Mission Policy of Covenant Church

Table of Contents
  1. Mission Purpose Statement
  2. Missional Commands to the Church
  3. Mission Team Structure
  4. Mission Team Duties
  5. Mission Candidates Application and Approval Process
  6. Mission Conference
  7. Mission Finance Policies and Procedures
  8. Missionary Commitments and Suggestions
  9. Miscellaneous

 

1 - Mission Purpose Statement

It is our privilege as believers to assist in missions by going, giving, praying encouraging, welcoming and sending.  We all have different gifts within the body of Christ with which to accomplish our mission.  By using our collective gifts to support missions, we fulfill our part in the Great Commission.

 

2 - Missional Commands to the Church

Go:  Matthew 28:18-20 (ASV) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

Give:  III John 6-8 (ASV) You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.  For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.  Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

 

Pray:

     For Laborers:  Matthew 9:37-38 (ASV) Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

     For Open Doors:  Colossians 4:2-4 (ASV) Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison – that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

    For the Advancement and Honor of the Word of God:  II Thessalonians 3:1-2 (ASV)  Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith.

 

Encourage:  Philippians 2:25-30 (ASV)  Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.  For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.  For indeed he was sick nigh unto death:  but God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.  I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.  Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:  because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

 

Welcome:  Acts 9:13-31 (ASV)  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon Thy name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake.”  And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming ,has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with Holy Spirit.”  And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. 

     Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”  And all those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?”  But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

     And when many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, but their plot became known to Saul.  And they were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; but his disciples took him by night , and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

     And when he had come to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.  But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.  And he was with them moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.  And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.  But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

     So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.

 

Send:  Acts 11:19-30 (ASV)  So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.  But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  And the news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch.  Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.  And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. 

     Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  And one of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world.  And this took place in the reign of Claudius.  And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.  And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

Acts 13:1-4 (ASV)  Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers:  Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

     So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

 

3 - Mission Team Structure

The Mission Team will consist of no less than seven members.  An elder from the session will serve as chairman.  The presence of four members at a meeting will be required for a quorum. 

In January of every year, appointees will be selected by the chairman, with the assent of the majority of the team and approval of the elders and deacons.  One representative of WIC and one representative of the deacons will serve on the team.  All members will serve for 2 years.  In the absence of the chairman, the deacon will serve as chairman.  The committee will appoint a secretary for record keeping and reporting on actions taken.  The team will appoint a treasurer to manage Faith Promise giving and savings for stipends and special projects.  A fund for retirement will be established through the Timothy Fund.

 

4 - Mission Team Duties

 

  1. The team will present a yearly report to the session every March to evaluate the Mission Conference, the missionaries and recommendations for the coming year as well as to submit a self-evaluation of the team's effectiveness and recommendations for improvement. 
  2. The team will meet four times yearly and call special meetings as required.
  3. The team may divide into sub-committees for projects or ministry opportunities.
  4. The team will screen all candidates for new missions and present their recommendations to the session for approval.
  5. Each team member will contact a designated number of missionaries (electronically or by mail) monthly to encourage them.
  6. The team members will pray regularly for their designated missionaries.
  7. Each team member will commit to attending the Perspective course (www.perspectives.org) and reading two books on missions yearly.
  8. Team members will agree to attend the Mission Conference during their tenure on the team.
  9. The team will present a Mission Conference speaker candidate to the session for approval every year.
  10.   The team will develop criteria for evaluating missionaries every six months and will submit that to the session for approval.
  11.   The team will educate the church on issues relevant to current events and world crises and our church's biblical responsibility respecting those issues.
  12.   The team will help with set-up, display tables, technology and hospitality related to the yearly Mission Conference.
  13.   The team will submit missionary updates and prayer requests to each Covenant Chronicle publication, and a webpage for missions will be maintained including prayer requests, projects and help needed.
  14. The team will provide our missionaries with a list of responsibilities and suggestions.

