XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Missions Policy from Northwest Bible Church of Dallas, Texas.
Purpose and Strategy
1. Missions Commitment
Northwest Bible Church is committed to the worship of God, the equipping of the saints for effective life and service, and evangelizing the lost. God desires the local church to be the primary means for sending people to proclaim the saving message of Jesus Christ to wherever people inhabit the earth. In its desire to obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and further the work of the Gospel, Northwest Bible Church sets forth the following Missions Policy as a guide in our missions program.
2. Biblical Basis
The Scriptural purpose of Missions includes: worshipping God; fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47 John 20:21, Acts 1:8, and Gen. 12:1-3); through God, saving men and bringing them to the knowledge of God; (John 3:16 and Rom. 10:13-15); sending those chosen by God and confirmed by the church to go into mission service throughout the world (Acts 13:2).
3. Purpose of this Policy
The purpose of this policy is: To give a clear sense of direction and strategy for the missions outreach of NBC; to make important decisions on an objective basis; to maximize efforts to invest each mission dollar as we feel would please our Lord; to instruct new committee members, allowing them to familiarize themselves with policy issues; to maintain consistency as the committee membership changes; to work in harmony with the key leaders of the church, keeping them abreast of missions policy and strategy; to provide a printed policy for members, friends, missionaries, and missionary candidates; and to assist in church-wide education and promotion of missions.
4. Priorities and Strategy
The first priority of NBC Missions is to support missionaries and Christian outreach organizations to train Christians to reach their own countries or communities with the Gospel. Generally, this will be done in the home country of the Christian. The desire for the people of Northwest Bible Church is to use their gifts and training to equip future leaders. This strategy applies to International and Domestic Missions and includes outreach activities to the local community.
The second priority is to have the people of Northwest evangelizing the lost and planting churches that will reproduce. Where there is a dire lack of trained national leadership, then the people of Northwest should evangelize and disciple others.
The third priority is to support Biblical translation, associated linguistic training, and administration functions for missions outreach. This involves a broad area of support for those areas. Effective ministry needs adequate support. The strategy is prioritized, yet balanced.
Strategic Initiatives may be established within the priority framework outlined above this paragraph. Strategic Initiatives are defined and set forth in the Strategic Initiative section of this policy.
5. NBC Missions Organization
The organization of NBC Missions is as follows:
NBC Elder Board
The Missions Committee reports directly to the NBC Elder Board, Ministry Teams are developed as outlined elsewhere in this policy.
6. Flexibility of Policy
Exceptions to the missions policy can be made at any time, but must be approved by the Missions Committee and Elder Board.
7. Definitions and Explanation of Some Terms Utilized in this Policy
Terms utilized in this policy that occur frequently are defined as follows:
- NBC—Northwest Bible Church.
- International Outreach at Northwest Bible Church is the sending out and supporting of well- equipped leaders, teachers and disciple-makers who cross barriers of distance, culture and language in order to establish and strengthen the church. Missionaries, agencies, and other Christian organizations may be based in Dallas or elsewhere, but the scope of their ministry is worldwide. International Outreach involves sending people and investing finances outside NBC’s geographical sphere of influence.
- Domestic Outreach has a sphere of influence in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex or throughout the U.S. Domestic Outreach includes presenting the gospel and meeting the spiritual, social and tangible needs of people within the NBC local community. Domestic Outreach involves more time and personal effort of our people and involves reaching Dallas and the nation with the Gospel and training leaders. These activities will take place on the NBC campus and elsewhere.
- Career missionaries—Those individuals and families who have committed to missionary service as their full time vocation for as long as they are capable and called by God.
- Short-term missionaries—Those individuals and families who accept terms of missionary service usually lasting 2 to 24 months.
- Trip missionaries— Those individuals who are accepted for missionary assignments of less than two months.
- Unreached people groups—Groups of people which do not have a viable, indigenous, evangelizing, church planting movement within them.
- Support—This policy uses the term “support” in the broader sense, including prayer, friendship, education, accountability, shepherding and financial considerations.
- Strategic Initiatives—Individual missionaries, missions organizations, Bible schools, colleges, and other Christian Organizations may be designated as Strategic Initiatives. Strategic Initiatives involve a commitment from the NBC Missions Committee of personnel, prayer, monetary support and other resources to ensure, as much as possible, complete effort for the initiative undertaken.
