Practices & Policies
1. Must be in agreement with our doctrinal position.
2. Must be in agreement with our Practices and Principles.
3. Must attend our annual Missionary Seminar and, on completion, must sign a statement that he is in agreement and can support the Mission Policy of the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency.
4. Must be willing to carry out the Missions Indigenous Church Policy.
5. Shall do no deputation work or enlist personal support until he has been approved by the Mission Committee. To do so may actually hinder approval. Churches are urged not to pledge support to missionaries until they are approved.
1. Interested applicants should write to the Mission Director for a Preliminary Information Questionnaire. This questionnaire involves no obligation on the part of the candidate but provides basic information, which is helpful to the Mission Committee in determining the possibility of the candidate's working with the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency.
2. On advice from the Mission Director, the candidate may request formal application papers. These should be filled out only after the candidate has thoroughly read our Practices and Principles. If the candidate is in basic agreement with the policies as stated, he is encouraged to complete application papers consisting of a Formal Application Questionnaire, Doctrinal Questionnaire, Statistical Questionnaire, and the Articles of Agreement. These questionnaires may be obtained from the Mission Office.
3. On advice of the Mission, each applicant must have a physical examination by a Mission-approved physician. Proper forms for this are available at the Mission Office.
4. After reviewing the above papers, the Mission Director may elect to invite the candidate to an interview with members of the Mission Committee prior to a formal invitation to the Candidate Seminar, which is held in Arlington, Texas each summer.
5. On the recommendation of the sending church and the Mission Director, qualified candidates will meet with the Committee at the conclusion of the Candidate Seminar.
6. Appointment is made by the Mission Committee,
1. The term of service on the foreign field shall be comparable to that of mission agencies working in the same area, unless otherwise determined by the Mission Committee.
2. Missionaries returning from the field will be asked to read and sign the Practices and Principles of the Mission before beginning their furlough work.
3. It shall be the general policy of the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency to give a good account of stewardship and not duplicate Fundamental Baptist missionary work that is already being done.
Personnel approved by the Mission Committee who have not yet arrived on the foreign field shall be known as Missionary Appointees.
Appointees are under the jurisdiction of the home administration (local church and Mission Committee) until such time as they arrive on the foreign field.
All appointees must have attended a Candidate School Seminar during one of its regular sessions prior to departing for the field.
Every appointee will report back to the Mission Committee after twelve months of deputation have been completed following approval.
Missionaries will normally receive one-year furlough in preparation for their next term of service after three years of field service. This is not a strict policy, as it may be advantageous in some areas to adjust the regular term of service. The first term on the field, including one year for language study is four years with subsequent terms of three years. The Mission Committee will determine each exception to the three year term on its own merits.
Missionaries who do not return to the field at the end of their normal furlough shall be termed "inactive" and shall be without remuneration. Exceptions will be made only with the approval of the Mission Committee.
1. Regular Conditions of Retirement
It is the policy of this Mission to retire its personnel at the age of 70. Exceptions may be made only by the Mission Committee. Extension shall be granted not to exceed one year at a time.
2. Other Causes for Retirement
Retirement due to failure of health and other adequate causes will be given due consideration.
3. Provision for Retirement Income
Missionaries are required to raise adequate support while in initial deputation work to cover the cost of an approved retirement and insurance program. Should churches desire to continue support for a retired missionary the Mission Office will receive and forward the funds to the missionary each month.
RESIGNATION OR DISMISSAL
1. While on the Field
Should a missionary desire to withdraw from the mission, he must, if on the field, give three months' notice to the Mission Committee.
2. While on Furlough
If a missionary on the field intends to resign from the mission when on furlough for such reasons as marriage, salaried employment, purposes of trade, or to join another mission organization, he must inform the Mission Director before leaving the field. Should the decision to resign be reached at home, the Mission Director should be informed without delay so that arrangements may be made for the termination date of the furlough.
3. Discipline and Recall of Missionary Personnel
In the event that it becomes necessary to discipline or recall missionary personnel working under the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency, the following procedure will be followed:
a. The Mission Director, along with the Mission Committee, will make no final decision on the discipline or recall of any missionary personnel until the matter has been thoroughly discussed with the pastor of the missionary's home church.
b. If, after consultation with the pastor of the missionary in question, it is deemed necessary to recall him or her from the field, it is the policy of the Fellowship to immediately withdraw all support, to inform the State Department, to cancel visas, and further, to provide passage for immediate return of the person or persons recalled.
