MISSIONS POLICY. Uniontown Bible Church 321 Clear Ridge Road Union Bridge, Md Revised, November 30, 2002

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1 MISSIONS POLICY Uniontown Bible Church 321 Clear Ridge Road Union Bridge, Md Revised, November 30,

2 MISSIONS POLICY UNIONTOWN BIBLE CHURCH Uniontown Bible Church Mission Team Statement UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS THAT GOD LOVED THEM SO, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON. Uniontown Bible Church is committed to the worship of God, equipping of the believer for effective life and service, and the evangelization of the lost. We believe 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. 1. DEFINITION OF MISSIONS AND LOCAL OUTREACH Missions at Uniontown Bible Church is defined as "The sending out and supporting of equipped disciple-makers who cross barriers of distance, culture and language in order to establish and strengthen the church in places beyond the normal sphere of influence of our members, both within and outside the USA." Uniontown Bible Church's normal sphere of influence is defined as the area of Local Outreach. Examples are Uniontown and the Carroll County region. Local Outreach includes presenting the gospel and meeting the spiritual, social and physical needs of people within the local community. Local Outreach involves more of our people's time and personal efforts locally. Missions, on the other hand, involves sending our people into and investing more of our finances outside our normal sphere of influence. At UBC, the Missions Leadership Team, (MLT) is committed to mobilization of the body to be involved in Missions and Church Planting. Church Planting is described as sending teams from UBC anywhere around the world to make disciple makers. In its desire to obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and further the work of the Gospel. Uniontown Bible Church sets forth the following sections of this missions policy as a guide for selection and support of missionaries, missions trips, and missions organizations; and in other matters concerning our missions program. 2. THE PURPOSE OF OUR MISSIONS POLICY This statement of policy has been developed by the Missions Leadership Team (MLT) and approved by the Elder Ministry Team (EMT):. A. To give us a clear sense of direction. B. To avoid making important decisions on an emotional or haphazard basis. C. To maximize our efforts to invest each mission dollar to please God. 2

3 D. To instruct new team members, allowing them to quickly familiarize themselves with the issues to be faced in the administration of our missions policy. E. To maintain consistency as the team changes membership. F. To develop a loving accountability in our missions program. G. To work in better harmony with the church wide leadership and inform them of policy and the decision making process of the MLT. H. To provide a printed policy for members, friends, missionaries and missionary candidates. I. To encourage the church body to dream God s dreams through missions outreach. 3. THE SCRIPTURAL PURPOSE OF OUR CHURCH'S INVOLVEMENT IN MISSIONS A. To fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, and Genesis 12:1-3). B. To bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (John 3:16 and Romans 10:13-15). C. To prayerfully send out those chosen by God to go into mission service throughout the world (Acts 13:2, Matt. 9:38). D. To build up the body of Christ through discipleship and church planting (Eph. 4:1-15, Phil 1:6). E. To minister to the totality of human need. (Matt. 10:42, 25:34-40). F. To motivate Christians to be active in sharing their faith, (Philemon 6) 4. THE GOALS OF UBC MISSIONS ACTIVITIES A. To reach all the peoples of the world with the gospel. B. To be a sending church, preparing people who will go and make disciples for Christ. C. To promote and assist indigenous missionaries throughout the world to share in the burden of world evangelization. D. To promote a vision for world evangelization throughout the Body. 5. STRATEGY The purpose of a missions strategy is to outline the specific emphasis for the missions program at UBC. Since the standard of missions is continually changing, there is need for a mobile vision focus (goals). Therefore the Strategy plan allows the missions program the flexibility to respond quickly to current trends in world events. A. The emphasis will focus the missions strategy toward either: 1. A specific continent(s), and/or 2. A specific country(s), and/or 3. A people(s) or language group(s), and/or 3

