Expectations and Requirements
PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR MISSIONARIES
Missionaries with FBWWM must have a personal call from God and be sure of that calling. The call of God for missionary service is similar, if not identical, to the call of an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11) and is more than a burden for missions. All Christians should have a burden for missions but that alone does not constitute a call. However, a call from God to missionary service will always be accompanied by a burden to win the lost.
The missionary should meet the New Testament qualifications, found in I Timothy 3:1-7,11.
Because Scripture declares that two cannot walk together except they be agreed, missionaries served by FBWWM must agree with and practice the Policies and Practices set forth in this manual and adhere to the included Appearance Code.
PROVISION OF FINANCIAL NEEDS
FBWWM is a work of faith. We are not supported by any denomination or convention of churches. Both FBWWM and the missionaries affiliated with FBWWM seek support from independent, fundamental Baptist churches of like faith as described previously under Purpose of FBWWM. We depend upon the Lord to supply all of our needs through voluntary gifts from such churches.
Each missionary must raise his own support through deputation and depend upon the Lord to supply his needs, through God’s people. We do not require missionaries serving with FBWWM to financially support FBWWM. This ministry is a labor of love for them and their churches. However, many of the missionaries do support the FBWWM Home Office, for which we are grateful. Those missionaries support the Home Office because they are burdened for the ministry and desire to have a part in the overall work of the entire FBWWM family.
All offerings received by FBWWM are used as designated by the giver. Undesignated funds will be used in one of the following ways: for the operation of the FBWWM Home Office; to meet emergency needs of missionaries, such as medical; or any other unexpected need which a missionary may have. The officers of FBWWM receive no salaries but are responsible to raise any needed support, just as the missionaries are expected to do.
A missionary must pay all expenses incurred in his work on the field, including his living expenses, from funds received for his ministry. Each missionary accepts this responsibility by faith in the living God, Who has promised to supply all of our needs.
FBWWM does not approve of worldly schemes and fleshly methods of raising funds for promoting God’s work. Our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God and in demonstration of God’s power and glory. FBWWM is a faith mission and each missionary who affiliates with us is expected to live a life of faith in the Lord. He has promised to supply all of our needs. Missionaries are expected to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit Who would never lead contrary to the Scriptures. His work can only be done as we rely upon Him to work through us in answer to our fervent prayers.
All funds contributed are receipted, recorded, and used as designated. Each contributor will receive a receipt for each gift sent, which shows the designated use of those gifts. Contributions will also be acknowledged by the individual missionary.
All support raised by missionaries affiliated with FBWWM, both regular monthly support and special projects, must be sent through FBWWM’s Home Office. This would preclude support going directly to a missionary or to another entity. This is necessary for several reasons: (1) FBWWM’s Home Office must be kept aware of the level of support in order to assist the missionary with maintaining the needed level of support, (2) FBWWM’s Home Office must be aware of the actual support level in order to honestly answer questions from churches and others who inquire about the level of support of individual missionaries, (3) FBWWM’s Home Office monitors the level of support to ensure that support above a certain level is justified, and (4) The individual missionary cannot issue a tax deductible receipt for any support.
The above policy does not apply to love offerings received at Missions Conferences or deputation/furlough meetings when a specific offering is taken while the missionary is at a church. These offerings would not be considered ongoing support and would be taken to meet needs of travel, etc. The missionary is free to accept these offerings directly and use them as needed. Reporting of these amounts to FBWWM’s Home Office is not necessary, but adequate records must be kept by individual missionaries for proper tax reporting.
Checks should be made payable to and sent to:
FBWWM P.O. Box 341356; Memphis TN 38184-1356 (Memo: Missionary’s Name)
APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED
- One must be a born-again believer with a personal call from God to be a missionary. Wives will not be accepted simply because the husband has a call. FBWWM does not believe that God calls a missionary’s wife as he does her husband. However, when God calls a man to be a missionary, we believe He will reveal that call to his wife so that she can confidently declare that it is the will of God for them to be on the mission field.