4. Resignation or Dismissal of an Appointee
In the event of a resignation or dismissal of an appointee who has not reached the field, all funds remain Mission property.
5. Disposition of Mission Property
Anyone leaving the Mission must turn over all Mission property and/or money in his charge to the Mission Committee to be disposed of at the Committee's discretion.
6. Status of Overdrawn Accounts
In the event that any appointee or missionary personnel is overdrawn in Mission funds at the time of resignation or dismissal, he will be expected to make restitution of the entire amount.
Deputation is one of the most important tasks appointed missionary personnel. It is the means of presenting themselves and their needs to churches and groups in order to obtain prayer and financial support for their ministry on the mission field.
A report of offerings received and deputation expenses should be sent to the office each month. Deputation Report forms are supplied by the Mission Office.
It is extremely important that love-offering checks be sent to the Mission Office for two reasons:
1. IRS regulations require that funds given for non-profit ministry be channeled through an approved (501c-3) non-profit organization. Receipts are sent from the Mission Office to the Church or individual donor which can be used in case of an audit by IRS. If the church does not receive a receipt from the Mission Office, it must provide a form 1099 to the missionary, and keep a copy on file. The Mission Office receipt eliminates the need for a form 1099.
2. Offerings not channeled through the Mission Office are considered by the IRS as personal income. The missionary will be responsible for payment of Social Security and Income Taxes on any funds which are not sent to the Mission Office.
3. The missionary may request an immediate deposit of the love offering funds, so that he will be able to pay his travel expenses while on deputation. A procedure has been developed which will enable him to have immediate access to the funds needed for his deputation expenses and which will satisfy IRS regulations.
A warning and caution is in order, for it is easy to turn in large expense reports that could eat up all that the missionary would collect in offerings. Remember that the more the missionary spends, the less he will have as a balance to build up to meet the needs for equipment and passage. It is good common sense to keep expenses as low as possible and for missionary personnel to put into their accounts all that they possibly can. It takes a great deal of money to go to the mission field.
1. Missionary personnel of the World Baptist Fellowship are required to make monthly reports to the Mission Director on forms that are provided for them by the Mission Office. All monies received, except personal gifts, no matter from what source shall be accounted for.
Note: "Personal Gifts" Defined - No missionary personnel shall solicit funds for their personal use. However, gifts received for Christmas, anniversaries, and birthdays are considered personal gifts and need not be reported as missionary personnel funds received and need not be listed on the monthly work-report forms.
2. Work reports are to be sent to the Mission Office within two weeks after the end of the month. If work reports have not been submitted for two consecutive months, the monthly field work support (work fund) will be withheld until the proper reports are received.
3. Churches that are not members of the World Baptist Fellowship wishing to help in finances, gifts, or support of any missionary personnel are encouraged to mail their contributions to the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Office. If the donor insists on sending the donations directly to the missionary personnel, the missionary will make a report to the Mission Office of such offerings.
Note: Any surplus over approved funds will be kept in the missionary personnel's accounts for future use and may not be transferred to any other account.
Missionary personnel who receive offerings on the field should inform the donor that tax exemption may not be claimed unless he has a receipt for offerings from an authorized non-profit agency. A receipt from missionary personnel is not recognized by our government as valid for tax exemptions. Therefore, it is best for all concerned if the contributors send their offerings to missionary personnel through the Mission Office.
C. Language School
Before being considered ready for field work, all missionary personnel are to remain in language school until they are completely finished and a satisfactory report is received from the language school. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency wants all missionary personnel to finish the required studies and attain required efficiency in the language before leaving language school; therefore, no time limit is set on these studies since some people are naturally better linguists than others; some have had former language study; some have hearing much keener than others; etc. Missionary personnel should endeavor to master the language, even if it means additional weeks and months of study. Also, some languages are more difficult than others, and a stated time of study would be unrealistic. However, once the student leaves language school, any additional training he feels necessary must be paid for out of his personal support. Specialized training will be the exception.
D. Education of Children
Children of missionary personnel under the World Baptist Fellowship will attend high school in the States if the standard of the high school is not adequate where the missionary personnel are stationed. Home schooling is acceptable. It requires, however, a high degree of dedication.
It is also recognized that in some countries, undue religious pressure and other factors make education in the public schools undesirable. In such cases, missionary personnel may acquire additional support to send children to a private school.