4 4. An identified affinity such as Nationals, inner-city, relief and development, short-term trips, etc. B. This focus will be presented to the congregation annually. It will become the focus of interaction with the congregation in the form of prayer requests and informational updates. C. The MLT may select and present special projects throughout the year, which will support the focus. If appropriate, missionaries who are reaching said function will be added to the missionary family. Also elders, pastors, and other relevant individuals will be encouraged to visit appropriate localities. D. Tangible goals and objectives will be provided by the MLT in conjunction with the focus. E. If appropriate, the focus may be extended beyond one year. 6. MISSIONS STRATEGY TARGETS A. As a church, our #1 ministry target is people groups who have little or no available Christian witness. Although we recognize the validity of home missions, in light of urgent needs of almost three billion people who have never heard the gospel, priority is given to reaching those who have not yet heard the gospel of Christ B. As a church, our #2 target is people groups who have limited exposure to Christianity. C. Our #3 ministry target is a people group who has frequent exposure to Christianity. 7. OVERALL RESPONSIBILITIES OF OUR MISSIONS LEADERSHIP TEAM A. Stimulate the intercessory prayer of the congregation for world evangelization and for our missionaries. B. Educate and excite the congregation in the need of and opportunity for world missions and evangelism. C. Develop an ongoing program of recruiting, training, sending and supporting qualified members of UBC as missionaries. D. Develop, manage and evaluate the missions program. E. Direct the funds allocated for missions. F. Serve as a liaison between the church and missions organizations, agencies, associations, and missionaries. G. Care for our missionaries while they are in the field and on furlough in the UBC area. H. Interpret the church doctrinal statement to missionaries and agencies. I. Focus and Strategy Planning, planning our focus for short and long term, setting the strategy to accomplish our focus. 4

5 8. FLEXIBILITY OF POLICY This Missions Policy provides structure and focus for UBC s missions activities, so that we may best use the resources God provides for us to further His kingdom. It is anticipated that for most decisions and actions this policy will give direction and prevent the need to face every decision on an individual basis. Any exception to this policy must be requested well in advance and must be supported by the Missions Leadership Team and approved by the Elder Ministry Team. 9. REVISION OF POLICY The missions policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure that it continues to accurately reflect the direction and vision of the UBC missions program. The MLT and Elder Ministry Team must approve such revisions to this policy. 10. SELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE MISSIONS LEADERSHIP TEAM Prospective MLT members shall be members of UBC. Prospective MLT members should be demonstrating an active interest in and support of missions at UBC. It is recommended that they be those who have had some cross-cultural missions experience or who are willing to gain that experience during their first year on the team. 11. SIZE OF THE MISSIONS LEADERSHIP TEAM The MLT shall consist of the Chairman, (who is appointed by the Missions Pastor), Vice Chairman, Secretary and as many other members as needed to effectively carry out the ministry. Sixty percent of the voting members shall constitute a quorum. 12. RESPONSIBILITIES AND QUALITIES OF MEMBERS OF MISSIONS LEADERSHIP TEAM A. MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Attend team meetings. Members are expected to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting. Unexcused absence at two meetings will result in suspension from the team. 2. Commit to at least two years of service, unless otherwise stated. 3. Serve on a sub-team either as a leader or member. 4. Serve as a Prayer Partner and correspondent for several UBC missionaries. 5. Support missions functions by attendance. 6. Educate self through mission trips, ACMC, reading, and attending at least one missions learning event yearly. 7. Promote, encourage, and communicate missions to the body. 5

