Supporting Evangelist-Missionaries as extensions of our Biblical outreach
The terms “missionary” and “missions” do not appear, as such, anywhere in the Bible. What we understand as missionary work was referred to as “evangelism.” Evangelists were considered gifts to the church (Ephesians 4:11) and in the Book of Acts we observe “evangelist-missionaries” going from population center to population center, preaching the gospel, pointing souls to Jesus Christ, discipling them, organizing them into churches, helping them designate pastors from among themselves, and then leaving them with the responsibility of completing the evangelism of their own surrounding regions.
In attempting to duplicate this New Testament pattern of missions, we desire that the missionaries who seek our endorsement and support meet the following criteria:
- Agree with the doctrinal position of this church.
- Understand and subscribe without reservation to the following New Testament pattern of missions…
- Actively and personally engaged in the salvation of lost souls.
- Discipling those new believers and organizing them into local churches.
- Training national believers to assume pastoral leadership so that the churches can achieve self-governance.
- Leaving them with a clear understanding of and commitment to their responsibility to complete the evangelism of their region. (See Acts 13:1-5; 47-49; et al)
- Regularly reporting to their sending churches (Acts 14:27).
As a general rule, we consider our missionaries to be extensions of the pastoral staff of our church. Our missionaries are ordained, local church commissioned, and minister in other countries according to the same Biblical parameters as we follow here (that is, building New Testament churches). We require that those seeking our support for missionary endeavors be adequately trained in theology and Biblical practice, and have successfully served in a local church on a pastoral staff or have completed an extensive pastoral internship in a local church.
When we do take on a missionary / evangelist we endeavor to make it well worth their while. Thus we have fewer missionaries, but we support them heavily. Our current roster of missionaries falls into two parts—missionaries we support financially, and missionaries we endorse and for whom we support through prayer.