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Featured A list of mission boards that do not meddle

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by ErikJon, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    I am with All Points and highly recommend then, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
     
  2. ErikJon

    ErikJon New Member

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    Regarding the calling of a church-planting missionary....

    The way I see it--and I may certainly be wrong, as we do not seem to have explicit "job descriptions" from Scripture, but rather only titles and examples--following the example of the first church-planters in the Early Church, the Apostles, when one is called to be a church-planter, he has to take the message from house to house, lead people to the Lord, disciple them, get them together for regular meetings, rent buildings, baptize them, prepare teachings for the group, organize fellowship activities and prayer meetings and children's activities, organize personnel, organize conferences, prepare leaders, organize the musical program,do lots of administration in general, formalize the new mission into a full-fledged church (once it has its own by-laws, is financially independent of other churches, and is able to govern itself in his absence). He will either nominate or appoint a full-time pastor for that new church, so that he can pick up and leave the work in that man's hands, in order to go and start a new church in a new field. Then, after this second mission is underway, he will come back to visit his first one, from time to time, and make sure things are going well. I think that this is why we see the Apostle Paul going back over the same routes, again and again, checking up on his previous work, while, all the while, starting new work in other places.

    So, it is much more complex than just evangelizing and showing others how to evangelize, which is most of what my wife and I do.

    In fact, I do the follow-up visits, only because it complements the first encounter with a convert by helping him to get on his own two feet for a while, having a personal mentor to guide him for a while. Even though I spend a few months discipling him myself, and taking him to church, for the long-term care he has to be firmly planted in the local church, where the pastor can supervise, and I myself need the cooperation of the whole church, to lighten the burden that I myself feel with him, or the time he takes away from other outings, for example.

    To be honest, I get more satisfaction out of the evangelism, than the discipling, (although I try to do both well) and I have no administration skills whatsoever. Planning activities and events is one of the things that I despise, although participating in them is not a problem.

    Years ago, I was asked to "pastor" the singles in a small church in Georgia, for about one year. I prayed and fasted nearly every week, prepared teachings, organized small-groups where we would meet at a different house each week, put a different person in charge of the music each week, another in charge of the refreshments, etc. It was extremely frustrating, not to mention unfruitful. I concluded that the purpose of the whole experience was for God to show me through a "process of elimination," that I was not called to that kind of ministry in the long run.

    Likewise, in Latin America, I once led a certain man to the Lord, and told him I would come back to visit him on a certain day, at 7:00pm. When I got there, he had about ten other young neighborhood men there waiting, so that they could hear the gospel, also. So I shared the plan of salvation with the whole group again. They all prayed the sinner's prayer, and they all came to church on two or three Sundays.

    I went back to the same house, every week, at 7:00pm, to "disciple" the whole group. We started with a few songs, and then I proceeded with a chapter-by-chapter exposition of the whole Book of John. It took an entire year. All along, I felt that the other men were there in this weekly "cell-group" mainly because the host was a sort of "neighborhood chief" that insisted that they come. While they were there, they generally enjoyed the teaching, but, at the same time, I also felt that, if he had not insisted that they attend, they would not have continued to come, throughout the year, regardless of my efforts. In fact, he, himself, generally had to remind them, every Friday night, to be there at his house by 7:00pm.

    Gradually the group fizzled out, and I ended up with just the one host again, and he got a new job requiring him to move to another city.

    Again, I concluded that my skill at evangelism was good, but that I did not have the calling of a pastor. It required lots of work for me, and produced little fruit. On the other hand, when someone else takes care of my new converts in the long term, it frees me to make new converts with evangelism. If we had a little better cooperation in the local church, I think I would not have to do as much discipleship as I have done, as others would answer the call, for me.

    I had two friends in particular that were good at that: they had more patience than I, they seemed to have more time to chat with the new believer, time to call him on the phone, and they even remembered his birthday and sent him a little congratulatory message on the date. I used to tell these two single young men that they had what seemed to be "the calling of a pastor." They laughed. They were not particularly skilled at evangelism, but they were better than I when it came to caring for new believers.

    Over the years, these two guys got married, studied in our Bible Institute, and eventually became pastors cherished by their congregations. They never pastored any other church but the one that they started in, and never started any new ones.

    What I do envision for myself someday, is for some pastor with "caring" skills, in Latin America, to ask me to compensate his weakness in soul-winning by making me his assistant, in charge of his visitation program, training soul-winners, directing his follow-up program (i.e., making sure every new convert got follow-up visits, making sure members were teaching the right material to the new converts, etc.) I would also enjoy teaching miscellaneous subjects in the pulpit, now and then.

    This might limit my ability to conduct workshops in other churches, however, since lately my wife and I have found it more productive to spend an entire month with a little church--taking groups out to evangelize and make follow-up visits with us every afternoon, but teaching the principles only during the regular church services, twice a week--rather than spending only one intensive week for the whole workshop (requiring taking groups out to the streets for five days in a row, and then also teaching nightly for five days in a row). The latter scenario requires the church to cancel other appointments for the whole week, in order to be in church every night, and leaves less time for us to work with them on the street.

