1.0 The purpose of this missions policy is to explain and guide activities of GNPC in fulfilling the Great Commission.
2.1 Missions. "Missions" is the activity of making disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey the commands of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).
2.2 Missions Committee. The Missions Committee meets at least quarterly to identify, encourage and support people called by Christ to the work of missions. A quorum for the transaction of business shall be a majority including the chair (or a chair for the meeting appointed by the chair). The term "committee" means "Missions Committee" unless the context shows a different meaning.
2.3 Missions Committee member. A member of GNPC who promises and works actively to advance the Great Commission and the missions policy of GNPC, has been approved by the Session, and attends all regular meetings of the Missions Committee except for excused absences. All committee members including the chair may vote. At the discretion of the chair, people who are not members may attend meetings of the Missions Committee and participate in discussion but may not vote.
2.4 Missions Committee focus. The Missions Committee's work focuses primarily on missions activity in other nations. The Missions Committee may also support missions activities in the United States directed toward foreign nationals like refugees and foreign students.
3.1 Chair. The chair shall be a committee member appointed by the session, whose duties shall include presiding at meetings, preparing and administering the annual budget.
3.2 Secretary. The secretary shall make and maintain minutes of committee meetings and manage committee correspondence and files. The secretary shall distribute a copy of the minutes to each committee member and to the clerk of session.
3.3 Other Officers. The chair may appoint other officers and assistant officers as needed.
Promote missions awareness – Communicate regularly with the church about missionaries and missions activities; sponsor an annual missions weekend at our church; encourage attendance at missions conferences and seminars outside the church; provide information about missionaries and mission fields for the church publications such as the newsletter and prayer lists.
Promote missions prayer - Encourage the church to pray individually and corporately for missionaries and the nationals among whom they labor. Provide information about our mission fields and their prayer concerns to the congregation. Attend prayer meetings that focus on missions.
Promote missions communication - Correspond with missionaries and identify their needs for prayer, material support and assistance. Inform missionaries, potential missionaries and agencies about GNPC missions policies as necessary.
Promote missions involvement - Identify and encourage potential missionary candidates from GNPC. Conduct and promote short-term mission trips. Screen and recommend candidates for missions (including short-term missions) according to the criteria in Appendix A. Arrange visits to missionaries in the field when doing so would promote their work.
Determine missions strategy – Missions strategies would include, but not be limited to, determining: budgeting priorities, how to mobilize church members for short-term missions participation, and how to more effectively support and relate to missionaries and sister congregations in foreign countries.
Encourage missions financing – Encourage the church in its financial support of world missions and submit budget recommendations annually.
5.1 The Missions Committee shall be accountable to the session.
5.2 The Missions Committee shall request missionaries supported by GNPC to communicate regularly with the Missions Committee concerning their work; their spiritual, material, and personal needs; and their plans for future service or termination of service on the mission field.
5.3 The committee shall submit a summary of their work for the church's annual report.
6.1 Each autumn the Missions Committee shall contact each missionary and/or missions agency to determine the missionary's support requirements for the next calendar year, and the amount of support currently unmet (if any).
6.2 The Missions Committee shall prepare and submit a missions budget to the budget committee which they shall review and revise as necessary and incorporate in the church budget (subject to review, revision and approval by the session).
6.3 The missions budget shall support missions activities of our denomination (typically through World Witness and groups that have cooperative agreements with World Witness). It shall also support missions activities of other groups in which GNPC members participate that are consistent with GNPC's denominational standards and confessions.
7.0 Financial Policy Concerning Short-Term Missions. Individuals on short-term mission teams typically shall be funded by three sources: a contribution they themselves make, a contribution from the church short-term missions budget, and contributions from church members and friends.
7.1 For short term trips sponsored by the church, each individual will be assigned an amount they will be expected to contribute themselves and/or raise in order to participate. Normally, the individual will not be able to depart on the trip until the funds are in place. The Missions Committee may recommend exceptions to this on a case-by-case basis to the Session. 7.2 For short term trips sponsored by a missions agency where a congregant applies for assistance from the short term missions fund, the Missions Committee may approve to fund up to 50% of the cost of the trip (assuming funds are available in the short term missions budget).
8.0 Funds for Education. The Missions Committee may recommend that the church contribute funds for the education of missionaries or the needs of institutions that train missionaries and whose activities are consistent with the GNPC statement of faith.
9.0 Discretionary Funds. The committee may recommend an amount for the missions budget to be used as discretionary funds. The funds may be used at the discretion of the committee from time to time as needs arise. Examples of proper uses for discretionary funds include honoraria for missionaries invited to speak at GNPC, expenses of providing hospitality to visiting missionaries, travel and lodging for Missions Committee members on business or training authorized by the committee, and special relief efforts in foreign mission fields.
10.0 Investigation of Missions Agencies and Individuals. The Missions Committee shall investigate all agencies and individuals it proposes to support or endorse.
11.0 Duration of Support. Support of missionaries shall commence, continue and end as recommended by the Missions Committee and approved by the session.
APPENDIX A – Criteria for Short-Term Missionary Candidate Selection
Candidates for short term mission trips shall be: · Regular in their practice of personal evangelism. · Team players who work well with others. · Able to handle the physical demands of the field of service. · Able to articulate how he or she can help on the trip and what he or she hopes to gain from it. · Committed to building a prayer support team from the members of GNPC.
APPENDIX B – Distribution of Missions Budget Funds
B.1 The Missions Committee shall strongly encourage those who want to support missions to give to the general fund. Designated giving will be discouraged, except in the case of specific, one-time projects. If donors would like to support an individual, they will be encouraged to give directly to the missions agency.
B.2 The missions budget shall give priority to World Witness missionaries and World Witness cooperative missionaries.
B.3 The Missions Committee’s goal is to develop a meaningful partnership with supported missionaries. Therefore, in most cases, the goal will be to ensure existing missionaries are receiving 10% of their support from GNPC before adding new missionaries to the budget. Exceptions would include (but not be limited to): cases where an existing missionary is fully supported and would not need increased giving from GNPC in a given year; cases where a member of GNPC were to be called to missions work and be added to the budget even if the goals for existing missionaries were not met.
B.4 The Missions Committee of GNPC supports short-term projects of agencies other than World Witness when appropriate.
Approved by the session 1/16/13 ___________________________ Clerk of Session
Good News Presbyterian Church Mailing address: P.O. Box 1051, Frederick, MD 21702 301-473-7070