Mission Policy Manual

Approved by Mission Team 5/12/2012
Approved by Church Council 8/26/2012

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION

A. OUR MISSION PHILOSOPHY: The Church is the only organization in the world that exists for the sake of its non-members. Because we believe that so strongly at Grace Community Church (GCC), missions are at the heartbeat of all that happens here. Currently, the Mission Team has two priorities:
1. To involve GCC’s people in hands-on mission projects, both at home and in foreign countries.
2. To be good stewards of God’s resources as we support other ministries both in our community and around the world.

B. THE MISSION WORK OF GCC REVOLVES AROUND A NUMBER OF AREAS:
1. Social action: Ministering to the totality of human needs. See Matthew 25:31-46.
2. Evangelism: Making Christ known by serving and witnessing to those within a culture with a viable, witnessing church. See Acts 1 :8, Matthew 28:19-20, and Mark 16:15.
3. Frontier missions: Making Christ known among people and groups who have little or no opportunity to hear the good news. See Matthew 28: I 9-20, Luke 24:46-49, Acts 1:8, Matthew 9:36-38, Matthew 18:10-14, Mark 16:15, Romans 10:13-15, Genesis 12:1-3, Revelation 5:9-10.
4. In these three mission categories, we are guided by two important principles:
a. We are Christ’s servant ambassadors based on 2 Corinthians 5:20.
b. We are blessed to be a blessing. These blessings are intended to bless all peoples of the world based on Genesis 12:1-3.

C. PURPOSE OF GCC’S MISSION’S POLICY:
1. Help us achieve a clear sense of direction based upon scriptural principles.
2. Promote thoughtful evaluation of critical issues and avoid making important decisions on an emotional or haphazard basis.
3. Prevent confusion or misunderstanding over Mission Team decisions.
4. Provide a system for accountability in Mission programs.
5. Promote good stewardship of human and financial resources.
6. Provide policy for the allocation of Mission financial resources.
7. Provide the organization for the Mission Team and the method to select Team members.
8. Bring new Team members up to date allowing them to quickly familiarize themselves with the general direction of GCC’s Mission Policy.
9. Maintain consistency and continuity as the Team changes membership.
10. Inform church leaders and members about Mission policy.
11. Enable the Mission Team to work in harmony with GCC’s leadership teams.

D. ASSUMPTIONS: It is assumed that GCC will continue its policy of tithing 10% of the total weekly church Plates and Offerings go to Mission activities. The 10% amount is transferred to the Mission fund weekly. There is an intention to spend and/or designate all of the financial resources received during the year.

E. FLEXIBILITY OF INTERPRETATION: Exceptions to this policy can be made at any time with the prior approval of the GCC Council. Changes to this Policy Manual can be made by a majority vote of the Mission Team followed by formal notification of the action to the Council.

F. REVISION OF THE MISSION POLICY: This Mission’s Policy Manual will be reviewed each May by the Mission Team. Any recommended changes or additions will be brought to the Church Council for approval. Any member of the GCC Council, or staff members, or church members can raise issues regarding revisions to the policy. Questions should be addressed to members of the Mission Team.

PART TWO: STRUCTURE OF THE MISSION TEAM

A. PURPOSE OF THE MISSION TEAM: The purpose of the Mission Team is to help GCC “make known Jesus Christ.”

B. OVERALL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE TEAM:
1. Stimulate the church’s intercessory prayer for mission work and missionaries.
2. Educate and inspire the congregation in the field of missions.
3. Stimulate and recruit volunteers for missions, including persons who feel called to become missionaries.
4. Administer the funds allocated to Missions and annually approve the GCC Mission Budget.
5. Review all requests for monetary support for mission activities and trips.
6. Serve as the liaison between GCC and related organizations, agencies, associations and missionaries.
7. Administer and evaluate the GCC Mission activities.
8. Update the Mission Policy Manual annually.
9. Each October (prior to preparing the budget), the Team will set the Mission one-year goals, the programs to support these goals, and evaluate yearly progress that has been made against these goals. Each goal should be achievable, measurable and time-framed. Goals will be submitted with the Mission’s annual budget.
10. The Mission Team will provide quarterly feedback to the GCC congregation. The Team may publish newsletters, post activities to the GCC website and maintain a bulletin board inside the church to inform people about mission activities.

