General Baptist International Missions allows you several opportunities to serve God around the globe. At GBIM we offer short term team opportunities with our Mission One program, summer internships for college students, short term mission opportunities as well as opportunities to teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
MISSION ONE PROGRAM
Our Mission One program exists to provide support and aid to our missionaries and nationals as they work on our different fields. Our program provides opportunities for individuals to participate as members of mission teams, as interns, and as short-term missionaries.
We have many opportunities available, which are listed below. If you would like more information, please contact our Mission One Coordinator, Dr. Jim Pratt.
Our teams are as diverse as the people who participate on them. Some are highly professional, such as our medical teams which provide dental, optical, physical, auditory and medicinal helps. Other teams offer construction expertise, educational training, servant evangelism, and leadership development. To download a Mission One Team application please click on the following link. (MISSION ONE APPLICATION PDF)
Our internship program is available to upper level high school students and college age students. Our interns usually serve from two to eight weeks on one of our international fields. The internship responsibilities depend upon the location and the needs as presented by the missionaries and national workers. On many cases, college credit is available. If you would like more information, please contact Mission One Coordinator, Jim Pratt. To download an Internship application please click on the following link. (GBIM MISSION INTERNSHIP APPLICATION PDF)
Short-term opportunities are available to adult individuals at each of our international locations. Our short-term missionaries usually serve from two weeks to one year. The responsibilities depend upon the skill set of the short-term missionaries as well as the needs of the field location. If you would like more information, please contact Mission One Coordinator, Jim Pratt To download a Short-Term Missionary application please click on the following link. (GBIM SHORT-TERM MISSIONARY APPLICATION PDF)
As the world shrinks via the internet opportunities abound for North Americans to become involved in the lives of nationals on our various mission fields. This is both welcome and worrisome – more worrisome if the mentor does not take the time to prepare himself/herself with a proper cross-cultural perspective. It is even more worrisome of field missionaries are not consulted or even considered. The missionary is the one who has studied the local culture and language and has made the sacrifice to leave home for new life around the globe. Their insight and wisdom will be helpful to anyone desiring to have a positive mentoring relationship with a national on any of our fields. We do not encourage or condone any mentoring relationship that ignores the value of our field missionaries.
- Spend some time exploring the MentorLink website.
- Don’t create financial dependency. Many nationals will see the relationship as a means of advancing themselves financially and you may find some compulsion to develop not just a mentoring relationship but also a financial relationship. While GBIM does, on occasion, assist the national church with financial assistance our basic philosophy and the prevailing philosophy of cross cultural ministry is found in the indigenous principle.
- Don’t violate cultural norms as much as possible. We will provide some helpful information here to help in those areas.
- Please read the Leader’s Covenant. This Covenant was developed for the Lausanne Leadership Development Working Group as a resource for Lausanne’s Cape Town 2010 Congress on World Evangelization.
- Read Cultural Awareness in Intercultural Mentoring. This is another essential read for anyone involved in mentoring.
- Take some time to work through the Passing It On manual (Spanish version).
Our Goals for an Indigenous Church Planting Movement
In accordance with Matthew 28:18-20, General Baptist International Ministries (GBIM) is committed to the New Testament philosophy of indigenous church planting through soul-winning, discipleship, Bible study, and the organization of churches that govern, support, and reproduce themselves.
WE AFFIRM THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
- As the Gospel is universal, it will grow in any cultural soil and is not dependent upon American forms, structures, worship styles, leadership or financing in order to take root and grow.
- Churches must always be free, in Christ, to express their faith in ways that are faithful to the Bible and relevant to the cultural context.
- It is impossible for a church to obtain valid growth if captive to someone other than the Lord for its ultimate authority.
- Intentional efforts must be made to where God-called mature indigenous leaders are empowered to lead these ministries.
- The cross-cultural worker must interact in such a way that leaders are developed without creating undue dependency. As progress is made it is essential that the national worker increase in the eyes of the people as the cross-cultural worker moves further toward the background. While supporting national leaders with financial gifts may at first appear to build their prestige it is in fact built on a false foundation that cannot be sustained independently.
- We recognize the unique nature of institutions that depend on various forms of support whether they are first world or third world.
A. Indigenous Church – Of the people, by the people.
- We minister to people in the means, manner and methods that communicate truth within the context of their culture (1 Co. 9:19-23). This results in true worship and brings glory to God. (1 Co. 10:31)
- The parameters of the indigenous church are built upon the precepts of Scripture. We are bound to walk within the boundaries set forth in God’s Word (Is. 8:20). However, it is important to recognize we bring much tradition from our own culture. Cultural traditions must not be mistaken for “thus saith the Lord.” We must be flexible.
B. Self-Supporting Church
- Though the missionary may initially provide funding to begin the church, the long-term goal is to wean the growing body of believers from financial assistance.
- Attainable goals, that can be met by faith, need to be set for the congregation. (Ps 37:3-7)
- Once a financial responsibility has been taken by the church, the missionary must not take it back. In this way, the church body learns to trust God and sees the importance of obedience and personal involvement.
- Don’t do for the church what they can do for themselves. (1 Tim. 5:8: 2 Thes. 3:8-10)
- Develop the ministry only to the degree the local assembly will be able to financially and capably handle. In the end, programs, building and equipment beyond the means of the mature assembly are counter-productive to the goal of a self-supporting church. It is important that we not establish that which will require continued missionary involvement.
C. Self-Governing Church
- The church is ever-increasingly brought into the decision making process. As spiritual leadership is developed, they should be consulted and in appropriate matters asked for advice. (Acts 6:1-6)
- Acts 15 – The Pastor is to lead in decisions concerning doctrine, practice and spiritual direction. The church must approve matters of doctrine. (Acts 15:22-27)
- All matters of financial expenditures from money given by the body must be decided upon by membership. (1 Cor. 16:3)
- The church, under the leadership of the pastor, has the responsibility to elect deacons with a heart to serve. (Acts 6:1-6)
- The church must be taught to take responsibility and to deal with discipline problems within the body in accordance to biblical guidelines and mandates. (Matt. 18:15-18) After the church has been established and turned over to national leadership, never, under any circumstance does the missionary have the right or authority to force his will in a matter. When called upon, he may offer advice and counsel. (See the spirit of 1 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 2; 2 Cor. 6:11-13) Ownership of facilities and equipment are the responsibility and privilege of the self-governed church. (1 Cor. 16:3; Acts 2:44)
D. Self-Propagating Church
- A living organism will by its very nature reproduce itself.
- While missionaries are still involved in this process, extreme care must be taken to allow the trained, qualified leadership within the assembly to minister, be involved in decisions, and assume financial responsibility of the new work.
- Special care must be taken to not do for the infant church what they can do themselves. To do so would be counter-productive to the stated goal, discourage participation and make it appear the ministry is a missionary effort instead of an offspring of the mature ministry. (1 Thes. 2:1-13)
- The missionary has the responsibility to assist where needed, provide direction and organization and use the new work as a vehicle for leadership development, training and ministry experience.
Contact us to see if there is a place for you!