The Mission Festival held a few weeks ago was very fruitful. From the Korean speaking congregation alone, 33 people (including some couples) committed to long term missions, which means they are willing to serve in a foreign country for 2 years or longer.
This may be a good time to say something about our mission policies concerning sending our own missionaries.
We will support but not send our own missionaries. Some missionaries have gone to mission fields without belonging to a mission organization, relying solely on the support of their local church. While some are doing well, most of them are struggling or have returned because they did not have accurate information about their mission fields and were not adequately trained.
Some churches are proud to send out their own missionaries. But the fact of matter is that very few local churches have the capability to properly train missionary candidates or have enough financial resources to support their mission work.
I think it’s best for local churches to cooperate with reputable mission organizations in sending out missionaries. These groups are able to train and supervise missionary candidates and provide them with lots of support, including health care and even retirement plans.
On this principle we will not recognize as our missionaries or financially support those who go to mission fields on their own without being a member of a mission organization. Only those that are a part of a mission organization and have been a full member of our church for longer than a year will be recognized as missionaries of our church. This is independent of the level of financial support they receive from our church. Some will be supported financially and others won’t, depending on which organizations they belong to. For example, if they go as IMB (the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) missionaries, they do not need financial assistance because the IMB fully supports their missionaries, being funded by financial contributions from local churches like ours.
When people are recognized as missionaries of our church, they enjoy certain privileges. Primarily, they will receive intercessory prayer from our church prayer teams. When they are in Houston, they will be allowed to stay in the apartments our church rents for visiting pastors learning about the house church. They will also automatically be given the opportunity to report to our congregation about their mission activities whenever they visit.
We strongly recommend the IMB to those that are interested in going out as long term missionaries. It is the largest Protestant mission organization. They are also very selective in choosing their missionaries. If people are accepted as IMB missionaries, we can be assured that they are good missionaries, worthy of our support with prayer and more.
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