- Missions Committee Procedures—Those procedures established by the Missions Committee from time to time to implement the intent of this missions policy.
The missions and outreach ministries are led by the Missions Committee. The Missions Committee will be involved in the hands-on outreach effort, both domestically and internationally. The Missions Committee will report to the Elder Board. Ministry teams will be assigned to carry out the hands-on ministry of NBC Missions. Ministry teams will be assigned by the Missions Committee. Each member will be asked to commit to serve for one year. They may continue serving beyond the one-year period with mutual agreement from the Committee and the person serving.
2. Missions Committee
Overall Missions Committee Responsibilities
The Missions Committee will have the following responsibilities:
- Stimulate the intercessory prayer of the congregation for:
- World evangelization.
- The needs of our missionaries.
- Reaching into the local community.
- Develop and coordinate an educational and communication program geared to the NBC body to feature NBC supported missionaries.
- Research mission opportunities and educate the congregation in the need for mission opportunities.
- Stimulate and recruit volunteers for service; care for church missionaries, such as by sending email letters, the Focus, or compact disks of church services; plan and conduct the annual WorldPassion Missions Conference.
- Develop, manage, evaluate and reevaluate the missions program.
- Supervise the fund-raising for missions.
- Recommend support of missionary candidates, subject to Elder approval.
- Recommend Missions Strategic Initiatives, subject to Elder approval.
- Interpret the church doctrinal statement to missionaries and agencies.
- Oversee supported missionaries for accountability.
- Interview candidates for International and Domestic Outreach.
- Make recommendations to the Elder Board concerning commissioning or support of candidates.
- Provide counsel for church missionaries regarding their relationship with the church.
- Work with the mission agencies regarding their role in the missionary’s ministry.
Selection of Members
Candidates for members for the Missions Committee shall be identified by current members of the Missions Committee. Prospective Committee members shall be members of NBC. They shall be evaluated as to:
- Spiritual maturity.
- Length of time attending NBC.
- Extraordinary interest and commitment to missions.
- Demonstrated ability to make decisive and well informed decisions regarding the policies of the NBC Missions Committee.
- Availability for Committee, team, and special-called meetings.
- These names shall be compiled into a list, recommended by the Missions Committee, and submitted to the Elder Board for approval.
Following approval by the Elder Board, the Missions Committee Chairman shall contact candidate members to determine their willingness to serve on the Committee. In these interviews, the Chairman shall present job descriptions as suggested areas of service for the candidate. The candidate may indicate their preference for their particular area of service on the committee, but final assignments for service will originate with the Chairman. The new slate of committee members should be identified and in place as soon as possible after the commencement of the new fiscal year.
Size of the Committee
The Missions Committee shall consist of not more than eight members including the Chairman of the Committee. The Missions Committee shall include the Outreach minister, the Minister of International Outreach, and as many as six additional members of the church at large. The Outreach Minister and the Minister of International Outreach may be voting members of the Committee. Other staff members or full time Missionaries may not be voting members of the Committee. Sixty percent of the members shall constitute a quorum.
Term of Office
The term of office for the Missions Committee, with approximately one-third of the members rotating off each year, excepting the chairman. The Chairman of the Missions Committee shall be an Elder or Deacon appointed by the Elder Board. The chairman will serve in this role for one year or as determined by the Elder Board.
Responsibility of Individual Missions Committee Members
Committee members shall:
- Attend all committee meetings.
- Commit to three years of service, unless otherwise stated.
- Serve as a prayer partner and correspondent for several missionaries.
- Support missions functions by attendance and missions involvement, such as a one or two week trip or a local ministry.
- Further their education through agency banquets, mission trips and reading.
- Encourage and communicate missions to the body.
Frequency of Meetings
The Missions Committee shall endeavor to meet once per month, with the time set by the Chairman. Additional meetings will be called as needed.
Officers and Appointment
The Chairman may be recommended by the Outreach Minister, Executive Pastor, and/or the previous Missions Committee Chairman. He must be appointed by the Elder Board. The Treasurer and the Recording Secretary are to be appointed by the Chairman.
Communications and Challenge
1. Missions Education
The Missions Committee shall promote missions education in the congregation through the designated teams. This is to be done by liaison with the other departments at NBC, such as the Children’s Department, Equipping Ministries, etc., through items such as the Focus, the church’s website, the pulpit, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School classes, community groups, small groups, etc. This education shall include the identification of NBC’s missionaries, where they are ministering, NBC’s overall missions strategy, and provide opportunities for personal and corporate involvement in missions outreach.
