Jesus’ final call to his followers was to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Our church takes this great commission very seriously and we embrace our identity as a sending church. It is our hope and prayer that God continues to stir in the lives of our people and raises up workers for the harvest. If that is something you are considering then review the material below.
OUR CORE REGIONS
FBCA had adopted West Africa, East Asia and South Asia as its three primary core regions. While we will send people anywhere they feel led, we feel God has uniquely called us to target these areas of the world with particular focus and intentionality.
WE ARE A SENDING CHURCH
We believe the Biblical model for sending cross-cultural workers around the world is to be done in the context of community. As a result, we require anyone wishing to be sent by FBCA to serve in a team setting. A team is defined as at least one other unit who is working directly with you to achieve a specific goal or shares a particular focus. A worker may form their own team here during the preparation process or may join an existing team overseas.
Serving on a team is a non-negotiable requirement for our workers and therefore, it is encouraged anyone feeling a call to go should begin the process of discerning such a call by asking “who” may join them in these efforts.
Jesus’ call to discipleship is an invitation to “come and follow” him. However, that “following” has a purpose of transformation, namely, that he would make us “fishers of men.” With a final commission to “go into all nations” it is evident Jesus wants us to be disciples who make disciples. That sort of call requires long-term investment. It means living incarnationally among those who have never heard. So Biblically, we are delighted by the mandate to go.
Even more interesting is the way in which the Scriptures reveal God’s purpose for the Church. Paul’s letter to Ephesus explains that God’s plan is to reveal his manifold wisdom through “the church.” Over and over again we see the Biblical text explain that God plans on revealing His saving work through the broken yet redeemed body of believers. As a result, we are a church that goes and sends.
There are three main ways in which we support those being sent from our church body:
Partner Church: This relationship is attributed to any worker that is affiliated or connected to FBCA but is not a member nor are they commissioned by our church body. That said, they are integral to our work in various parts of the world and are affiliated to our church in some personal way. this may apply to those sent with other agencies with whom we partner. We also tend to welcome them when they are on stateside assignment but there is not a direct connection to strategy and implementation.
Home Church: This relationship applies to any individual that is a member of FBCA and wants to serve overseas in some capacity. In this relationship, the church doe not play a role in supervision or financial support as those needs are often met by other means. Nonetheless, we want to remain a critical identity of support through advocacy and prayer. These individuals main connection would be through core prayer/advocacy groups here at our church.
Sending Church: This relationship is attributed to any candidate that completes the commissioning process outlined by the Direct Mission Sending Council and is a member of FBCA. This may result in various levels of funding that range from core region, core region development or project funding but in all scenarios, FBCA is considered the sending church. This relationship is defined by missiological, strategic and spiritual supervision by the DMSC and advocacy from the larger church body.
FBCA has a long history of working through denominational partners with a commitment to the Great Commission. That practice still exists today and will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. In addition to this heritage, a more recent philosophy has complimented this approach with an intentional drive towards equipping, sending and supervising our own Cross-Cultural Workers (CCW’s). Here’s a brief summary of “how” FBCA sends it’s own people:
- Contact FBCA Director of Global Ministries to share sentiment of call
- Begin introductory missonal formation (Perspectives and Intro to Panorama)
- Complete preliminary requirements (background checks)
- Receive approval from Direct Mission Sending Council (DMSC) to enter candidacy
- Begin Advanced Panorama group
- Complete steps required by DMSC
- Obtain approval by DMSC to begin raising support
- Obtain approval from DMSC, Deacons and Church body to be commissioned
- Commissioning Service
Cross-Cultural Worker Phase
- Serve on a team for approximately 2-3 year commitment (with options to extend)
- Provide quarterly reports to DMSC