- One must accept and practice FBWWM’s Policies and Practices, including Appearance Code, as set forth in this manual.
- One must belong to a local New Testament church that agrees with our Policies and Practices as set forth in this manual.
NOTE: The Word of God clearly teaches that the tithe should go to the local church where you are a member, the church which has commissioned and sent you forth as a missionary. If your pastor and church instruct you to use your tithe on the field (not for living expenses but for evangelistic purposes) with the goal of expediting the winning of souls and establishing a local church, you should receive written permission and furnish FBWWM with a copy for your personal file.
- One must be authorized and commissioned by the local church of which he is a member. Commissioning Papers (supplied by FBWWM) must be signed and filed in the Home Office.
- A new missionary must make an appointment and meet with at least four men on FBWWM’s Board of Directors and the President of FBWWM before being accepted. The new missionary must also attend our Annual Institute of Missions before being accepted.
- One must not have more than one living spouse. This applies to both men and women. This applies to your entire lifetime and not just from the time since you have been saved.
- If one has been with or has been denied affiliation with another mission agency, FBWWM, at our discretion, may contact that mission agency before acceptance is given.
- One must work in conjunction with FBWWM’s Home Office while preparing his visual presentation. It must be approved before beginning deputation. Harm and embarrassment have resulted from showing unacceptable material in presentations.
- Every missionary will be required to complete the approved level of education set by the pastor of his commissioning church, after consultation with FBWWM. The education may be completed while on deputation. This will not hinder an applicant from being accepted.
- FBWWM reserves the right to accept or reject any applicants regardless of circumstances or information received on references, whether good or bad. FBWWM’s final decision is always based upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
- Nationals who have come to the States to do deputation for the purpose of returning to their country as missionaries may not be accepted. Missionaries are not permitted to bring, send, or assist nationals in coming to the United States to raise support for themselves, their church, or other nationals, without clearing it with FBWWM. Any missionary desiring this permission must first submit, in writing, to FBWWM the reason for the request and furnish justification for a national to come to the States.
- All missionaries and members of FBWWM’s Board of Directors must read this Policies and Practices Manual each year.
MISSIONARIES WHO DO NOT MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO DISMISSAL
- All missionaries on deputation must return a Deputation Activity Report at the end of each month, listing the number of calls made in an attempt to schedule meetings along with the meetings scheduled. This form is provided by the Home Office.
- A missionary’s appointment is subject to reconsideration by FBWWM if his departure to the field is unreasonably delayed. This is especially true when the delay is caused by a lack of diligently pursuing deputation meetings.
- All missionaries on deputation must give an Evaluation Report (provided by the Home Office) to every pastor where a deputation meeting is held. The missionary should encourage the pastor to complete and return the report to FBWWM’s Home Office.
- All missionaries on deputation and furlough must attend FBWWM’s Annual Institute of Missions.
- All missionaries whose work is located in the States must attend FBWWM’s Annual Institute of Missions at least once every four years.
- All missionaries must have the recommended level of monthly support, set by FBWWM’s Board of Directors, prior to leaving for language school or the field.
- All missionaries must have their debts paid, or have firm arrangements and sufficient support to pay their debts, before leaving for the field. Caution should be taken not to incur debt, especially through credit cards. When a financial difficulty occurs outside of the control of the missionary (such as an unexpected increase in inflation or change in the currency exchange rate), the need should be made known to the Home Office; we will attempt to assist in securing financial help in these cases.
- All missionaries who work in an area where a foreign language is spoken must acquire an adequate knowledge of that language. This will normally require one year of language study. The place and length of study and the level of accomplishment must be approved by FBWWM.
- All stationery, prayer letters, and prayer cards must have the name and address of FBWWM on them.
- A copy of every prayer letter and/or update must be sent to the Home Office via post office or e-mail.