2. Challenge to Involvement
It is the responsibility of the Missions Committee to challenge members to participate in missionary service through encouragement and counsel. It will make available information on mission boards and opportunities for short-term missions trips and local mission projects approved by the Missions Committee. It will encourage visiting various areas and missionaries that are supported by NBC.
3. Visiting Missionaries on the Field
It is important for representatives of the church to visit our missionaries. Encouragement shall be given to members of the Committee, pastoral staff, Elder Board and other interested people of NBC to visit our missionaries. In keeping with this goal, it is our plan to have a pastoral visit to the home and ministry of each of our missionaries on a regular basis. The goal of this visitation is to visit each missionary once every four years.
4. WorldPassion Week
The Missions Committee shall sponsor, plan and conduct the annual Missions Conference, WorldPassion Week, during the month of February. The purpose of the conference is to emphasize missions to the church body, inform, update, and stimulate our church body toward greater involvement in missions through prayer, giving, and serving on the mission field. It is also a time for asking the people of the church to make a faith promise financial commitment for the next fiscal year, for purposes of establishing the missions budget.
Missionary Responsibility (Career and Short-Term)
1. Print and Visual Communication
Since it is desirable to have a close personal relationship with church missionaries and be well-informed partners, church missionaries shall be asked to respond to an annual questionnaire sent by the Missions Committee. They shall communicate with NBC by letter or email at least every other month, preferably more often. They shall provide monthly prayer requests by either prayer cards or email. Frequent prayer communication is encouraged by letter, telephone, or email, so specific prayer for our missionaries can be fostered.
Missionaries shall send photographs of their ministry to the church at regular intervals. These prints, negatives, or slides will be used in church publications and presentations. Missionaries are encouraged to send brief videos and/or compact disks of their ministries. Videos will be made available to the congregation in the church library or used in church-wide video or compact disk presentations.
2. Agency Affiliation
Career missionaries are required to establish a mission agency/board relationship in order to assure proper ministry, spiritual and administrative support, a reasonable financial base (agency policies, procedures and financial requirements) and an accountability structure. The candidate must have been accepted or be in the process of acceptance by an agency/board which is in essential agreement with the NBC Doctrinal Statement.
3. Insurance, Education and Retirement
Insurance, education of children, and retirement for missionaries are assumed to be included in the support level defined by the mission agency. A copy of the agency’s policies for these areas must be provided by the missionary to NBC.
4. Retirement Policy
NBC expects every supported missionary to be in compliance with and to participate in their agency’s retirement program. If this is not the case, or the agency does not have a retirement program, the missionary should contact the NBC Missions’ office immediately. Beginning when the missionary reaches age seventy, a retirement review will be conducted by NBC every two years. As part of this review process, NBC will contact the missionary and the missionary’s supervisor. NBC will then evaluate the current activity level of the missionary. NBC financial support may be terminated or scaled to the activity level of the missionary, as determined by NBC from the review process.
Missionaries shall be requested to be available to our congregation when on furlough in the Dallas area. The missionary should be available to share and report on mission work. In line with the speaking abilities of the missionary, various venues will be scheduled by the NBC Missions Department, such as Sunday School classes, small groups, church worship services, Missions Committee meetings, and various other fellowship and sharing opportunities.
The following guide is recommended to help determine how much time international missionaries should spend at Northwest during a year’s furlough: four weeks of furlough time for every ten percent of support given by Northwest. A missionary supported by Northwest at 50% is suggested to spend 20 weeks, 40% suggests 16 weeks, 30% suggests 12 weeks. This is suggested for a one-year furlough. A half year furlough would be half that amount, etc.
6. Missionary in Residence
Missionaries who spend six to twelve of furlough time in the Dallas/Fort Worth area may be asked to attend Missions Committee meetings to provide consultation and advice as requested by the Missions Committee. Missionaries will be expected to provide such service to the extent possible.
7. Fund Raising
Fund-raising by missionaries must be done in accordance with church policy. Neither missionaries nor NBC attendees may make financial appeals in Sunday School classes, small groups, or other corporate gatherings. The general church mailing lists, or leadership lists, may not be used for solicitations. This policy includes overt solicitations and hidden appeals.
