Steps to Appointment
Appointment to missionary is a very long process. We know that we are placing people and often families in very difficult living situations. Stress is placed on the family, your faith, your world view and everything you ever thought you knew. It is of paramount importance then that we do a thorough assessment, exceptional pre-field preparation and approach missionary partner development (MPD) very seriously.
Missions is more than a job; it’s a ministry which can be very demanding. Loneliness, cultural differences, financial limitations, and other frustrations may come your way. You need to have a strong conviction that God is leading you into missions. Your love for God and your desire to glorify Him, no matter what, must be top priority.
Crossing the ocean will not make you a missionary. Whatever you propose to do in ministry across cultural lines you should already be doing now. Are you committed and involved in your local General Baptist church? Have you talked to your church leaders about your interest in missions? Because the church in an integral part of the sending, they should be involved in discipling, training, and equipping you.
Does the way you live demonstrate an attitude of self-discipline, teachability, servant spirit, flexibility, accountability, initiative, perseverance, sense of humor?
There are academic qualifications that will be required, depending on the type of ministry and length of term. Some countries require a degree for entry. What specific skills do you have to offer for cross-cultural ministry?
Going out with a mission agency means joining a team. Can you work with an international team? You need to be compatible with the team’s beliefs, goals, and methods. Study our Statements of
Faith, our Social Principles, our mission principles and purpose statement (paragraph 2 of our home page).
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.
Missionary Development (MD) Phase 1
- This is the pre-assessment phase.
- Be a member in good standing with a General Baptist Church or a church of like faith and practice.
- Read and agree with the General Baptist Statements of Faith
- Read and live in harmony with the Social Principles of General Baptists
- Contact us expressing interests in missionary appointment.
- Connect by phone to the Director of International Missions
- If you have not visited one of our mission fields, especially the field you wish to serve, sign up for a Mission One team as soon as possible.
- Submit a resume, complete a Missionary Application and Submit references
- Take the online AssessME assessment. This is a preliminary assessment only. Click here to request AssessMe code. Then click below to access AssessMe.
- Schedule a formal interview with International Ministries director,
Missionary Development (MD) Phase 2
- This is the assessment phase.
- Receive a clear background check. Please download and mail the consent form to GBIM, 100 Stinson Dr., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
- Allow GBIM to conduct a credit check.
- Invitation to attend Missionary Assessment Center
- International Personnel Committee (IPC) Interview to include the GBIM Director, the Executive Director of General Baptists and other persons of the directors choosing.
- Missionary Candidate Appointment to be determined.
- It is possible that the candidate is determined not to be a good fit for GBIM (red light).
- It is possible that the candidate, while determined to be well qualified, needs some additional training or other preparation as determined by the interview committee (yellow light).
- It is possible that the candidate is found qualified and prepared to begin missionary service and MD phase 3 begins (green light).
MD Phase 3 (pre-deputation)
One of the most important keys to successful ministry life is the development of ministry partners or what we commonly call share partners. This is done through a process of deputation where the missionary candidate cultivates relationships in various churches. These partners infuse the missionary with their time, energy, resources and prayer. They are key links to sharing your story with others and developing lifelong ministry partners.
When & Where?
Generally Ministry Partner Development (MPD) will take place as needed in a highly interactive “Focus” session at our offices in Poplar Bluff. “Focus” is a 2-day orientation and MPD introductory training that helps the missionary understand the deputation process, missionary life while on deputation, mission shares and ministry partner development.
Read – Pre Focus Reading Assignments
- For Everyone:
- Do an inspirational-only read of “A Spirituality of Fundraising” (Henri Nouwen, 2010, 64 pages).
- Read “Seed, Soil and Seasons” by Charlie Carr.
- Read the GBIM Missionary Handbook and highlight questions you may have.
- For the Husband:
- Do an in-depth, word-for-word read of “The God Ask” (Steve Shadrach, 2013, 346 pages).
- For the Wife:
- Do an in-depth, word-for-word read of “Funding Your Ministry” (Scott Morton, 2007, 248 pages).
Write & Submit
- Length & Format:
- Write a college-level 3-page book report paper (husband, Shadrach; wife, Morton). There is no style requirement (i.e., no MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), no need for a cover page, no need for a reference page, and no need to cite references unless you are citing more than one author. But put your name on your paper!
- Paper Organization:
- Abstract—an opening overview of 1 or 2 paragraphs;
- New or Challenging Insights—list 3 new or challenging insights gleaned from your reading, including why each is new or challenging, and how you intend to apply each insight;
- Reflective Critique—based on your personal experience and insight, where might the author be wrong, or have forgotten something important?
- Muddy Waters—list and explain up to 3 items which are still confusing to you (your Muddy Water items drive some of our “Focus” discussions in Poplar Bluf); and
- Conclusion—your 1-paragraph conclusion.
- Submit to: Email your completed paper no less than 1 week prior to “Focus” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If considered necessary enroll in and complete the class “Perspectives on the World Mission Movement” – link here
What to expect at FOCUS
Focus will help the missionary begin the process of learning who we are as a missionary sending agency, the missionaries place within the agency, and the process involved in ministry partner development (MPD).
Sessions will include but are not limited to:
- General Baptist systems of life and faith (our Statement of Faith and Social Principles).
- Brief review of General Baptist International Ministries history.
- Brief introduction to our mission fields and ministries.
- Introduction to GBIM home staff.
- Introduction to the deputation process and budget setting workshop.
- Introduction to our MPD training and coaching system partner.
- Post Focus courses and a reading list will be assigned during Focus based on the target country and people group and/or religion.
MD Phase 4 (Deputation Phase)
This is where the work you did in Phase 3 will come to fruition as you complete your training and begin coaching while sharing your story with individuals and visiting churches. Your goal will be to share the vision God has laid on your heart and invite people to share in your ministry by becoming partners with you. Cast your vision and alway remember to ask God before asking any particular individual or congregation to do anything. Remember without God nothing is possible!
The mission office will work with you to help fill out the church portion of your deputation schedule. It is desirable that 60% of your deputation be raised within a 150 miles radius of your home. The healthiest relationship is when the appointee’s home church assumes as much responsibility for “their” missionary as possible. GBIM will seek to foster a strong relationship between the appointee and their home church.
The missionary appointee should remain in their work place until 75% of their required deputation has been raised. At the 75% point the missionary candidate will be placed on a stipend so that they may focus 100% of their efforts to raise necessary support. The actual support goal is 105% of the budget worked out during the Focus session. Please understand that this can be a long process sometimes taking one year or more at times.
Pre-field orientation and training will take place during Phase 4 as well. The reading list compiled will help furnish the appointee adequate training for the field of service and ministry. The “Perspectives” class should be completed during this time if not before. Video conferences will be arranged with field missionaries in order for the missionary appointee to be better equipped with first hand knowledge of life on the field and their specific ministry assignment.
Other courses may be required during this period as well depending on the field of service and area of ministry.
MD Phase 5 – You’re Almost There!
We call this phase 5 but not necessarily because all the elements will fall last in your process.
A Contract for Missionary service will be signed and notarized approximately 30 days out from departure.
All missionary appointees are commissioned for missionary service in a special ceremony held before departure for the foreign field. GBIM shall lead in planning the service with the candidate and may preside at the service. A representative for GBIM will give an appropriate charge to the candidate(s). The service may be held at a national meeting, such as the Missions and Ministry Summit, or in a local church of the appointee’s preference.
As close to departure as scheduling will allow, the missionary will attend a program of missionary internship. This is essential training for the missionary appointee and is best done just prior to field assignment.
The process being fulfilled the missionary appointee will be cleared for field departure.