- All personal support and all work fund support must be directed to and handled by the Home Office. Such funds will be disbursed in their entirety and as designated by the donor. This does not apply to love offerings or travel funds given to you by a church while on deputation or when on furlough and reporting to churches.
- Every offering must be acknowledged to the contributor and the amount specified. This must be done at least bi-monthly.
- All missionaries will be required to participate in a health insurance program and provide proof of coverage, in writing, to the Home Office. That coverage should begin as soon as your support level is sufficient. However, you must participate in the insurance program before leaving for the field. When you begin coverage, the premium can be deducted from your support and paid through the Home Office. Two exceptions may be made to this policy: 1) An exception to this policy will be made when the country in which you are serving requires you to participate in the health program of that country and charges are made for that program. 2) An exception will be made if the sending church of the missionary will guarantee, in writing, the missionary’s medical expenses and agrees not to publish medical needs in prayer letters or by other means. There are no other exceptions.
- Missionaries using vehicles listed in the name of FBWWM must secure and maintain liability insurance and furnish the Home Office with a copy of the policy.
- All missionaries must advise the Home Office of any change in marital status.
- Missionaries on any field who desire to affiliate or cooperate with another group or missionary from another agency (fellowships, service agencies, religious counsels, etc.) must first submit, in writing, the constitution of the group for FBWWM’s approval before becoming affiliated with or cooperating with that group. This is intended solely as a safeguard, as you may not be aware of the group’s affiliations and practices in the United States or internationally.
- The Financial Inquiry Sheet must be promptly returned monthly with all requested information.
- All of our missionaries must be loyal to FBWWM. Should you have any questions about FBWWM’s practices or decisions, they should be addressed to the Home Office and not to others outside of FBWWM or its Home Office.
- Before a request is made by a missionary for funds to purchase special equipment for use in missionary work (such as, but not limited to, airplanes, vehicles, motorcycles, projectors, power plants, boats, etc.), the missionary must agree with FBWWM’s Home Office concerning the ownership of the equipment. This would also include such equipment which may be donated for the work.
NOTE: This is to ensure that the equipment or funds donated will continue to be used in the manner for which it was designated by the giver. If a missionary leaves FBWWM in good standing to continue in missionary work with another agency or local church, the ownership of said equipment will be transferred to the new agency or church. If not, the church(es) who helped purchase the equipment will be contacted for a decision concerning the placing of the equipment.
- All missionaries are required to carry liability insurance on their vehicles while living and working on foreign fields.
- All missionaries serving on foreign fields are required to register with the American Embassy or Consulate.
- Before leaving the field and returning to the United States for furlough or for any other reason, the missionary must receive permission from the Home Office to do so.
- Because of years of experience, FBWWM discourages the adoption of children of another race/culture by missionaries. However, a missionary, before adopting such a child, must have prior consultation and written consent from his pastor who will consult with FBWWM prior to granting permission. The reason for this is that FBWWM must represent the missionary to his supporting churches.
MISSIONARIES GUILTY OF THE FOLLOWING WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DISMISSED AND THEIR SUPPORTERS NOTIFIED
- The use of alcoholic beverages.
- The use of drugs except for medicinal purposes.
- Adultery or fornication.
- Any type of sexual perversion (homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, etc.).
- Embracing liberal theology, Neo-Orthodoxy, Neo-Evangelicalism, Modernism, Post-Modernism, the Charismatic Movement, Ecumenism, Arminianism, or Calvinism.
NOTE: FBWWM rejects all five points of the doctrine of Calvinism as taught by John Calvin. They will not stand independently but rather stand or fall together as a group.
- The use of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and/or any other type of music that has rock-filled rhythms, beats of the world, or identifies with the Contemporary style of worship. God ordained music in order to bring honor, glory, and praise unto Himself (Psalm 7:17; 29:1,2; 149:1). We believe that we are given instruction in Scripture concerning music.
From time to time, new issues in fundamentalism arise. As necessary, FBWWM adopts new policies as it is led of the Holy Spirit. Missionaries will be expected to abide by those policies.