Missionaries may make presentations of their ministries to Sunday School classes, small groups, or other corporate gatherings, if no direct solicitations for support are made. Non-financial material pertaining to the particular ministry or project may be left on a display table for individual pickup, so that any response is strictly an individual decision.
8. Doctrinal Requirements
All church missionaries must annually sign a statement indicating agreement with the church Doctrinal Statement. Any disagreement will be reviewed by the Missions Committee and presented to the Elder Board for appropriate action. Any Christian organization that is supported by the NBC Missions Budget must have a doctrinal position that is in harmony with the Doctrinal Statement of NBC.
9. Short-Term Missions Report
At the conclusion of the ministry term, the short-term missionary is expected to report, in writing, to the NBC Missions Committee the experience that he/she has had during his/her missionary work. The short-term missionary is also expected to share experiences with the NBC congregation through the Mission Conferences, Sunday School classes, small groups, community groups and other group venues.
10. Response From Mission Trip Participants
Mission trip participants may be asked to speak about their experiences in Sunday School classes, small groups, community groups or other group venues.
11. Peacemaker Requirements
All missionaries will be required to be familiar with the Peacemaker Pledge and Peacemaker requirements and be willing to submit to the Peacemaker Procedures that have been adopted by NBC.
1. Agency Affiliation Criteria
As a part of a candidate’s evaluation, consideration will be given by the Missions Committee to the mission agency or board with whom the candidate is affiliated or in the process of being affiliated. The Missions Committee will carefully evaluate the agency’s affiliation criteria as established by Missions Committee Procedures.
2. Criteria for Trip Candidates
The church encourages a great many of our members to go on a short-term missions trip (one to two weeks). These are opportunities for a person to further develop interest in missions service and serve Jesus Christ. A short-term trip helps individuals see what God is doing around the world. Some financial assistance may be provided from the Missions Budget. Trip candidates must be members of NBC, or in regular attendance for two years (or be a candidate from a sister church). Trip candidates should attend evangelism training. Trip candidates are highly encouraged to participate in an approved church missions trip.
3. Criteria for Short-Term Candidates
Members, young and old, are encouraged to consider short-term missions (two to twenty-four months and special projects). These are opportunities for a person to further develop interest in full-time missions service and have effective discipleship, evangelism, or administrative ministries. Financial assistance may be provided from the Missions Budget. Short-term candidates must be members of NBC, or in regular attendance for at least three years. They must also have been actively involved in ministry at NBC. Short-term candidates must demonstrate a sincere interest in missions. Short-term candidates must complete the short-term portion of the NBC missionary candidate preparation program (or show validation through an equivalent program elsewhere). Short-term candidates may be required to obtain further training. Short-term candidates proposed area of service and agency must be approved by the Missions Committee.
4. Criteria for Career Candidates
Members, young and old, are encouraged to consider a career in missions. Career missionaries usually serve with an organization for at least two terms of three to four years each. We anticipate a long- term relationship with each one. Active members of NBC shall receive priority for financial support. Generally, career candidates will have attended Northwest for five years or more. As a part of the candidate preparation program, medical and/or psychological examinations may be administered by qualified personnel, to help evaluate the candidate for missionary service. Married candidates are considered to be a single unit and will go through the selection process together. Candidates must participate in a one to two-year missionary candidate preparation program at NBC (or equivalent elsewhere) prior to service. Career missionary candidates may serve in the Missions Intern program. Candidates may be required to obtain further training. Candidates’ proposed ministry and area of service must be approved by the Missions Committee and be consistent with priorities of the Missions program. Candidates must be accepted by a mission agency approved by the Committee. Candidates should be a graduate of a Seminary with doctrine consistent with that of NBC.
Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of existing strategic initiatives. It is expected that most new missionaries will serve in areas of the strategic initiatives. If a candidate desires to serve in another field, then the church may consider that field as a strategic area.
5. Qualifications for Career and Short-Term Missionary Candidates
A career or short term missionary candidate’s qualifications shall be determined by Missions Committee procedures.
Support and Review
1. Mission Agency or Organizational Support Review
NBC will financially support various agencies only after prayerful consideration and evaluation has been made.
