-6.
E-10 MISSIONARIES LACKING ADEQUATE SUPPORT
If a missionary supported by Grace Bible Church lacks
adequate support, the Missions Committee will:
A. Alert the congregation to pray for this need.
B. Evaluate the possibility of increasing regular support or give a
one-time extra contribution.
C. Commend the missionary to other churches for support consideration, if
the committee and the missionary considers this advisable.
E-11 STUDENTS PREPARING FOR MISSIONS
The Missions Committee may provide for funds to be used to aid college
students who are preparing for missionary service. Such students would have to
meet the requirements for short term missionaries (Section D-4). Aid would be
given in the form of a scholarship to offset expenses of tuition, books and
fees. The amount of a scholarship would be evaluated on a semester by semester
E-12 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NATIONALS
A scholarship for a national student to study for the
ministry may be considered under the following conditions.
A. The student is recommended to the course of study by his home church.
B. If the student studies abroad, the student purposes to return to his
C. The student is recommended by missionaries that know him.
E-13 MISSIONS PROJECT WORKERS
Missions project workers approved under Section D-4 shall raise funds as
directed by the Missions Committee. The committee may grant up to 1/2 of the
funds needed by the project worker from the Missions Budget.
Missionary speakers will be paid an honorarium from the missions budget,
and/or a special offering will be collected from the congregation. The amount of
an honorarium given will be in accordance with the general church policy on
honoriums, plus expenses. The missionary may not appeal to the congregation for
funds unless given specific permission from the Missions Committee.
E-15 SPECIAL PROJECTS AND NEEDS
The Missions Committee may from time to time present special projects or
needs, above the budget, to the Church and encourage giving to them, both for
the benefit of the project or need and as a means of missions education. Such
special projects or needs will be submitted to the Elders for approval. Special
projects or needs may also be funded by bequests or large one-time gifts.
E-16 FUNDS SHORTAGE POLICY
Should a shortage of funds occur, the Missions Committee
A. Not approve any new projects.
B. Unite the congregation in prayer concerning the situation.
C. Appeal for the needed funds as appropriate.
D. Evaluate all missions expenditures and reduce or discontinue support for
those things considered non-essential.
E. Reduce or discontinue support to Missions Agencies.
F. Re-evaluate all missionaries according to Section C-6 and reduce support
levels as appropriate.
E-17 FUNDS SURPLUS POLICY
Funds from the annual missions budget that are not used by the end of the
fiscal year are to be placed in the Discretionary Fund and then distributed as a
special gift to supported Missionaries or projects as needed. Any designated
funds or funds for special projects will be held over to be used on those
E-18 DISCRETIONARY/EMERGENCY FUND
A portion of the annual missions budget shall be designated for discretionary
and emergency purposes. Special gifts may also be designated to this fund.
Expenditure of such funds will at the discretion of the Missions Committee.
E-19 MISSIONS COMMITTEE EXPENSES
Any administrative costs incurred by the Missions Committee (i.e. Church
Staff time, etc.) will be part of the general budget and not the Missions
Budget. Other expenses such as missions education, missions conference expenses,
travel expenses in visiting missionaries on the field, etc. shall be part of the
A. Missions Education:
Includes purchase of books, tapes, etc. that will help educate the
congregation on missions.
B. Missions Conference Expenses.
At the discretion of the Missions Committee, designated members of the
committee may be sent to missions conferences with a portion of or all
conference fees paid by the committee.
C. Visiting Missionaries in the Field.
The Missions Committee may designate a member(s) of the committee to visit
missionaries supported by Grace Bible Church on the field. It may at its
discretion pay a portion of or all travel expenses incurred.
D. Representation on Outside Boards and Committees.
If a member of the Missions Committee also serves on the an approved
Missions Agency (see Section D-2), and that agency does not reimburse its
Board members for expenses, the Missions Committee may at its discretion pay a
portion of or all expenses incurred.
E-20 DESIGNATED AND UNDESIGNATED GIFTS
Gifts designated for use in approved missions work will be forwarded directly
as designated. Gifts designated to unapproved missions work will be returned to
the donor if possible, if not possible, these funds will be used to fund
approved special missions projects as decided by the missions committee. Gifts
designated to missions, but not specifically designated to a missionary,
missions agency, or missions project will be treated as a general gift to the
unified budget of Grace Bible Church. It should be noted however, that some
designated gifts may not qualify for a donor tax deduction.