Should FBWWM adopt a policy with which a missionary cannot agree, the missionary would be permitted to resign in good standing. When missionaries resign, their supporters are notified and the reason is given for their resignation.
If a missionary is dismissed for doctrinal or moral reasons, or resulting from departure from this Policies and Practices Manual, it will be reported to his supporting churches along with the reason for dismissal.
If a missionary desires to leave FBWWM and there is no doctrinal or moral reason involved, FBWWM will report this to his supporting churches with the recommendation that his support be channeled through another mission agency or local church in accordance to the missionary’s desire. If FBWWM cannot approve of the mission agency or church, we will inform the supporting churches of the reasons for our refusal to recommend the agency or church.
NOTE: Should a missionary submit his resignation while a problem or violation involving that missionary is under consideration, FBWWM is under no obligation to accept the resignation in good standing. FBWWM, upon its decision, may (1) accept the resignation in good standing, (2) accept the resignation but not in good standing, or (3) reject the resignation and dismiss the missionary.
NEW MISSIONARIES GOING TO A FIELD WHERE VETERAN MISSIONARIES ARE ALREADY WORKING
- Be teachable and benefit from advice given by veteran missionaries.
- Be careful to pay expenses while staying with other missionaries, whether it be permanent or until living quarters are acquired.
- If a new missionary establishes a work apart from the veteran missionary’s work, he must take the responsibility of and be the director of his own work, not expecting the veteran to bear that burden. While working with an established work and veteran missionary, he must understand that the work is the veteran’s to direct, and he is in the role of second man.
- If any workers from another missionary’s work or established church desire to work with the new missionary, he must get the approval, blessing, and permission from the missionary or church. This is true even when workers simply desire to help the new missionary in the beginning.
- All missionaries serving with FBWWM should carefully avoid any type of proselytizing.
When offenses arise between missionaries, the principle found in Matthew 18:15 should be followed. We realize the text applies to a local church, but the same principles will work between missionaries. When a missionary has done everything possible to resolve a problem between himself and a fellow missionary, he should then share the problem with the Home Office with the hope that an acceptable resolution can be found.
Any problem which involves a violation of FBWWM’s position found in this manual or explained in our Annual Institute of Missions which cannot be corrected by prayer and discussion while on the field, must be reported to the Home Office. The sending pastor of the missionary will be notified immediately.
APPLYING THE NEW TESTAMENT PRINCIPLE OF ESTABLISHING LOCAL INDIGENOUS CHURCHES
We believe that the Word of God properly preached with diligent prayer, following New Testament principles, mixed with faithful teaching and committing responsibility to Spirit-filled believers, will produce an indigenous, New Testament church in any culture or country.
Cultures, conditions, and circumstances vary greatly from country to country, but the principles found in the New Testament never change. These principles will always produce a New Testament church.
An indigenous New Testament church is a local assembly of baptized believers, joined together to carry out the Great Commission. It is a theocracy, operating on democratic principles, self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting in obedience to the Word of God. It operates without outside funds and without the help of missionaries, except for counsel, etc.
Every culture in the world, even in those such as the Indians in the jungles of South America, has a functioning form of government and is totally self-contained. Once saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, any group of people in any culture can govern and support their own local church. Therefore, a local New Testament, indigenous church is possible in any country or culture.
We believe that all missionaries should seek to be all things to all men (without violating Scripture) that by all means they might win some (I Corinthians 9:22). They should continually have their spirits stirred within them as they see souls wholly given to idolatry (Acts 17:16). They should be given to continual prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). They should be totally committed to the cause to which God has called them, willing to give of themselves sacrificially and to view the work to which they are called as a daily emergency.
We believe in the Great Commission which tells us to go to every creature, to win the lost to Christ, to Scripturally baptize them, to develop them into disciples of Christ by teaching and helping them to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and to teach them to evangelize others (Matthew 28:19-20).
