Missions Philosophy and Expectations

Missions Philosophy

Berean Baptist Church is committed to financially partnering with men (and their spouses) who meet the qualifications of a bishop in 1st Timothy 3 and are committed to planting baptistic churches whose doctrine and objectives substantially line up with Berean’s focus, Articles of Faith, and objectives as outlined on the church’s website. Berean is also committed to financially supporting ministries whose primary focus is proclaiming the gospel and discipling converts of Christ and whose doctrine and objectives substantially line up with Berean’s focus, Articles of Faith, and objectives.

Our goal is to provide missionaries with 10% of their monthly support. Our ongoing intent is to reward those missionaries and ministries whose labor is effective with more financial support (with more monthly support). We believe it is wise stewardship to eliminate “one talent” partners in accordance with the Lord’s Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 after a period of no less than three years on the mission field. Berean refuses to measure success merely in terms of “souls saved” or “people baptized” in so much as no ministry ever truly knows who was or was not converted (1 John 2:19). Finally, Berean is not making a lifetime financial commitment to partners.

Berean supports missionaries in the following manner:

1.     Berean supports fewer missionaries than a typical church of our size. This allows us to:
a.   Focus our resources on fewer missionary families, which results in our partners spending less time on deputation, fulfilling fewer demands on furlough, and a greater probability of acquiring assistance with special projects or needs while on the field.
b.   Concentrate our prayer energies on fewer missionaries and showcase them in corporate worship, hallway displays, bulletin emphasis, and attendance/recognition at our annual missions conference and other preaching services.
c.   Create a greater sense of responsibility with our partners. Berean wants our partners to feel a strong level of spiritual accountability to their calling and purpose.

2.     Berean desires to support missionaries with our presence.
a.     Berean’s focus will be to use mission trips to visit our partners on the field.
b.     Trips will be planned annually and members will be encouraged to participate in these trips.
c.   Involvement with our partners on their field will give us a greater appreciation for their work and contribute to creating a culture in our church where more members understand missions.

3.     Berean will strive to support missionaries in proportion to the work we are doing locally; we will not:
a.   Salve our consciences by supporting disciple-making churches globally when our members are not willing to carry out the Great Commission here.
b.     Expect our partners to do overseas what we are not willing to do locally.
c.     Send money overseas to the neglect of its own mission and facilities.

Missionaries seeking to become partners should not submit requests for financial support if they are not willing to align with this mission philosophy and strive to meet the following expectations:

Expectations for Missionary Partners

1. Partners are expected to live lives that are morally and ethically above reproach in accordance with the qualifications for a bishop outlined in 1st Timothy 3. Partners guilty of moral or ethical disqualifying misconduct will have their support immediately suspended or terminated.

2. Partners must work hard as missionaries/pastors, wisely manage their time, and be about their Father’s business every day. Partners who wish to maintain their current level of support from Berean are not permitted to engage in small business activities and/or secular employment without prior approval from Berean. Berean expects its partners to effectively plan for retirement and to purchase term life insurance.

3. Partners are to preach the gospel, baptize converts, and make disciples according to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. All mercy ministries must be executed to complement and support the proclamation of the person and work of Christ and the making of disciples.

4. Church planters are expected to build their church to a sufficient size in order to no longer need financial support. Church planters in nations where foreigners cannot be in country as salaried employees of the church should expeditiously turn their church over to local nationals and subsequently plant new churches. Berean will not financially support church plants that are supporting other missionaries. We believe the pastor is the church’s first missionary. A partner agrees to notify Berean when he no longer needs monthly support because his church is able to support other missionaries.

5. Partners are expected to send accurate monthly updates with absolutely no less than quarterly updates. Partners are expected to read and respond to emails sent to them directly and to pray for Berean and its ministries.

6. Partners must remain committed to the vision, location, and objectives communicated to the church when missionary support began and communicate changes in focus, location, or objectives with Berean before the changes are acted upon. Planters who relocate to a different mission field or substantially change their methodology or objectives without communicating these changes will have their support suspended until the potential issues can be resolved.

7. Partners are expected to notify Berean of all plans to be on furlough or on leave from the mission field, and they are expected to report to Berean during furlough or ask for an exception due to extenuating circumstances or regional focus during furlough. Berean should receive priority in scheduling in accordance to the degree in which Berean supports the partner’s ministry in comparison to other churches. If Berean is a partner’s largest financial supporter, then Berean should get first priority in scheduling. We expect a Sunday visit no less than once every four years.

9. Partners must ensure that those whom they engage with the gospel are not given false assurance of salvation (eternal life) because of the articulation of a sinner’s prayer or a gospel presentation devoid of the biblical expectation to place repentant faith (trust) in the Person and Work of Christ.

10. Partners are expected to be completely transparent in matters of discouragement, depression, financial needs, and health issues without fear of immediate or heartless reduction in financial support.

Sean Harris
Pastor, BBC

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