C. MEMBERS OF THE MISSION TEAM
1. No less than four at large members serving for 3 year terms. There will therefore be 3 rotating members in existence (chosen by the Lay Leadership Team).
2. Pastor and Lay Leader.
3. Finance Team Representative (chosen by the finance team).
4. Volunteers and constituents (non-voting): No less than 6 volunteer team members may be added at any time by the Chairperson or Pastor to address specific mission needs. Volunteers are expected to have a voice in Team meetings. These volunteers should be considered by the Lay Leadership Team each October as future voting members of the Mission Team depending on spaces availability.
5. The recommendations of the Lay Leadership Team will be voted on by the Charge Conference to approve the new members who will assume their positions on January 1st. The new member names will be sent to the Church Council for final approval.
D.EXPECTATIONS OF MISSION TEAM MEMBERS:
1. An enthusiasm for and a desire to learn more about Missions. Past experience and knowledge are helpful.
2. A demonstrated willingness to work hard in a mission capacity.
3. Willing to learn the Mission Policy and abide by this policy.
4. Regular involvement in church activities such as worship, Bible study groups, small groups or other GCC activities.
E. RESPONSIBILITIES OF MISSION TEAM MEMBERS:
1. Maintain a regular prayer life and Bible study.
2. Pray on a regular basis for missionaries and mission work supported by GCC.
3. Attend Team meetings, which will be held at least quarterly. Members who do not attend at least 50% of the meeting may be asked to reconsider their membership on the Mission Team.
4. Serve on, or chair, sub-teams when requested by the Chairperson.
5. Be familiar with the Mission Policy of GCC.
6. Be willing to participate actively in the mission activities of GCC.
7. The Chairperson of the Mission Team may, in January of each year, assign to all Team members, a specific area of GCC’s mission responsibilities. These assignments will parallel the appropriate line items in the Mission Budget. One Team member may have multiple items, and another member might have only one item depending on the size and complexity of the project/need being supported by GCC. Each Team member will:
a. Contact the person or organization being supported by the church and learn, in detail, the nature of the mission effort and its operations.
b. Become the liaison person between the church and the mission project/organization /individual.
c. Formulate and justify to the Mission Team any funding needed for items needed during the present calendar year.
d. Before the end of each year, prepare the budget amount for each item, and justify to the Mission Finance Sub-team the mission need for the following calendar year.