In applying the New Testament principle of establishing local indigenous churches, FBWWM’s missionaries are not to build church buildings, school buildings, camp buildings, or others. They are encouraged to assist financially but to do so in equal proportions and in such a way that the nationals will feel that the project is theirs. They are to encourage the established churches to engage in any and/or all of these activities as they are led of the Lord and are financially able.
FBWWM’s missionaries are not to pay salaries to national workers. They are to teach and train national workers to be dependent upon the Lord and trust Him to supply their needs through the members of their own national church. The missionaries should teach and train the believers of their responsibility in meeting the needs of their own pastor and full-time workers of the church.
FBWWM’s missionaries may engage in printing, correspondence, schools, radio ministries, and/or other support ministries, if they persistently pursue the contacts which they make in order to establish local, indigenous, New Testament churches. These ministries should also assist in building up the faith of the churches already established.
FBWWM’s missionaries are not to be pastors. We realize that they may be serving in the capacity of and doing the work of a pastor, but that position is temporary. In some countries, it is necessary for a missionary to be called “pastor” and to have his name on church literature as pastor. This is acceptable so long as the missionary understands and agrees that he is not the pastor.
Missionaries plant churches by winning souls, discipling believers, training workers, then turning the work over to national leadership and workers as the church develops. The missionary then moves to a new area and begins another work. This is a continual ministry.
No missionary is permitted to move his church membership to the church work in which he is involved or any other church on the field.
The ministry of a church planter/pastor is different from that of a missionary. A church planter/pastor is one who starts a work with the intention of remaining at that church as the pastor. He may operate on the same principles as a missionary concerning the raising of support to sustain himself and to help begin the work; however, as the church develops and is able to help with his financial support, he should contact his supporting churches and request that they discontinue an equal measure of his support. This should be done in increments of 10%. A man in this ministry should move his church membership to the work which he is beginning, as soon as the work is established as a church.
One may start out with the honest intention of being in a certain ministry and, at some later time, be led of God to change from one ministry to another. At that time, he should notify FBWWM’s Home Office and his supporting churches of the change and begin following the principles which have been previously outlined. We do not believe that God leads a man to switch back and forth.
FBWWM’s missionaries are not to accept salaries or other financial remuneration from churches on the field. However, there is no violation of principle for a missionary to be reimbursed for money he has taken from his pocket to pay expenses for the national church, such as the transportation cost of his vehicle to travel from the church to a given activity.
When a missionary feels that the young church needs and deserves financial help either to (1) purchase land, (2) buy an existing building, or (3) build a building, and he desires to make that need known to his supporting churches (or any church or person in the United States) for the purpose of receiving financial help, he must submit a written request to FBWWM’s Board of Directors.
NOTE: This is to be done BEFORE any such need is presented, either written or verbal.
Along with the request, the missionary should present clear reason(s) and justification why the young church deserves the additional financial help from churches in the States.
This written request should include the number of baptized believers who attend services regularly and are dedicated to having a church; there is no set number necessary. However, it should be a genuine group of believers who have a true desire to purchase land, purchase a building, or build a church building and who are already doing all they can possibly do to accomplish the same.
Include the number of years the church has been in existence and the rate or growth by year. Include the financial condition of the believers and what they have done/are doing to purchase land or build a building. Also include the number of tithing members.
In some countries, believers can purchase land because it is inexpensive but cannot build a building. In others, they can build a building but could never purchase land because of the high cost of land. This should be explained in the request.
FBWWM’s Board of Directors will discuss the request in complete detail. Please be complete in providing information. During our discussion, the Board of Directors may contact the missionary for additional information. If it is a request for a large sum of money, the Board of Directors may send a representative to the field to review the situation.
FBWWM’s Board of Directors will contact the missionary’s sending pastor and share the request with him and provide him with any and all information that we have gathered while considering the request.