    Well, excuse my verbosity.
     
  3. ErikJon

    ErikJon New Member

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    Thank you, Jordan. I would like to know what distinguishes All Points from the other big missions agencies, if you don't mind commenting on your experience, and on what others have said.

    Trouble is, when you work with only one missions agency for all your life, it is hard to compare to others that you have never known, I suppose.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You're pretty much correct about the people of Japan. I would just amend it to say that there is little violent crime but much white collar crime. Also, there is much domestic violence that never gets reported or prosecuted, unlike in the States. And there is much immorality, starting with idolatry, which is a terrible sin against God.
     
  5. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    All Points Baptist Mission, is a local church ministry and NOT a traditional mission board, it is a ministry of Calvary Baptist Church of New Philadelphia, Ohio. They are NOT a parachurch organization, but rather a ministry of Calvary Baptist to aid missionaries. their ministry is to support missionaries in helping them get meetings, giving practical missionary advice, and other various ways of support beyond financial support. I completely understand being against para church mission boards and we are NOT with a para church mission board.
    We believe strongly in the authority of the Local Church and that is precisely why we chose All Points to aid us. All Points only requirement, for any missionary who is aided by them, is to agree with their doctrinal statement. They then provide us with training, encouragement, and handle our finances/support for us. (Also, they require zero percent of our finances as payment or fees of any kind). Many of the other mission boards have handbooks dictating many aspects of their missionaries personal lives and ministries. All Points does NOT have one. When I asked to see their handbook, I was told “We don’t have one. We believe that is between you and your sending Church and Pastor”. All Points has shown us time and time again that they defer to our Pastor and Local Church. We personally never felt right giving over some of our autonomy, and authority of our ministry, to a mission board. We have seen many boards claim to believe in the local church, but sadly, often when push comes to shove, the mission board responds as though it has more authority than the local church.
     
  6. ErikJon

    ErikJon New Member

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    John, yes, I stand corrected.

    And from my point of view, as a young adult in those days, I would say that the biggest temptation of all was pre-marital promiscuity.

    In fact, the firrst pastor that I had in Atlanta, when I got back from Japan, had a son in the Armed Forces, stationed in Okinawa. There was a new outbreak of protest going on in Okinawa, presumably against the American presence or something, or else the movement to get the Japanese Armed Forces back involved in combat training. My pastor was asking prayer for his son's protection. I told him, "Pastor, the Japanese are not violent these days, so I would say that there is nothing to worry about in that area. If I were you, I would pray that your son not get enticed by any young Japanese woman over there, rather, and have an immoral relationship with any. There is nothing more that the average single Japanese woman would like, than to have a blond-haired, blue-eyed American soldier as her boyfriend."

    The pastor did not believe me, and said that his son was doing well in that area, and not to worry.
    One year later, his son got involved with a girl, precisely as I had warned, and even brought her over to the U.S., for his parents to meet her, and we met her in church, although it became obvious to me that they had already fallen into sin.
     
  7. ErikJon

    ErikJon New Member

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    Jordan, thanks so much for clarifying. That is precisely what I meant when I asked for information about "Missions agencies that do not meddle." Of course, it was a poor choice of words. What I meant was "Missions agencies that do not usurp the role of the local church," or "Missions agencies that do not 'control" their missionaries."

    Of course, I do not mean to offend the other dear brethren who insist that their own missions agencies are never guilty of controling. I think sometimes it comes down to personal experiences and preferences.

    Likewise, a young couple that starts off with a big agency, and does not know better, will naturally adapt to whatever policies it has, rather than complain, and risk losing all its support due to one nasty letter from the agency, sent out to all supporting churches.

    With your permission I may like to ask you more questions about your experience, in the next few months. So far, it sounds great.

    Have you ever had a potential supporter tell you, "We've never heard of All Points. I'm afraid we can't help you, because we only work with recognized agencies..."?
     
  8. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    No we have never had that said to us.
     
  9. ErikJon

    ErikJon New Member

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    Thanks, Jordan.

    To be fair, I wish to express my gratitude to the other brothers on this thread, who have affirmed that their own agencies are not of the more "controlling" type that I am afriad of, which may not be as common as I feared, but time will tell. I will also look into the other agencies that you other gentlemen have mentioned. You have made good points that should have been obvious to me at the first, namely, that an agency cannot put its seal of approval on a missionary unless it regularly keeps track of his whereabouts and his work, and not just his doctine. So I do need a balance.

    Meanwhile, Jordan, I hope you do not mind if I stay in touch with you about your experiences, perhaps by private messages or e-mail?
     
  10. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    Thats fine
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Depends on what you mean by "control." My mission board considered itself a representative of the local churches that supported us. If we had committed ethical or moral sins, they would have let us go, and notified our home church. I call that accountability, not control. A mission board should be the servant of both the missionary and the churches.