6 B. MEMBER QUALITIES 1. A healthy, growing spiritual life. 2. Commitment to God, prayer, and the church. 3. Concern for the least and the lost people. 4. A cooperative spirit, good working relationships. 5. Flexibility, open to change. 6. Humble, Obedient and Teachable. 7. Faithful to follow through, dependable. 8. Some with leadership and organization skills. 9. Some with good communication skills. 10. Some with creativity. 11. Time to carry out the responsibilities. 13. FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS The MLT shall meet as needed. This typically shall be once per month. Additional MLT and sub-team meetings shall be called throughout the year as needed. 14. SUB-TEAMS Sub-teams serve as implementation arms of MLT policy, reporting to and subject to the MLT. A member of the MLT as appointed by the MLT leader to oversee the sub-teams. Other members of sub-teams may be either members of the MLT or other qualified members of the church approved by the MLT. A. MISSIONARY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: seeks to identify and counsel those in the church whom God has specially gifted and is calling to the work of missions, gives guidance concerning their education and training, assists them in the selection of a field of service and missions agency and helps them in obtaining financial and prayer support. B. PROMOTION: seeks to encourage, educate, and excite the church body in mission awareness through communication, conferences, small group coordination, and special projects. C. MISSIONARY ASSISTANCE: assists in supplying the practical needs of missionaries, including but not limited to the sending of tapes, books and other educational and encouragement items; maintains and reports correspondence from and to missionaries; communicates missionary prayer needs to the MLT; arranges hospitality for visiting missionaries. Arrange a prayer support group for each of our missionary families. D. FINANCE: in conjunction with the Stewardship Elder, prepares, monitors, and reports on the annual Missions Budget and the handling of all finances. E. SHORT-TERM MISSION PROJECTS: to evaluate, plan, and facilitate short-term mission projects (see STMP addendum). F. OTHER SUB-TEAMS: may be formed by the Missions Committee as needed. 6

7 15. MISSIONS CONFERENCE The MLT shall sponsor, plan, and conduct an annual Missions Conference. The purpose of the Conference is to emphasize missions to the church body and to inform, update and stimulate our church body toward greater involvement in missions through prayer, giving, and serving on the mission field. 16. MISSIONS EDUCATION The MLT shall promote education of the entire body in missions. This is to be done by liaison with the Christian Education Department, Small Groups, through Sunday bulletin announcements, and from the pulpit. This education shall identify our church missionaries, where they minister, strategy of our missions programs and opportunities available for personal and corporate involvement in missions outreach. The MLT shall encourage participation of members of our body in various mission conferences such as ACMC. 17. CHALLENGE OF MEMBERSHIP TO INVOLVEMENT AS MISSIONARIES It is the responsibility of the MLT to challenge members of our church to participate in missionary service through encouragement and counsel, and by making available information on mission boards and opportunities for short-term missions trips approved by the MLT to visit various areas and missionaries we support. 18. CARING FOR VISITING MISSIONARIES Arrangements shall be made as needed to provide housing, transportation, and other needs while our missionaries are visiting the Carroll County area. 19. VISITING MISSIONARIES ON THE FIELD It is important for representatives of the church to visit the missionary on the field. Encouragement shall be given to members of the Pastoral Staff, Elders, MLT, and other interested people of UBC to visit our missionaries. 20. RESPONSIBILITY OF MISSIONARY TO THE CHURCH A. Since it is desirable to have a close personal relationship with our missionaries and be well-informed partners and prayer partners our missionaries shall be asked to communicate with UBC by letter at least quarterly. They shall be further requested to be available to our congregation when on furlough in the UBC area. 7

8 The missionary should be available to share and report on his/her work on the mission field. B. Missionaries who receive regular support from UBC must agree to report financial support level yearly. This requirement can be met with a statement from their mission agency. This policy of full disclosure will be used by The Missions Finance sub-team to maintain total support income at, but not in excess of, total required need. C. Missionaries will be sent an annual evaluation form to determine if needs are being met and if the work is productive. The Annual Review will: 1. Increase the effectiveness of our prayer and material support. 2. Communicate the most recent annual goals set. 3. Evaluate the progress and accomplishments of the previous year. 4. Update our financial records. 21. SHORT-TERM MISSION PROJECTS The UBC MLT will encourage members young and old to consider opportunities in Short Term Mission Projects with approved agencies. These opportunities are regarded as means by which world vision is caught, and whereby the Lord could give definite leading for career cross-cultural ministry, and whereby outreach ministry takes place. The MLT will provide counsel and help in selecting a project and agency. Short Term Mission Projects should be selected one year in advance with planning beginning no later than nine months prior to the event. STMP s will be announced by the MLT in advance and will be accompanied by information to inform the congregation about the trip. Applications for selection to the STMP should be made to the MLT not less than three months and preferably one year in advance. Responsibility for final selection and approval of trip participants rests with the MLT, subject to the approval of the Elder Ministry Team. Currently four STMP s could be planned for each calendar year with an emphasis on one North America, one Foreign and one North American for Senior High youth and one Regional for Middle School youth. A. QUALIFICATIONS 1. Must be a born again Christian with an active and growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 2. Demonstrates an interest in cross cultural missions 3. Is a UBC member active in ministry at UBC * 4. Is qualified to do the work 5. Must be willing to trust the Lord for financial support 6. Must have a keen desire to share Christ with others and demonstrate a current involvement in outreach activities. 7. Has obtained parental approval if a minor 8. Must be committed to His service, able to adjust to a different culture and willing to sacrifice personal comfort and convenience for Christ s glory. 8