- Criteria for Mission Agencies and Supported Organizations. Each missions agency or organization’s support by NBC shall be evaluated initially and annually in accordance with the following criteria: type of ministry; operation policy; doctrinal statement; relationship with NBC. For NBC to have a relationship with a missions agency or organization, the agency or organization must be reviewed by the Missions Committee and approved by the Elder Board.
- Relationship with Mission Agencies and Supported Organizations. A written operating policy, financial statement, and conformance to NBC’s Doctrinal Statement shall be sent to NBC annually from the organization, by a missionary’s immediate supervisor or by an officer of the organization that has been mutually designated by the Missions Committee and the supported organization as responsible to do so.
2. Support Criteria
Support level of missionaries shall be determined from a set of criteria based on relationship with NBC, type of ministry, geographic location of ministry, and targeted people group. The criteria shall be applied to our missionaries’ regular support, outgoing expenses, and special needs.
The candidate’s maximum support level is determined as follows: For missionaries not involved in a strategic initiative, NBC support is a maximum of 50% of the candidate’s allocated support defined by the missions agency, or lesser amount to complete needed support. For missionaries involved in a strategic initiative of NBC, support may be for 100% of need: Level of support shall be determined by taking into account the strategic initiative involvement and the strategy priorities outlined under purpose and strategy section (see page 1).
NBC may, however, provide up to 50% of the total expenses of a short-term missionary’s one-time and monthly support. Members on mission trips will be required to raise their own support.
3. When Support Begins
Support shall begin when the missionary leaves for the field, or it may begin in advance of that at a time determined by the Committee.
4. Students in Preparation
No provision is made for direct support to domestic students, as support begins when a missionary leaves for the mission field.
5. Annual Missionary Review for Career and Short-Term Missionaries
Support level for our missionaries shall be reviewed annually by the Missions Committee in preparation for the next fiscal year budget.
Changes in support level shall be based on; availability of funds based on the Missions Budget; conformance with mutually agreed upon ministry and area of service; and need as stated in missionary’s response to our annual questionnaire.
Review performance: The review should be practicable and draw on the factors established by the Missions Committee procedures.
6. Special Evaluations
A special evaluation may be instigated when a missionary loses his effectiveness (or the Missions Committee questions the effectiveness) in his ministry, changes his ministry outreach, leaves the field of ministry, is terminated by his agency/board, changes his agency/board affiliation, retires, or otherwise experiences a change in his relationship to NBC.
The strategy for special evaluations is to meet face-to-face with missionaries. Travel to the ministry location of the missionary may occur if the situation requires it. The church wants to understand the unique factors in each ministry before any decision is made. The review will be conducted in accordance with the Missions Committee Procedures by a Review Committee appointed by the chairman of the Missions Committee.
Review Methodology: The use of documented evidence will be utilized to create a written record of the information on which Review Committees decisions/recommendations were based. Documentation will range from letters and questionnaires to written notes of a telephone conversation. By seeking feedback from a variety of sources, the objectivity of the evidence may be borne out by the consistency of the evidence. If the Review Committee’s recommendation is reviewed by the Missions Committee or by the Elder Board, the written record of evidence would facilitate that review.
The inquiry will rely on the different sources of information to the extent necessary to provide a fair evaluation. The standard for making evaluation of a missionary’s performance would be a “reasonable conclusion” based upon performance review, in light of the nuances of inter-cultural work.
7. Additional Education by Missionaries
If a mission agency requires that a missionary obtain additional education in order to accomplish a new level of ministry, an application must be submitted in advance to the Committee for their consideration. Support for additional education may be provided if such support is deemed by the Missions Committee to be essential to the missionary’s work.
8. Marriage by Missionaries
If a single missionary on the NBC missions roster marries, the support arrangement shall be reviewed. If both singles are already on the NBC missions roster, their support arrangements shall be reviewed for terms of combining their ministries and our support. It is assumed that married couples are both members of and minister together with their mission agency. We discourage non-membership by one spouse unless circumstances warrant and this is a condition endorsed by the mission agency. If married missionaries on our roster divorce, their ministry and support agreement with NBC shall be subject to review.
9. Change in Assignment
Any consideration of change in assignment or affiliation should be immediately communicated to the Committee. Such change in assignment or affiliation shall require reevaluation for support. The current support level shall continue for a period of three months during which the new assignment and support level will be evaluated by the Missions Committee with recommendation made to the Elder Board for final approval.
