For the last 10 years we have focused on saving nonbelievers in Houston through house churches. We have also supported foreign missionaries through the house churches and are now supporting more than 100 missionary families. I sense that God now wants our church to have a greater focus on foreign missions for the next 10 years. As we have prayed for and financially supported missionaries our attention has naturally moved towards foreign mission fields. As we have worked to save nonbelievers in Houston our attention has also naturally moved towards unsaved souls throughout the world. I think now is the time to set new goals for our church.
Our church mission department surveyed both the English and Korean speaking congregations to find out where we stood in regards to missions issues. They presented the results of the survey to some of the leaders last March.
Based on the results, the mission department made the following recommendations, all of which were accepted by our board of deacons. First, the mission department will have greater autonomy and authority to direct the missions activities of our church. Pastor Eric will appoint two people to serve in a leading role for each congregation.
Second, instead of developing our own mission program we will work with the International Mission Board, the largest Protestant mission organization. Our first joint project will be a Mission Festival this November for the purpose of training and motivating our church members and recruiting long term missionary candidates.
As our church opens a new chapter in foreign missions, as senior pastor, I’d like to make several suggestions.
We will only support those summer mission trips that are consistent with our church mission policies. From this point forward, we have decided to focus on the unreached people groups in the 10/40 window. Mission trips to these areas will receive a financial support. Short-term mission trips sponsored by the IMB will also receive support since we have decided to partner with them. Financial support for other mission trips will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but generally they should expect to be self-supporting.
Our Mexico mission trips and the South American well-digging project will continue to receive the same support as they have been given. Korean missionaries in South America have a hard time getting assistance from South Korea because of the great distance. Helping them should be the responsibility of churches in North America.
The matching mission fund for house churches will continue. However, there will now be a limit: $200 a month for general funds and $400 a month for special funds involving construction, medicine or transportation. The limit will be raised every year.
People interested in becoming long-term missionaries are encouraged to work with the IMB or another reputable mission organization with a good track record. Our church does not send out our own missionaries because we do not have capability to properly train and help them.
North Korean projects will be limited to those that directly help people in need. There seems to be merit to the claim that money and aid intended to help people in North Korea have been redirected for military use. We should not help a dictatorial regime, intentionally or unintentionally.
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