Recently, more people have been asking if the church can help financially with their mission trips. Let me lay out our church’s policies regarding mission trip funding.
The annual mission trips to Mexico and the well-digging projects in South America are sponsored by the church. So the church will fund the entire cost of these trips except airfare. Participants are responsible for transportation.
The church will pay 1/3 to 1/2 of the total cost for mission trips initiated by Seoul Baptist. In the future, Pastor Shin, when he is in charge of both the Korean and English speaking congregations, may want to visit areas where the gospel has not yet been heard. We plan to find unchurched people groups and plant a church among them. Those who accompany Pastor Shin will receive this kind of financial support.
For those who commit to becoming full-time missionaries and who are willing to go to areas designated by our church, the church will fund the full cost of training, settlement, and mission work.
If someone volunteers to become a missionary and work with a missions organization with a proven track record, the church will support a large portion of the training and mission work. However, if he or she does not go to the mission field within 3 years after the church begins support, the church’s contribution should be refunded (at least partially, if they are unable to return the full amount).
If five or more church members form a team and go on a mission trip, it can be considered sponsored by the church and 1/3 of transportation, room and board will be paid for by the church. Other costs related to mission work are the responsibility of the participants. Financial assistance is not automatic – the team must get approval from the missions committee. There will be no financial support for a mission team with less than five church members.
Some people want our church to form our own missions agency and send out our own missionaries like some bigger churches do. Some want to allocate a large missions budget and encourage church members to go on short term mission trips by tens and hundreds by assuming a large portion of the missions costs. However, it would be difficult for us to start such a missions program because we are supporting more than 100 missionaries through the house churches already.
I believe that God gave me the ministry of assistance. When God called me to go into full time ministry, He did not call me initially to be a senior pastor but to be a minister of education who helps the senior pastor. We want to establish house churches in other areas, but instead of starting sister churches, we have helped existing churches transform into house churches. I feel that God is asking me to do the same with missions. God wants me to assist missionaries who are already in the field by supporting them through our house churches instead of sending our own missionaries.
God has graciously given each house church faithful missionaries to support. If we expand our own missions programs, it will be difficult to help them financially in the same way we have been doing. Having our own big missions program would be satisfying, as we would have a tangible organization and results. However, I feel that it is also meaningful and worthy to support others’ missionary work without being known ourselves.
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