F. LEADERSHIP OF THE MISSION TEAM:
The Mission Team will have the following leadership structure:
1. Chairperson: This person is responsible for:
a. Setting meeting dates and sending out meeting agendas in advance.
b. Ensuring that annual goals are set, a budget is developed and annual evaluations are performed of mission activities.
c. Attend Church Council meetings.
d. Oversee the work of sub-teams, and attend sub-team meetings as necessary.
2. Mission Team Secretary: This person is responsible for:
a. Taking Minutes at each meeting or designating an alternate if the Secretary cannot attend a meeting.
b. Having the Minutes typed and distributed to all team members in a timely manner.
c. Maintain a notebook with the Minutes and other records of the Team.
d. Coordinate with the Finance Team Representative on the Mission Team to assure that all motions passed at Team meetings regarding finances are routed to the GCC’s Treasurer for preparation of checks or changes to budget line items.
G. FINANCE SUB-TEAM: This is a permanent sub-team of the Mission Team. It will consist of the Mission Team Chairperson, the Pastor, the Finance Team representative and 1 or 2 other members of the Mission Team selected by the Chairperson. This 4 or 5 member sub-team will meet at least every other month to:
1. Prepare the annual Mission Budget.
2. Present the Budget to the Mission Team for approval.
3. Review monthly financial statements for the Mission accounts.
4. Prepare other finance-related information and analysis as necessary to monitor Mission’s cash balance.
5. During months when the full Team does not meet, the Finance Sub-team may review and approve or disapprove new requests for financial support of mission activities by individuals or organizations. For those approved, make sure the cash is available for this non-budgeted line item. If the request can be approved, supported and funded, make presentations and recommendations/motions at the next Mission Team meeting.
6. Analyze the accuracy and completeness of all financial reports related to mission accounts.
7. Be good stewards of God’s resources.
H. COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY SUB-TEAM: This is a permanent sub-team of the Mission Team. It will consist of the Mission Team Chairperson, the Pastor and 2-4 members of the Mission Team selected by the Chairperson annually. This sub-team will meet at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled meeting of the full Mission Team; and will meet other times as needed. The functions of the sub-team are:
1. Establish and maintain a mission’s gallery in a prominent area of the church. This gallery should display information for the mission activities of the church’s members; and of the other organizations and individuals being supported by GCC.
2. Develop and provide Mission activity information to the Web Master for posting to the GCC web site
3. Promote and encourage the congregation of GCC to participate in Mission activities of the church.
4. Prepare the necessary handouts or bulletin announcements to routinely inform the congregation of what is happening in the mission areas supported by 10% of their Plates and Offerings to GCC.
5. Semiannually, with the concurrence of the Pastor, make a presentation to all Worship services about the support GCC is making to mission work locally and worldwide.
I. FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS: The Mission Team will meet at least quarterly and preferably every month. The Finance and Communication and Advocacy Sub-teams will meet at least every month. Any other sub-teams developed will meet as required to satisfy the requirements of that particular sub-team.
III. PART THREE: FINANCIAL POLICY

A. PREPARATION AND APPROVAL OF THE MISSION’S BUDGET: The Mission Team will present an approved annual budget request to the GCC Finance Team in October of each year. The Finance Team then presents a church-wide budget, including the Mission Budget, to the Administrative Council for final approval. The Mission Team is responsible for the distribution of the resources budgeted for mission activities which should equal the budgeted amount for 10% of the GCC’s Plates and Offerings plus any unspent funds carried over from the previous year.

