At minimum, you need a decision in writing from the church leadership authorizing the development of the church missions team or committee or whatever title is appropriate for your local church. Soon after that you’ll want to have a simple one-page draft statement describing the projected roles and responsibilities of the missions team.
At each point of development along the way it is wise to at least get the feedback of your churches leadership board, session, or council. Although it is always healthy to get their affirmation and approval of the details, it is even more important to win their support and positive ownership for the long-term effectiveness of the missions team.
Sooner or later you’ll want to develop a larger policy or guidelines document which outlines sections which may include the following:
- the biblical basis and foundation for missions
- the role of the local church in missions
- the qualifications, responsibilities of, and terms of service of the missions team and its composition
- the financial and administrative reporting responsibilities of the missions team
- the organizational framework of the missions team, its officers, and any supporting functions, e.g.-sub team, task force, ad hoc workgroup
- a listing and description of the missions team’s roles and responsibilities
- any established criteria or priorities for the selection of missionaries or ministries for support, continuing support, or termination of support
- descriptions of internal processes for strategic decision-making, recordkeeping, budgeting and accounting, personnel selection, communication, etc.
As time goes on and as experience dictates the missions team and/or its church leadership may want to adopt policies or guidelines for a mature and robust missions ministry in the church. You may want to research and/or develop policy or guidelines for other areas, such as these:
- short-term missions ministry
- missionary discipline or termination
- adoption of an unreached people group
- adopting a strategic focus ministry or project
- developing a mentorship and or approval process for missionary candidates to become missionaries sent out from your local church (even in partnership with an external missions sending organization)
- developing and teaching missions courses for the congregation
- establishing a program of missions education for children
- developing and or recommending field partnership relationships between your church and a national church overseas or a specific strategic outreach goal overseas