9 *In the event of open slots, consideration will be given to active members of other churches with like doctrine. B. CONSIDERATION FOR UBC MISSION TRIPS PARTICIPANTS 1. Evaluation of the application. 2. Members of UBC and children of members. 3. Those involved in ministries of UBC. 4. Children of UBC supported missionaries. 5. Those interested in becoming a career missionary. 6. *In the event of open slots, consideration will be given to active members of other churches with like doctrine. 7. Authority for final selection of participants rests with the MLT, subject to the approval of the Elder Ministry Team. C. FINANCIAL SUPPORT 1. STMP s are not budgeted items. You need to trust God for your prayer and financial support. 2. Only STMP s planned through UBC will be presented to the church for prayer and financial support 3. The UBC Short Term Mission Project Team will provide one letter to the church family requesting prayer and financial support. Monies designated for the team will be divided equally and/or according to need. 4. Each team member is expected to send out their personal letters for prayer and financial support to those outside the UBC family. All letters (to the UBC family or others) MUST be approved in advance. D. OTHER SHORT TERM TRIPS The UBC Missions Team encourages individuals or families to take well planned personal short-term mission trips ( vacations with a purpose ), using their own financial resources. The MLT maintains a list of reputable mission agencies. It is anticipated that that person will use their own funds for these trips and will not solicit financial support from others (within or without the UBC family). Any questions should be referred to the MLT. E. For all UBC MLT sponsored STMP S the MLT shall provide a time line of the trip details such as payment due dates, mission agency, air transportation, ground transportation, lodging, insurance, supplies needed, in-country expenses, etc. Any payment due must be submitted 14 days prior to the due date. An SPA (Spending Payment Authorization) form must be filled out and signed by the oversight Pastor or Elder. The time line must be submitted to the EMT, as this information becomes available. 9

10 22. CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTING AND SUPPORTING MISSIONARY CANDIDATES AND AGENCIES A. CRITERIA FOR CONSIDERING SUPPORT OF SHORT TERM AND CAREER MISSIONARY CANDIDATES All missions activities being considered for support will first by reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the vision, goals, and strategy of the UBC missions program (See Sections 5 and 6). Aspects to be studied when considering support of an applicant/candidate shall include doctrine, personal qualifications, type of ministry contemplated and need for that ministry, target people, active church membership, and acceptance by qualified Mission Agency. B. LEVEL OF SUPPORT It is recognized that there are valid reasons for supporting fewer missionaries at higher levels as well as larger numbers at lower levels. We espouse a middle-ofthe-road policy in general, but do not regard it as restrictive. We support unmarried individuals, couples, families, and organizations. C. MISSION AGENCY and ORGANIZATION QUALIFICATIONS 1. Shall have a Statement of Doctrine compatible with that of UBC. 2. Have objectives in keeping with UBC s Philosophy of Missions. 3. Exhibit financial fiscal responsibility, making available to the MLT an annual independent audit of their affairs. 23. DOCTRINAL REQUIREMENTS OF MISSIONARIES All missionaries whom we support must sign a statement, annually, indicating agreement with our doctrinal statement. Any disagreement will be reviewed by the MLT and the EMT for appropriate action. 24. PREPARATION AND APPROVAL OF MISSIONS BUDGET The Finance sub-team, in conjunction with the MLT shall annually prepare the Missions Budget according to priorities, which reflect UBC's Philosophy of Missions set forth in Section 5 & 6 of this Policy. The MLT shall then submit the budget to the Mission Pastor. The Missions Pastor will then give the budget to the EMT. 25. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR CHURCH AND MISSIONS ORGANIZATIONS A. It shall be required that a written operating policy, financial statement, and doctrinal statement be sent to the MLT annually from the mission organization we support. 10