B. FINANCIAL ACCOUNT STRUCTURE:
1. The Mission Budget will have the following categories:
a. People Groups: These are organizations, projects or missionaries which are working among diverse groups with little or no Gospel witness, and no indigenous evangelizing church to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the people. GCC’s financial support of these mission activities can be for individuals, groups and organizations. People Groups will have the accounting code grouping of [acct no.] assigned to these line items.
b. Mission Mobilization: These funds are to be used to mobilize the people of GCC for mission trips (state, national, and international). Uses may include scholarships for building team projects, or for group trips to support other mission activities in the US or abroad. Mission Mobilization will have the accounting code grouping of [acct no.]assigned to these line items.
c. Local Evangelism: These funds may be used for developing brochures, distribution of mass mailings and banners. All efforts in this category should be aimed at bringing the “un-churched” into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Local Evangelism will have the accounting code grouping of [acct no.] assigned to these line items.
d. Benevolent Fund: This fund is administered by the Pastor. A separate bank account will be established for checks written from this fund. The Pastor, the GCC Treasurer and a limited number of church staff are the only people who have visibility of the activities in this category. But the Benevolent Fund is included in the Mission Budget and the Mission Financial statements. This Fund will have the accounting code grouping of [acct no.]. The Benevolent Fund receives 5% of the Mission’s Budget each month. Additional funds may be allocated upon request by the Pastor and upon approval of the Mission Finance Sub-team.(this policy section will be further developed within the actual benevolence policy)
e. Community Assistance: These funds go to local programs and the support of local agencies to promote mission activities in the York County area. Funds may go to individuals or organizations. Community Assistance will have the accounting code grouping of [acct no.]assigned to these line items.
2. Budget goals as a percentage of the total Mission Budget are as follows:
Low% High%
a. People Groups 30% 40%
b. Mission Mobilization 18% 25%
c. Local Evangelism 3% 5%
d. Benevolent Fund 10% 10%
e. Community Assistance 30% 35%
f. Although ranges in percentages are shown above, the final, approved budget cannot exceed 100% of the Mission’s budgeted revenue/givings for the year plus carryover funds. If any of the 5 categories exceeds the Low % or the High % numbers, an explanation will be part of the Mission Budget submitted to the Finance Team for approval.
C. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING GCC’S MISSION FUNDS FOR YOUTH OR ADULT MISSION TRIPS:
1. The 5 page application form (Attachment A to this Manual) is the means to initiate an individual’s request for GCC’s financial support of a mission trip.
a. The form should be thoroughly completed. Additional pages are allowed if there is insufficient space on the form for a complete response/explanation from the applicant.
b. The form should be submitted to the GCC Office at least 60 days prior to the mission trip. This deadline may be waived where there is an emergent situation and a crisis response is needed.
c. Applications will be accepted from GCC members, regular attendees and GCC staff. Individuals that do not meet this criteria, can be considered but will be viewed as a lower priority funding.
2. It is GCC’s Mission Team policy to encourage individuals to first seek self-funding of mission trips. Individuals should first look to themselves for funding or other funding sources before requesting GCC assistance. GCC Mission Team will consider funding assistance if the trip meets the following objectives:
a. The trip is deemed a sincere effort to make known Jesus Christ in the world.
b. The individual has submitted a completed Mission Trip Application.
c. The individual has demonstrated efforts or plans to fund the trip through personal funds or other fund raising activities and those fund raising activities are not in conflict with other GCC policies.
3. The GCC Mission Team will consider paying a portion of the cost of the trip.
a. The GCC Mission Team expects that the individual will secure funding for the costs prior to receiving GCC assistance. If money is needed for items such as trip fees or airline tickets before the individual has secured the remaining funds, the GCC Mission Team will consider payment of trip costs up front. These requests will be considered by the Mission Finance Sub-team and, if approved, will direct the Treasurer to issue a check directly to the vendor.
b. The GCC Finance Team representative to the Mission Team will work with the GCC Treasurer to prepare off-line reports as necessary to monitor the progress of the individual’s funding so that the Mission Team, if necessary, can facilitate and coordinate with the individual to get their funding responsibility paid prior to the trip, and prior to a church check being written.
4. The Mission Team’s Finance Sub-team will review each application and approve or disapprove the request for funds in a timely manner.
a. Consideration should be given to Mission funds availability and to the dollar amount for such trips being available in the annual budget.
b. The individual (s) making the trip is responsible for the accuracy of the cost estimate which is part of the application form. If the actual cost of the trip exceeds the amount of the original cost estimate, the individual is fully responsible for the cost growth. GCC cannot budget and manage the Mission funds and simultaneously absorb cost increases.
5. Each applicant should fully understand that they will have to sign a release of liability form immediately once the application is approved. Applicants are encouraged to have personal insurance that covers medical and liability situations that may arise during the trip. GCC does not have medical insurance for individuals making the trip nor is the church liable in any way for individuals during mission trips. Individuals making the trips are encouraged to inquire with their own insurance companies about the procedure for obtaining medical assistance/attention in the geographic area where the trip is being made.
6. Any personal information regarding ability to self-fund all or part of a trip will be held in strict confidence. Personal information will be returned to the individual and not maintained by the GCC Mission Team.
7. Each person sponsored by the GCC Missions Team is required to submit a trip report in writing and in person as soon as possible after their return. The individual may also be asked to make a presentation to the congregation regarding their trip.
D. ANNUAL TRAINING CLASS: Members of the Mission Team will conduct a training class in February or March of each year on “individual fund raising for mission trips.” The class will be primarily for the congregation of GCC but others outside the church are welcome to attend. The training program will include:
1. Preparing a personal cost estimate for the mission trip.
2. Applying for funding assistance from GCC.
3. Developing a fund-raising strategy and timetable.
4. Implementing the fund-raising plan.

The Mission Team will work to identify mission trip coaches that can assist the individual with their application and fund-raising strategies.

Any questions or suggested changes to this Mission Policy Manual should be made in writing and given to the GCC Church Office. A prompt response will be provided to you.