10. When Support Ends
Support shall end when: the missionary resigns or retires; he/she conducts himself/herself in a way that is contrary to the teaching of Christ or of character not becoming a missionary of NBC; chooses to relocate for personal reasons without NBC approval; the agency terminates the missionary; the missionary or mission agency changes the field of work or ministry in which the missionary is serving, and such change does not meet the criteria established for the missionary by the Missions Committee; he/she becomes involved in a moral problem; there is failure to abide by rules and requests of NBC; there is any change in the missionary’s doctrinal position which differs from the Doctrinal Statement of NBC is considered by the Mission Committee to be basis for possible termination of support; inadequate accountability, by the missionary to the NBC Missions Committee or the missionary’s agency, as determined by the Mission Committee; other circumstances occur as may be outlined elsewhere. If it is determined by NBC that support will end, the missionary will be notified of the change and any transition arrangements, in writing. Support from NBC can be terminated immediately if circumstances warrant such action.
11. Missionary Appeal Procedure
If a career missionary wishes to appeal a decision of the Missions Committee, they may institute a formal request for consideration and mediation with the Elder Board. Such request shall be in writing to the Elder Board and clearly outline the issues involved. Such appeal shall be submitted within one month after the notification to the missionary by the Missions Committee that an action has taken place to cause the appeal to come in effect. The Elder Board will undertake to address the appeal as it sees fit to do so.
1. Preparation and Approval
The size of the budget shall be determined by Faith Promise commitments made by the congregation. The annual Missions Budget shall be proposed by the Missions Committee. If the funding level determined by the Faith Promises from the congregation differs from the target budget recommended by the Missions Committee, the Committee will use its best judgment to revise the budget to conform to the amount of Faith Promises. The Missions Committee shall recommend the budget to the Elder Board. Final approval shall be provided by the congregation at the annual meeting.
In accordance with NBC’s missions strategy and funding priority, the Missions Budget allocated to missionary and project support shall move towards: 70% to International Outreach; 30% to Domestic Outreach.
2. Disbursements and Records
The Committee is responsible for the Missions Budget and for the disbursement of all funds. The Committee may, however, delegate to the Outreach Minister or the Minister of International Outreach the authority for disbursement for funds which are specific line items in the budget and other kinds which have been approved by the Committee, and where appropriate by the Elder Board.
The Outreach Minister or the Minister of International Outreach, in coordination with the Treasurer of the Committee, will maintain such records in the Missions Office as deemed appropriate by the Elder Board to track such expenditures. A monthly accounting report as to the status of the Missions Fund shall be provided by the NBC Minister of Administration.
3. Reserve Fund Account and Excess Funds
A reserve Fund Account shall be established in order to accommodate cash flow needs throughout the budget year. The goal will be to maintain an amount equal to two-twelfths (2/12) of committed budget expenses.
Year-end excess funds beyond this amount shall be placed in a designated account or the cash balance of the Missions Fund. They shall be disbursed first to special needs of our missions family and second to special projects and shall be approved by the Elder Board.
At year’s end, if funds were committed to an approved budget line item of that year’s budget but were not expended, those excess funds may be allocated to a designated budget project for the next year and be utilized in addition to the budgeted amounts for that year. Funds are to be withdrawn from the Reserve Fund for cash flow needs of Missions, with approval of the Elder Board.
The goal is for replenishment of Reserve Fund as soon as possible. If, at the end of any fiscal quarter, there remains an amount not replenished, the Missions Committee shall institute action aimed at such replenishment within the following quarter. If, at the end of any fiscal year (June 30), there remains an amount not replenished, such replenishment must be incorporated into the Budget for the subsequent year with such replenishment budgeted during the first quarter of the new fiscal year.
Withdrawals from the Reserve Fund shall be considered only after any contingency or specially held funds have been used and any possible deferments of other expenses have been made. The Reserve Fund shall be invested only in immediately available money market instruments at national banks. A monthly accounting report as to the status of the Reserve Fund shall be provided by the NBC Minister of Administration.
4. Designated Giving
Designated gifts to a specific missionary, agency or non-approved project are not allowed. Any such gift will be returned to the donor in accordance with Business Office procedures.
However, designated gifts may be accepted for Elder approved projects, such as, Strategic Initiatives or travel expenses for short term missions trips. Separate accounting will be maintained by the NBC Minister of Administration for Elder approved designated gifts.