11 B. Annual evaluation reports are required from the mission agency for all the missionaries we support. The missionary s immediate supervisor should provide such reports. 26. WHEN SUPPORT BEGINS Support shall begin when the missionary leaves for the field, or at a time determined by the MLT. 27. WHEN SUPPORT CHANGES A. ANNUAL REVIEW Support level for our missionaries shall be reviewed annually in preparation for the next fiscal year budget. Changes in support level shall be based on: 1. Need as stated in missionary's response to our annual questionnaire sent to all UBC missionaries. 2. Conformance with agreed-upon ministry and area of service. 3. Availability of funds. 4. Review of performance B. CHANGE IN ASSIGNMENT OR AFFILIATION Any change in assignment or affiliation should be immediately communicated to the UBC MLT as soon as possible. Such change in assignment or affiliation shall require reevaluation for continued support 28. WHEN SUPPORT ENDS A. When the missionary dies, resigns or retires. B. When the mission agency terminates the missionary. Depending on circumstances we may continue support for three to six months, allowing the missionary that time to find a new agency with which to serve. C. Failure to abide by rules and requests of UBC furnished to each missionary. D. Any change in the missionary's doctrinal position that differs from the doctrinal statement of UBC is considered basis for possible termination of support. 29. INSURANCE FOR MISSIONARIES Insurance for missionaries is assumed to be included in the support level defined by their mission agency. 30. EDUCATION OF MISSIONARY CHILDREN 11

12 Education of missionary children is assumed to be included in the support level defined by their mission agency. 31. MISSIONARY RETIREMENT This is felt to be the responsibility of their mission agency in setting its support structure. Where the mission agency does not provide a retirement program, specific contributions by UBC through the mission agency may be considered to help the missionary administer his/her personal retirement program. 32. PROCEDURE FOR FINANCIAL SHORTFALL Providing pledged support for our missionary families is an important ministry priority for UBC. Reducing pledged support for our missionaries would occur only as a last resort in extraordinary circumstances. If such extraordinary circumstances should arise, the MLT will confer with the Elder Ministry Team to determine the amount of and best use of resources available to support our missionaries. 33. SUPPORT OF STUDENTS PREPARING FOR MISSIONARY SERVICE OR MISSIONARIES FURTHERING THEIR EDUCATION No provision is made for support to domestic students, as support begins when the missionary leaves for the mission field. It is expected that the missionary will further his/her education and/or technical skills as opportunity arises or as expanded ministries require. Long-term furloughs may often provide time and opportunity for this. UBC may at times be able to help in the costs of such education/training by means of special gifts when the needs are made known, and will ordinarily continue its support through such periods, although this is not guaranteed. Requests of this type should be made to the MLT as soon as possible. 34. HANDLING OF DESIGNATED GIVING Designated gifts through the UBC Missions Program shall not be encouraged. However, such designated gifts to those missionaries or mission agencies we support shall be forwarded directly to the appropriate organization providing such forwarding is within the rules set by the IRS. * * * * * * * * * 12

13 This policy was reviewed and approved by the Missions Leadership Team of Uniontown Bible Church on the day of 2002 This policy was reviewed and approved by the Elder Ministry Team of Uniontown Bible Church on the, day of

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