When the leaders of a local church conclude that a specific ministry is an essential component and expression of their DNA as a local body of Christ, they will expend the time and resources necessary to ensure that a written policy is created to govern the way that ministry operates.
A written policy declares certain things about a church’s leaders and their view of the members of their church, and is also designed to accomplish a number of significant purposes.
If involvement in God’s global purposes and intentional participation in fulfilling His end-game plan has gripped the hearts of the leaders of a local church, they will initiate the creation of a written policy to guide their global mission endeavors.
WRITTEN MISSIONS POLICY DEFINED
This is a simple definition of what a written missions policy is:
A written missions policy is a document that describes the end-game goal of the global-missions ministry of a local church, the principles that shape how that goal will be accomplished, and the guidelines that are to be followed by those who desire to be the means by which the goal will be obtained.
IMPORTANT CONCEPTS TO KEEP IN MIND
For those tasked with creating a written missions policy, the following concepts should be kept in mind:
1–It should be EASY TO READ, and it should also SERVE the church, not vice-versa
2–At the same time, it should be thorough enough to be useful
3–Who will the end-user of the policy be? Leadership alone….or them AND a potential missionary or any one else who desires to know what the missions policy is?
4–For maximum effectiveness, the policy should be developed with the senior or pulpit pastor’s definition of “missions” clearly understood and defined within the policy.
FOUNDATIONAL COMPONENTS OF A WRITTEN MISSIONS POLICY
An effective written missions policy will contain the following crucial components:
1–The overarching vision statement of the church
2–The church’s definition of “missions” that the policy is springing forth from
3–A statement of the purpose of the policy for the church at large, the leaders who implement the policy, and those who choose to be guided by the policy
4–A description of the team or group of people that implements the policy, how the team is structured, what the qualifications are for being on the team, and what the responsibilities of the team members are
5–The qualifications and course of action or path that a potential missionary must follow under the oversight of the team, in order to be commissioned and sent
6–A description of the blessings and benefits that will be bestowed by the church on the missionary who has met the qualifications and completed the process laid out in the policy
Contrary to what many people believe, a written missions policy doesn’t need to be long, boring, tedious to read, or overly restrictive.
In the same way that learning to read music and working within the structures that are required to actually create music appears to be restricting but in fact, is totally freeing, so it is with developing a written missions policy–it may appear to have overly restrictive boundaries, but there is great freedom found by navigating within those boundaries.