If kindergarten is a prerequisite to the first grade, these costs may be taken out of the missionary personnel's work fund, if kindergarten is not prerequisite, and the parents desire their children to attend kindergarten or nursery school they must pay these schooling costs out of their personal support.
Missionary personnel's children will receive their allotted monthly support as long as they remain in school. However, if they take a job and leave school (not summer vacation employment) or get married, their monthly support will cease.
If excess funds are available in the parents' account, and they wish to use it for this purpose, the parents may pay college tuition for their children who are unmarried.
E. Financial Requirements
The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency is a faith mission, although some might challenge our right to be called a faith mission. It is maintained that the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency does qualify as such and establishes its position in the following:
1. It depends wholly upon God to supply its needs in answer to believing prayer. Its trust is completely in Him to move the hearts of His people to supply funds for the work.
2. It does not ask people to give to its work. It does "ask God and tell the people." It believes in giving publicity about the work and its needs. It is left up to God to move people to give.
3. It does not contract debts beyond its assets. It does not borrow money to send missionary personnel, build buildings, or to carry out any phase of its work. Because of this principle, it cannot guarantee any stated amount. It can only move forward as the Lord supplies the funds.
4. It does not receive guarantee of support either from churches or individuals. Missionary personnel are given declarations of intention of support from individuals or churches, but these are not guarantees. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency never bills donors or demands payment of pledged support. Unless God prospers the one making a declaration of support, he will not be able to give. No missionary personnel or mission should place too much trust in men - they can fail, they have failed - but God remains faithful.
5. Many instances are known where God has supplied the need in critical hours. Nearly all missionary personnel have experienced His supply. The events were such that only God could have arranged for the funds to come at the precise time.
All of the above are recognized faith principles followed by "faith mission agencies."
A word of explanation is needed in connection with the statement. "it does not contract debts beyond its own assets." This, of course, means that the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency will not go into debt to those outside of the Mission. It works on a "pay as you go" basis. It does not buy equipment if it does not have the money in hand. It believes the missionary personnel should keep themselves free of debt. In connection with the accounts of missionary personnel, these should likewise be kept from going into the red. If a deficit does occur, the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency expects complete cooperation on the part of the missionary personnel to help clear the account.
Behind the financial principle is the thought of economy and conservative spending, whether in equipment or travel.
Note: Financially, faith agencies suffer from a chronic problem that does not trouble denominational boards. Donors can be obtained more readily for missionary personnel who go to the field, and that is the way it should be. However, few people understand the complexity of missionary administration, and they fail to realize that it costs money here on the home front to operate the sending agency.
Overhead for missionary operations, contrary to uninformed opinion, is not wasted money; it is absolutely essential to the orderly progress of missionary endeavor. The Mission Committee encourages those interested in our missionary work to make a monthly contribution, if at all possible, to the General Fund. Out of this fund the overhead for our home-base expenses is drawn.
F. Monthly Allowance
1. The Mission Committee has established certain financial requirements for those who are accepted as missionary personnel. Since there are differences in housing requirements and work fund needs on various fields, there can be no hard-and-fast rule as to the exact amount of support missionary personnel will need. No missionary personnel will be permitted to go to the field unless their basic financial needs are secured. Basic monthly needs are as follows.
Personal Family Support
Housing (Rent & Utilities)
Ministry Work Fund
Social Security payments
Life Insurance & Retirement
Medical Insurance Children's Education
a. Personal Support for the Family. As its name implies, this includes tithes, food, personal needs, incidental furnishings of the home, and other personal family expenses. (Personal Family Support is reviewed from time to time as the need arises.)
b. Work Fund Expenses. This includes such items as utilities, automobile expenses, travel in interest of work, heating of the home, language school tuition, children's tuition, printing and postage, literature needs, expenses in beginning a new work, and other expenses pertaining to the work.
c. Housing Allowance. The base amount of missionary personnel's housing allowance is $500.00 per month and may be adjusted to meet the need on each particular field.
d. Maintenance. Adult missionary personnel are requested to raise $125.00 per month (couples and singles) for the purpose of meeting in part the needs of administration on the mission field and at home. This maintenance money is not deducted from the missionary personnel's monthly support, but is an amount raised in addition to his support.
e. Health Insurance. Group health insurance is available for missionary personnel and their families. All missionaries must be covered under the missions group policy or an alternative policy approved by the Mission Director.