    I knew an independent missionary who had actually been let go previously from two different mission boards. He wrote glowing but dishonest prayer letters to his supporters, while pursuing money (he had an English school) and women on the mission field. His wife finally got disgusted with him, and his goose was cooked. In the mean time, a good board would have held him accountable.

    In other ways, our board did not control us on the field: money, music, etc. They did let one missionary go, though, who never one souls and started no churches. (It's a church planting board.) They let another go who had become a Calvinist (against the board's doctrinal statement). Again, I consider these to be accountability items. My home church and supporting churches had no problems with this kind of oversight.

    There are controlling boards. A field council is a means of control (BMM, ABWE).
     
    #31 John of Japan, Apr 3, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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  12. MartyF

    MartyF Well-Known Member

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    So, you’re having to grow up and realize that there are actual expenses in life. Maybe you should have not gotten married if you wanted to continue your ministry?

    Bigoted much?

    Sorry, but the more I read, the less sympathetic I am.

    You sound like a twenty-something - not someone with any life-knowledge or wisdom.
     
  13. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon Well-Known Member
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    You may want to check out Macedonia World Baptist Missions. They are IFB and are located in Braselton, just north of Atlanta. Their web site is www.mwbm.org and from there, you can see their statement of faith, etc.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Actually, there is some truth in what he said, though it is an overstatement. Outside every American base on the weekends, there are many young Japanese ladies waiting and hoping for a liaison. I'm been to several American bases in Japan and seen them.

    Again, remember that Japan is a very heathen country, with less than one per cent claiming Christianity, and only about 0.6 per cent being evangelical. It is a very immoral country, the main purveyor of some of the worst immoral filth to the rest of the world. (I saw several yakuza gangsters trust Christ, and have spent many hours discipling ex-gangsters. I know what I'm talking about.)

    As for the claim that Japan has very little violent crime, that is bogus. Note that due to it being an honor/shame society, (1) domestic violence is almost never prosecuted (and there is plenty of it); (2) The schools cover up student violence so that it is not prosecuted; (3) public drunkenness is not illegal.
     
  15. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Same thing in EUCOM (The US European Command) - Many German ladies waiting to meet and marry a GI, so they can get that coveted Green card, so they can make it to the States.
    I know a USMC lifer - who married a girl from the Philippines - came Stateside - brought her family over - then she divorced him.
    What did he do - went to the Philippines to marry another LN. Same story- brought parents to States - then divorced hubby.
    And then a third time.
    And yes, this man professed to be born-again.

    John - that missionary you mentioned that worked with 2 separate boards- and wrote false prayer letters? Did he serve in Germany?
    If so, I think I know him.
     
    #35 Salty, Apr 17, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  16. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    I recd this from a missionary, who is a personal friend of mine who serves in Europe:
    (I am not id'ing the missionary or mission board based on request as he is not giving an official response.)

    Our Board functions with field councils on fields where there there are more than 2 or 3
    units. This is mostly to provide direction and unity, and some admin matters.
    The Field councils chosen by the missionaries who are on the field and helps to take care of business, finances (transferring funds) some planning, legal status, and ect. It is certainly not the mission that is controlling the field, and in our experience, even on the field has not been controlling of the individual missionaries ministry. Our mission board is fairly balanced regarding control. I feel, with there being some good accountability, but most of the responsibilities and directions are on the individuals shoulder. (end of statement)

    To me - it sounds like these field councils are of a great help to new missionaries
    on that particular field.
     
    #36 Salty, Apr 17, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    That's a pretty sorry state of affairs.
    No, he was in Japan. But this is not a rare bird. :(
     
  18. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Sounds like it is good to have accountability.
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    In my experience in Japan, a certain field council there was denominationalistic, and I don't find denominationalism in the Bible. To me the doctrines of the autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of the believer mitigate against field councils. If a field council has the power to tell a new missionary where to start a church (and they do), they are taking the place of the Holy Spirit. I know of one such case in Japan, where the field council forbade a missionary from starting a church in a certain town. This is right down the same line as the Presbyterians in China, where the presbytery forbade godly missionary Jonathan Goforth from going to a certain town to evangelize.

    In my own experience, I worked closely with a field council in Japan of another mission (BWM doesn't have them, as you must know). I taught in their Bible school, having the third most courses to teach, including Greek, which none of them were qualified to teach. I traveled two hours one way every Friday to teach there. When there were several young men ready to graduate, and I felt the church I was planting was ready for a national pastor, the field council forbade the young men from candidating in any church but their own, and I was completely shut out from the young men I had trained. That's denominationalism. I knew most of the men personally, and was close friends with several, but put them in a field council and all bets were off.

    And by the way, anything a field council can do, a senior missionary led by the Spirit can do better. I will always thank God for Dr. Jim N., who mentored me when we got to the field--without a field council! :)
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Absolutely true.
     
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