Welcome to Missions on Point, the the Propempo Perspective on Church and Missions. This is episode 140 of Missions on Point. Thanks for listening. This is the final episode in a series on your church missions handbook. Number 12 here is implementation. We have walked through a lot of material talking about building and writing and coming to agreement on your church missions handbook. If you've been along for this whole series, I just want to congratulate you for your tenacity, endurance, and commitment to doing things well in your missions ministries in your church. When it comes to the daunting project of writing a church missions handbook, many churches assign it to a couple of individuals or a smaller group because it is so intense in its process and the many things that have to be decided along the way in making decisions that affect policy and practice into the future.
Other churches dedicate a larger group of people and spend more time with it simply because you involve more people, it's just going to take more time. I've known churches who have dedicated an entire year to the process bit by bit by bit of rewriting their church missions handbook. Here we are at the end of it and we've walked through all of these topics related to building the missions team handbook. We're at the point of implementation. What do we do and how do we do it? The very first thing, I think, is to implement it with regard to the missions team. This is a review for understanding with the whole missions committee or missions team. You're going to take some time, maybe a whole evening, walk through it little by little, make sure everyone understands what's there. This is maybe a final proofreading to correct any mistakes or issues of the texts that need to be fixed, but basically the idea is you want everyone to be on the same page. It may be the first time that everyone, all together reviews the entire contents of the missions team handbook.
The second audience for implementation is the church elders. Whoever the chief leadership body of your church is, you need to have at least a significant segment of time in their meeting to present the missions handbook and to encourage them to understand it and to follow it. Over the process of building and designing it, no doubt this chief body of elders and leaders have had significant input in church strategy and focus in the team charter and elements of how this fits in with other ministries in the church. It's important for the church elders to understand the scope of authority and the process for how decisions are made. They have agreed along the way of creating the missions team handbook exactly how that happens, but they also need to comply with the fence of policies and decisions that have been made in scope of authority so that they don't abuse perhaps their position of authority to influence a particular direction. So in presenting it to the church elders, you need to be respectful and appreciative, but also hold the line.
Of course, the third major group is the congregation itself. You need to make a distilled version of the missions team handbook in printed form to be able to hand to people that ask and maybe at your annual missions conference event, actually make it available to everyone that wants one. The distilled version might include the biblical basis and some definitions that everyone needs to know as well as some kind of statement about church strategy and focus if you have that. It's not so important to have structure and composition and how the team functions until someone actually becomes a candidate or a nominee to become a missions team member. A complimentary element of content for the congregation is some sort of presentation of the missionaries and ministries that you support and where they are in the world and what kind of ministry they have.
Every opportunity to educate the congregation more on those things and have them take greater ownership of those wonderful missions relationships that you have is a good thing. The result is you want your congregation to understand administratively what the work of the missions committee or missions team is, and that decisions regarding missions go through that grid. But also educationally, it is an opportunity for you to educate the congregation in those key elements like biblical basis, which they may never have been taught before, especially if they come from different kinds of church backgrounds.
The fourth major audience is your new mission team members or people who are candidates coming into the missions team. These are the people that you need to walk through the missions team handbook bit by bit, very carefully as part of their orientation to the missions team. They need to know all of these things and have an understanding of it. As adults, you probably want to go even further and have some hypothetical situations, some what if questions to test their understanding of how the decision making process works and what the desired outcomes are.
So you would say, what if we have such and such kind of situation occur where a missionary applies for support and he or she is doing this thing or that thing in this part of the world, and how are we going to handle it and what are the reasons behind our decision making flow and process as guided by this mission's handbook? It is a great way to reinforce your standards and values with regards to potential conflict of interest. How do potential conflicts of interest get handled and in what way does the missions team member recuse themselves from the decision of something in which they may have some conflict of interest?
The final group to whom you want to roll out this new missions handbook is the missionaries and perhaps ministry representatives of those missionaries and ministries you support, especially when they visit your church and they can talk to you personally about it. There may have been some decisions made along the way that have to do with narrowing your strategy and focus as a church. I hope so. The result being that maybe not all of the missionaries and ministries that you presently support will be carried into the future. This missions team handbook is something of an explanation and rationale for how you arrived at the decision to graciously taper down their support and give them an opportunity to raise support from other places. I trust that you have in the process of composing this church missions handbook over the course of time, that you have enlisted the prayers of many people around it.
Yes, the missions team themselves, the church elders, the congregation, even potential new missions team members, and certainly your missionaries should have been apprised of this process with the knowledge that it may help the church move in clearer directions and there's going to be some changes down the road. So hopefully through prayer, they will see the launching and implementation of the missions team handbook is an answer to prayer. God's gracious provision for our church at this time moving forward in missions. As we close out this series, let me encourage you to avail yourself of some resources through our new resource website, it's called Sendforward.org. Send forward as one word .O-R-G. We have great plans to launch a number of new resources this year on the Sendforward.org website, a lot of it will be some transferred over from the Propempo.com website, which is slowly in the process of merging with Missioserve.org.
Two things in particular to look for on Sendforward.org. One is the Propempo guidebook on missions policy. This is an updated, revised version of the really old advancing churches and missions commitment missions policy handbook. It has a lot of information and ideas for you about what kinds of things to think about with regard to missions policy. And it has more potential policies than you would even want to have related to your missions team handbook, but it is a good research background piece to have in hand to help you think through those things. The second one is option to subscribe to the self-assessment profile, which has been very well received by churches that have used it. It is the Propempo Church Missions profile. It walks you through a step-by-step process online where you choose the best fitting descriptor for your church missions effectiveness in 12 different areas, 12 categories of missions ministry within the church.
Most churches that take it said, "I didn't even realize there were 12 categories." But there are on the church missions profile and those descriptors are actionable items to help you improve how you're doing in missions in all of those different areas. In fact, the end result is a personalized PDF of all of your responses along with recommendations for each of the responses on the levels of your church. It helps you work toward that end goal of being a high performing, highly effective church in missions. It's helpful to get several people from your church giving input into that, and so there is a version that allows you to have 10 different input people give their self-assessment and then it averages those, so you can see the average of the whole of the group of as many as 10 people doing the self-assessment profile on your church. We are excited about future upcoming episodes of Missions on Point, so please like or subscribe so that your podcast app will remind you to come back and listen to Missions on Point.
Thanks for joining us today on Missions on Point. We trust that you'll find more help and resources on our websites at Propempo.com and Missioserve.org. We are so thankful for those who support us, enabling us to produce this podcast. Now to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, forever and ever, amen.
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