G. Other Monetary Requirements
1. Emergency Fund
All missionary personnel will be responsible for raising $400.00 for his/her part in the emergency fund. (The emergency fund is based on $400.00 per adult.) Missionary personnel may raise the $400.00 while on deputation or give $20.00 monthly until they have placed $400.00 in the emergency fund. In the case of an emergency, missionary personnel can borrow from this fund. An emergency defined is an immediate threat to life or limb or the destruction of property. If the missionary is not able to repay the amount borrowed while on the field, he will be expected to repay when he returns home on furlough.
2. Transportation Fund
Adult missionary personnel will raise monthly support for their return passage. The amount needed is based on the cost of return passage divided by the number of months the missionary personnel are to be on the field.
3. Retirement, Life Insurance, and Social Security
Missionary couples may draw a total of $500 per month from their backlog for a life insurance and/or retirement program. Single missionaries may draw a total of $250 per month for this purpose. Quarterly Self-Employment Social Security is paid from the accounts of those who come under Social Security. Missionaries not covered under Social Security may place the equivalent amount into their private retirement plans.
As stated under Item E, "Financial Requirements," missionary personnel do not contract debts beyond their assets. In like manner, all missionary personnel serving under the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency are expected to live within their incomes. "Owe no man anything save to love one another" is the scriptural admonition (Romans 13:8).
There will be times, no doubt, when the opportunities seem ready for immediate expansion and the income falls short of expectation. However, the missionary personnel who walk by faith must wait until the supply is received before proceeding. In other words, they must live within their income since the Mission cannot permit deficit spending.
Any deviation from this principle shall be brought to the attention of the Mission Committee, and means to solve the financial problem will be recommended.
1. Personal Debt
Missionary personnel shall incur no debt on the mission field. They shall incur no debt to a national. An exception may be made for financing a residence on the field.
2. Credit Cards
No credit cards of any nature are to be issued in the name of the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency. Moreover, the use of credit cards in the name of the missionary is discouraged.
After four years of service on the field, married missionary personnel are given a raise in family support of $25.00 per month. At the end of the next four years and for every subsequent four years of service a raise of $50.00 per month is given. Single missionary personnel will receive half of this amount.
J. Equipment and Travel Funds
1. When missionary personnel have sufficient funds in their accounts to warrant the expenditure, they are allowed to withdraw funds for special purposes and for items of clothing and field equipment. Requests for these funds should be made before items are purchased.
2. Travel funds should be in hand before departure plans are completed. Missionary personnel must have sufficient funds in their Backlog and Transportation Fund accounts to provide money to pay for equipment, passage to the field, and customs/handling charges upon entry into the country of service, as well has having money with which to get settled in a home on the field. The amount needed will be determined by consultation with the Mission Director.
3. Missionary personnel will not be permitted to buy equipment or go to the field unless funds are in hand to meet the costs.
4. Certain articles of equipment: such as cameras, video projectors, video recorders, computers, radios, etc., which are necessary in the missionary's work, are items that may be purchased as field equipment.
K. Designated Funds
Since the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency is a faith work, which supports missionary personnel purely by faith with no guarantee of salary, monies received, which are designated to missionary personnel, will be dispensed exactly as they are designated. None of these funds will be used for any purpose other than that for which they were designated, except by the approval of the missionary to whom they are designated and the church or individual making the gift.
Note: A reliable mission agency is always happy to fully explain its Practices and Principles. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency wants only those candidates who will be satisfied with the conditions with which they will be working to apply for assignment. If they are completely satisfied, they will be able to do their best for Christ. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency will endeavor to clearly present these matters to every candidate. By so doing, it is trying to avoid in advance the tragedies that do happen occasionally, even where the best intentions are involved on the side of the sending agency and the individual.
L. Love Offerings
All love offerings given for the purpose of purchasing field equipment, passage to the field, shipping costs, or deputation expenses shall be sent to the Mission Office. These funds are to be maintained in the Missionary's Office Account. (If funds are needed for travel and other expenses. missionary personnel may request these funds from the Mission Office.) Due to IRS regulations, Missionary personnel will not be allowed to set up their own personal accounts to hold these funds.
M. Financial Statements
Financial statements will be sent to the home pastor of the missionary personnel when they are requested.
N. Policy of Ownership
1. In as much as missionary personnel, when accepted, are considered as authorized servants of the Lord under the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency, it shall be understood that all funds and contributions sent to the Mission Office for missionary support and equipment belong to the Lord and are simply entrusted to missionary personnel to be used in the furtherance of His work in the regions beyond. ( I Corinthians 4:2..."Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.")