In conjunction with the sending pastor of the missionary, FBWWM’s Board of Directors will approve or disapprove the request and notify the missionary of the decision in writing. Where a request is denied, the missionary will be given a clear reason for the denial. Written approval must be received before the need can be made known either by a prayer letter or verbally.
This applies only to the purchase of land, the building of a building, or the purchase of an existing building. It does not apply in any way to raising funds to pay the salary of national workers or national pastors. A benevolent need may be presented from time to time when it is truly justified, but a need to pay a salary cannot be presented.
APPEARANCE CODE FOR FBWWM’S MISSIONARIES
FBWWM’s Appearance Code deals mainly with the outer appearance upon which the world looks. It applies whether the missionary is on deputation, the field, furlough, or vacation. FBWWM expects that its missionaries hold to the conviction that they should dress in the following manner wherever they go.
FBWWM’s missionaries are to conduct themselves as Christian ladies and gentlemen. This is to be evident in their attitude, speech, actions, and appearance. Since their appearance is obvious to all, it is elaborated upon.
FBWWM believes that the following guidelines are in accord with the Word of God for His people. The Bible establishes at least three minimum standards for Christian dress.
- Christian Dress in Modesty: (I Timothy 2:9) It is true that God’s standards for men and women are high. Many people have been offended by a lower standard; we have never known anyone to be offended by a higher standard.
- Christian Dress in Distinction: (Deuteronomy 22:5; I Corinthians 11:14,15) Men should dress like men, and women should dress like women. Notice in Deuteronomy 22:5 which says that if we do not dress according to our gender, we are an “…abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
- Christian Dress in Identification: We should be identified with the Lord and not with the world (I Timothy 4:12; Romans 12:1,2; and I John 2:15,16). I Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” God’s Word is clear that we are to dress and conduct ourselves as is becoming of His children.
Men should dress like Christian gentlemen. Be sure you are clean and neatly dressed. Keep your hair clean and well groomed. It must not touch your ears and/or your collar and must not in any way identify you with styles which have been set by the “stars” of this world. If you choose to wear sideburns or a mustache, they must not be extreme and must be kept neatly trimmed.
You must not wear short pants (except in some sporting activities) or tight-fitting/revealing pants. A shirt should always be worn.
Beards, because of their past and continuing connection with rebellion, the world system, and rock singers in America, cannot be worn.
Earrings and necklaces are not to be worn. Bracelets, such as identification bracelets can be worn, but any type of lady’s bracelet or bracelets which correspond with the type worn by worldly entertainers, singers, sport figures, etc. cannot be worn.
The Bible clearly teaches that women are to adorn themselves in modest apparel.
Do not wear clothing which will identify you with women who are rebelling against being a woman (pants,
slacks, jeans, etc.). Shorts are not acceptable under any conditions. Should the need arise to wear culottes, they must be full at the hips and not fitted like pants. Dresses and skirts must be long enough to completely cover the knees. Tight sweaters, tight skirts, skirts with seams left undone, and see-through clothing are not to be worn. Necklines of dresses and blouses must not be revealing or suggestive. If you have any question regarding whether or not to wear something, it is best not to wear it. It is better to wear something of which you have no question.
We believe that ladies should dress attractively and have no objections to proper jewelry. If earrings are worn, they must be worn only in the traditional place in the earlobe. They should not be worn in any other place and should be worn only one in each ear. The Bible points out very candidly that these must not attract attention.
Hair should be clean and well groomed. Do not let your hairstyles be exaggerated or overwhelming. Be very careful about trends and worldly styles.
If you wear makeup, be sure that it is applied in such a way that it does not call attention to the fact that you are wearing makeup. Always be sure that you are not noticed for your flashy clothing, obvious hairstyle, gaudy jewelry, or heavy makeup.
. . . . .
FBWWM expects its missionaries to be spiritually mature to discern which appearances would be considered worldly, refrain from such, and teach their children to observe the same. As long as your children are living in your home, they also are expected to abide by this Appearance Code.