 

5 - Missionary Candidate Application and Approval Process

  1. Upon request, candidates will be sent applications for approval, and should start the process six months in advance of the planned ministry.  All candidates will be required to present their mission opportunities and qualifications in writing, including their doctrinal statements and personal testimonies.  They will interview with the Mission Team in person or electronically.  The team will then vote on each candidate or project for support and present recommendations to the session.
  2. First priorities for projects are evangelism, discipleship and church planting abroad, followed by home missions and college ministries.
  3. Special consideration will be given to projects requested by our current missionaries or new missionaries from our particular church.  Special consideration will also be given to those going to places where the battle is actively raging against the gospel, those working in unreached or unengaged areas and those training pastors in majority countries where no orthodox seminaries are present.
  4. Those who are denied support will be given the reasons for the decision in writing. Recommendations regarding any assessed deficiencies will also be communicated in writing.
  5. Missionaries who are approved for financial support will be re-evaluated by the team in six months and granted continuing support for a full year if no significant negative issues are determined.  
  6. Yearly evaluations by the team will apply to all missionaries and recommendations will be made to the session.

 

6 - Annual Mission Conference

Prerequisites for a Mission Conference speaker are five years of service in the field, general agreement with our mission statement and doctrinal agreement with our church membership statement.  The committee will meet with the candidate electronically or in person and then vote whether to recommend him to the session for approval.

 

7 - Mission Finance Policies and Procedures

All mission financing is accomplished by anonymous faith-promise giving.  Finances are allocated as follows:

                            65% - unreached or unengaged people groups

                            20% - countries other than U.S.A

                              4% - home missions within U.S.A.

                              6% - retirement allowances

                              3% - miscellaneous stipends, special needs or projects

                              2% - Mission Conference expenses

Faith-promise pledge cards will continually be available to the members of our congregation.  Elders will explain the mission support policy to our congregation on a quarterly basis.

The Mission Team will work toward equitable support based on family size, economic situations in the country being served and any other pertinent considerations.

The team will assess missionaries' needs electronically or in person through visits with the missionaries in the field or during the missionary's furlough in the U.S.A.  This would include any need for counseling for couples, individuals or teams.

A retirement fund will be established for missionaries who are members of our church.  A separate fund will be established to help with trips for special projects or unusual opportunities.  The team will provide opportunities for our young people to do summer short term mission work with our missionaries, and have the youth report to the congregation on their time spent and ministry accomplished.  A stipend fund will be established to provide for youth short term mission internships.

Endeavoring to function as good stewards of every mission dollar, the team will recommend changes in support, including support termination, hold missionaries accountable regarding their commitments to the church, evaluate all ministry opportunities and special projects and keep accurate financial records.

Missionaries whose support is removed will be given a written reason and a 3-month notice before support is discontinued.  The exception will be offenses of moral turpitude.

 

8 - Missionary Commitments and Suggestions

Missionaries supported by Covenant Church PCA are encouraged to do the following:

  1. 1Send to the Mission Team a monthly report that includes prayer requests, needs, special projects, contacts with unbelievers, professions of faith, discipleship training, literature distribution, Bible studies conducted, messages preached, etc.
  2. Communicate to the team their life-style regarding family devotions, planned family activities, couple date night, personal Bible study and fellowship with other believers on a consistent basis.
  3. Inform the team if applicable, of any writing projects (books, tracts, devotionals, etc.) that they are working on or have completed.
  4. On a yearly basis, send to the team their updated long and short term goals for ministry (one year             and five year plan).
  5. Notify the team of any building or community projects (i.e. wells, agriculture, etc.) that they have             started or completed.
  6. Consider attending a marriage seminar when home on furlough.
  7. Consider attending the Perspective course (www.perspectives.org)before going to the field or on their next furlough.  Covenant Church PCA will cover the seminar fee.
  8. Provide ministry opportunities for Covenant Church PCA youth to participate in for one or two weeks during the summer, two or more students at a time.  The students will be responsible for their own air fare and expenses.  The church will provide a stipend to the missionaries for their participation in this program of building future missionaries.  Students will sign a contract to uphold biblical standards, and customs and laws of the country in which they work.  The students will participate in household duties and attend all worship services and activities the missionaries require.  The committee will develop criteria and any prerequisites for student candidates.
  9. All missionaries will be provided opportunities to present their ministries in person or electronically at Covenant Church PCA's annual  Mission Conference.  Display tables will be available for every missionary attending in person.
  10. Each missionary should attend a Covenant Church PCA Mission Conference at least once every five years and give a live presentation of his/her ministry.

9 - Miscellaneous

Missionary letters may be posted on Covenant Church PCA's missions website.

Questions, suggestions or clarifications about Covenant Church PCA's missions policies are welcome.

Our electronic board is available to our missionaries to submit suggestions or ideas which will be evaluated quarterly by our Mission Team.

Private questions will be answered confidentially and promptly, including counseling advice or suggestions.