It is intended that every designated gift that is accepted will be expended for the purpose designated by the donor. At the completion of each fiscal year, the Outreach Minister and the Missions Committee will review the designated gift accounts for surplus funds, and allocate them as outlined by the Missions Committee Procedure.
If surplus funds are experienced, the following action will be taken: The account will be reviewed to determine continuing activity. If more activity is anticipated, the account will remain open, with no action taken on the surplus. If no further activity is expected, the account may be closed with the funds; allocated to the Missions Budget line item that is consistent with donor’s giving intent; allocated to the Missions Budget as provided elsewhere in this Policy (under Paragraph 3, Reserve Fund Account and Excess Funds of Budget Issues section).
Designated gifts will not be accepted for secular organizations or for organizations whose doctrinal position is not in harmony with the Doctrinal Statement of NBC.
5. Contingency/New Ministries
The Constitution of the church requires that there be a contingency built into the Missions Fund. This contingency will be provided to help individual missionaries and missions needs in instances which could not have been foreseen or budgeted.
6. Special Needs
Funds shall be set aside at the beginning of the fiscal year to provide funds for the following:
- New programs and non-specific budget line items: All new programs and non-budgeted expenses must be approved by the Missions Committee and the Elder Board. In order to provide flexibility to meet emergency situations, the Missions Committee is delegated the authority to approve projects up to a maximum of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars, without the prior approval of the Elder Board. Such projects cannot include the establishing of ongoing support for any individual organization, and shall not be a new program as provided above.
- Special projects that arise during the year.
- Even with approved funding, where there is a question about the nature of the project, the approval process should be lengthened. The Missions Committee or Elder Board should be consulted.
7. Procedure for Financial Shortfall
If mission funds actually received are less than the Congregation and Elder approved budget, the following sequence shall be used to assure continuity of support to our missionary families: Delay expending unused budgeted funds; expend reserve fund; reduce allocated budget support level to missionaries. The allocated amount shall be determined by the Missions Committee.
When an allocation is employed, monthly records shall be kept. In the event that giving improves to reduce or eliminate the shortfall, withheld amounts shall be restored as recommended by the Missions Committee and approved by the Elder Board.
Strategic Initiatives are the missionary plans of Northwest made in conjunction with our missionaries and their agencies.
The Strategic Initiatives focus Northwest’s missions ministry on specific fields or people groups. There will be a concentration of people, projects, resources, and funding on selected fields. The initiatives concentrate NBC missionaries and effort on target fields. This concentration and effort will usually begin with a career missionary. Short term missionaries for one and two years, and short term trips for one and two weeks, will assist in the strategy. The initiatives concentrate NBC projects on target fields. Projects will usually center on training schools, work projects, evangelism, and support for national Christians.
The initiatives usually will work with one or two agencies per field. In general, the agency will supervise the work and develop the job criteria for each worker. Northwest will undertake stewardship evaluations of the work and the agency. The strategy will be cooperative in nature.
2. Selection of Initiatives
The Missions Committee will analyze existing relationships with missionaries and their agencies. Whenever possible, target fields will be established with existing missionaries. The following criteria will be used to determine target fields:
- People: Viability of career missionary; viability of short term missionary; viability of short term trips.
- Projects: Viability of training schools; viability of work projects; viability of support for national workers.
- Agency: Adequate partnering relationship with a main mission agency for the field.
A three year plan will be drawn up by the Missions Committee. This will be done in conjunction with the mission agencies. The plan will be approved by the Elder Board in advance of its use or promulgation.
3. Review of Initiatives
Each Initiative will have a coordinator from the Missions Committee who will work with the Outreach Minister or the International Outreach Minister. The coordinator will help review each initiative. Each Initiative will be reviewed on an annual basis. The review will examine current needs in the area. Funding will be analyzed and the plan changed as required. For diversity, Northwest will endeavor to have four to eight international target fields, and four to six target fields in domestic missions. Some Initiatives will have ending dates. Closure of an Initiative is acceptable. New Initiatives will be adopted as resources allow.
4. Funding for Target Fields
Funding for each item in an Initiative will be approved by the Elder Board. The amount of funding can follow existing policy. The amount of funding can be a percentage, up to one hundred percent of need. The goal of funding is to concentrate funds and increase funding for each missionary or project in the Initiative.
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