Center for World Missions

Dr. Cox PresentationsMissions Seminar

For Elders and Missions Committees
Monte Cox Ph.D.


Lesson 2: DECISIONS! DECISIONS!

A. AN EXERCISE IN DECISION-MAKING.

Your church has allocated $2,000 per month to missions. Furthermore, a member gave a lump sum of $15,000 to the church to spend on missions. At your next missions committee meeting, you must respond to these six requests:

1. A nephew of one of the deacons just graduated from college and is making plans to be a missionary in Santiago, Chile. He asks the church to sponsor his work and provide all of his support--$3,000 per month, plus estimated moving expenses of 25,000.

2. A veteran missionary in Africa recently lost half of his support when his sponsoring church split. He asks the church to give $1,000 per month, but only until he can find a new sponsoring church.

3. A preacher in Oklahoma City has just returned from his fifth evangelistic campaign to Russia wants to attend the meeting to ask the church to pay the salaries of four Russian preachers. The young churches, he says, desperately need trained leaders who speak the language and understand the culture. And, at $250 each per month, this is a bargain.

4. The chairman has received a written request from a missionary in Papua New Guinea who is unknown to everyone on the committee. He is asking for $100 (but would appreciate more) toward the purchase of a new four-wheel drive vehicle (total cost = $21,000) without which he cannot reach the remote villages where the gospel has not been heard.

5. One of your members is a pre-med student home from college who is asking the committee for $2,600 to go to Guatemala for three weeks this summer to serve as a medical assistant in the brotherhood clinic there. The student explains that this experience will help him decide about making a long-term commitment to missions when he finishes his education.

6. The Bangalore Bible School trains twenty national preachers each year. According to their fund-raising letter, they could accommodate twice as many students if they could build a larger dormitory. Since labor is cheap in this part of the world, they say, the total cost of this building project is $50,000.

Will you contribute? How did you decide? What criteria guided your decisions? Did you apply the criteria consistently? How did your personalities affect the discussion and the decision?

B. AFTER THIS SEMINAR, YOUR CHURCH SHOULD BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO:

1. Understand the complexities of cross-cultural ministry.

2. Ask better questions of missionaries seeking support.

3. Make educated decisions about missions.

4. Write a missions policy statement that will guide those missions decisions.



WRITING A MISSIONS POLICY STATEMENT

A. SEE SAMPLE IN APPENDIX

B. HOW A WRITTEN POLICY STATEMENT CAN HELP:

1. It permits careful evaluation of critical issues well in advance.

2. It reduces the number of decisions that are based on personal whims or hunches.

3. It minimizes confusion, inconsistency, misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

4. It defines the specific responsibility of the congregation to the missionary and the missionary to the congregation.

5. It can save committee-meeting time.

6. It focuses the missions ministry.

C. OBJECTIONS?

1. A missions policy statement is too restrictive. Each request deserves special consideration.

2. A written policy quenches the spirit.

3. It will take too long to write it.

4. No one will read it.

5. The committee probably won't follow it anyway.

D. FOR HELP IN WRITING A POLICY STATEMENT:

1. Ed Matthews, "Missions Committee Policy

Workbook," Abilene, TX: ACU Department of Missions, rev. ed., 1992.

2. Church Mission Policy Handbook, 2d edition.

Wheaton, IL: ACMC. Telephone: (708) 260-1660

Click for Mission Seminar Lessons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Sample Policy