2. Residential property purchased with personal funds, rent allowance, or designated gifts is the personal property of the missionary. Some funds received for the purchase of personal property may be subject to Social Security taxes.
Work Fund may not be used in purchasing or building a personal residence.
No missionary personnel may enter into employment on the field with or without pay unless he has special permission from the Mission Committee, When permission is granted, all gain received from any source, whether in the form of money or benefits, must be reported to the Mission Committee.
P. Indigenous Churches
1. It is the purpose of the World Baptist Fellowship to encourage nationals to build their own churches with their own money, calling their own pastors, and educating the nationals to evangelize their own people. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency will own no property except that which is purchased to build schools for the training of national pastors, headquarters for the field, or any other properties deemed essential for the promotion of the Gospel. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency will rent or lease property for all needs on the foreign field whenever possible. Therefore, evangelism and the establishment of churches shall be the aim and method of all work, and no method shall be employed which does not contribute directly to this end.
2. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency does not believe in the institutional method of missions where large sums of money are invested in expensive buildings and property for social or educational purposes. It believes that buildings and property investments should be kept at a minimum, consistent with effective work, and that the wide, forward-moving program of pioneer evangelism should be the primary concern.
3. The autonomy and sovereignty of the local church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit shall be recognized from the first as the New Testament order and ultimate objective. All groups of believers shall be taught to be independent, they themselves becoming missionary in nature. The World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency believes that truly indigenous methods shall be followed from the first, meaning that the local church should be taught to provide for its own ministry and should not be subsidized by mission funds, either in the support of its pastor or in the erection of its place of worship.
4. To be consistent with the indigenous church policy. American missionary personnel shall not hold membership in national churches. They shall remain members of the church from which they were sent to the field.
Q. Outreach Methods
1. Bible-training schools and evangelistic institutes should be fostered and encouraged as a means of developing and training national Bible teachers, evangelists, pastors, and lay workers. Secular education, as an end in itself, is not the mission. Bible clubs, schools, and vacation Bible schools shall be promoted in order to reach the children. Open-air evangelism and tract distribution shall be engaged in as widely as possible, particularly in the carnival and fiesta seasons where large crowds assemble.
2. The ministry of the printed page is one of the most effective methods of reaching souls; therefore, missionary personnel are encouraged to make full use of this medium. It is recommended that great discretion be used in the distribution of controversial literature.
3. Medical work has been proved to be a legitimate and valuable means of gaining a hearing for the message of soul salvation and, accordingly, medical evangelistic work is an acceptable method.
R. Support Ministries
Due to mitigating circumstances, veteran missionaries of long standing service sometimes find it impossible to remain on the foreign field. It is recognized that they could perhaps be involved in certain types of support ministries which, although not directly involved in church planting, can be of great assistance to the church planting missionary. Modern technology has provided some tools for the ministry which can be used to aid the missionary in his efforts to win souls, plant churches and train national workers. These ministries include, among others, literature, telecommunications, radio/tv, home office administration and Mission Representative. The Mission Committee will consider approval or endorsement on a case by case basis of those who desire to serve under the auspices of the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency in auxiliary ministries.
S. Cross-Cultural Ministry
It is evident that there is a huge, ever growing, population of immigrants in the United States, many of whom do not speak English. In effect, the mission fields of the world are coming to our very doorstep. Definite efforts must be put forth by the churches of the World Baptist Fellowship to reach these souls for Christ. The following guidelines are established for these efforts:
1. That missionaries be approved for this ministry who have completed at least two terms of service on a foreign field where they have learned the language and culture of a particular group of people; and due to extenuating circumstances have to leave the foreign field. Each request will be considered on an individual basis.
2. That these works be as closely linked to local Independent Baptist churches as possible so that the children of the people reached, as they become more adapted to the English language and American culture, can be incorporated, if they wish, into the English speaking churches. There will be some children who will wish to remain in the mission church, but some will want to become Americans.
T. Change of field
No missionary personnel may make a change of field without approval from the sending church and the Mission Committee. He may not return home before his normal furlough is due, except in the case of emergency, or unless permission is obtained from the Mission Office.
All missionary personnel serving under the World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency are to refrain from smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages. They are not to attend questionable places of amusement or to do anything that is offensive to the national Christian attitude. The attitude of our missionary personnel in the area of morals and ethics should be to abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:22)