More Than Money
news around the world
Free Will Baptist International Missions serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God. To find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit www.fwbgo.com.
Board Holds Year-End Meeting
Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions met December 9-10, 2015, in the Antioch, Tennessee, offices. “Free Will Baptist International Missions exists to labor with the body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. This is our entire focus and the very reason for our being. It is also a good reminder,” stated General Director Clint Morgan, “for all of us as we look at finding the most effective ways for IM to share the gospel, impact lives, disciple believers, and plant churches.”
Among other decisions, the board took a decisive step by adopting the following motion: “…for FWBIM to adopt a designated-giving funding system with individual accounts. All account balances remain as designated.” This bold statement reflects the board’s desire to maximize the gospel witness through our missionaries’ sacrificial efforts in the context of Free Will Baptist churches, pastors, and supporters.
The board endorsed goals proposed by the International Missions Leadership Team (IMLT). The team proposed increasing five areas by 20%: the financial reserves, the number of international churches, the number of believers internationally, the number of monthly donors, and the number of cross-cultural missionaries. The goals reflect the team’s commitment to the IM Mission Statement. The IMLT plan to achieve these goals within a five-year period or by December 2020. More information concerning these goals will be released in the near future.
Doug and Miriam Bishop completed a two-year internship in Eastern Hokkaido, Japan, in November 2015 and returned to the States. They delivered a report of the highlights of their ministry in Japan. The couple received approval for career missionary status.
The board interviewed Joel and Lydie Teague who completed a two-year internship and returned to the States in November as well. The Teagues requested and received a two-year extension of their internship to allow them to meet the educational requirements for career service.
Mirial Gainer, career missionary to Japan, requested the board consider her request to retire effective June 1, 2016. Mirial plans to return to the States to act as a live-in caregiver for her mother. The board approved this request. Mirial has served faithfully in Japan since 1976.
The board approved an operational budget of $6.03 million for 2016. Projected self-funded programs carry the total budget to $8.14 million. IMpact projects, The Hanna Project trips and projects, student missions, etc. require fundraising separate from the operational budget.
All board members (Danny Williams, chairman, AL; Janice Banks, OK; Nelson Henderson, AR; Jeff Manning, NC: Greg McAllister, CA; Tom McCullough, MI; Jeff Nichols, TN; Robert Posner, TX; Mark Price, OH) were in attendance.
Antioch, TN—International Missions launched IMages, an interactive, digital newsletter, in August 2015. The second issue delivered in September, beginning the typical bimonthly cycle. Distributed through e-blasts and social mediums, and archived on IM’s website (www.fwbgo.com) under the About tab, the newsletter is image-driven with links to additional content. A click of the mouse takes the reader to videos, stories and additional text, photos, the opportunity to email a missionary, and relevant content housed online. Readers may view the newsletter online or download a PDF for reference and viewing.
“The newsletter, produced on the ‘off months’ of ONE Magazine, is made possible by a grant from the Free Will Baptist Foundation” explained Deborah St. Lawrence, communications manager. “The grant enabled us to dream and think a little differently about this project. We wanted the newsletter to allow us to reach more people with the Mission’s stories, to motivate individuals to give and pray and go. We desired those invested in IM feel this content was created just for them. At the same time, we hoped millennials and younger generations would find it engaging and relevant to their reading style.”
David Shores, Illinois pastor and former IM board member, reviewed the inaugural issue: “What a refreshing format. The title—IMages— tells it all: missions—past, present, and future. I love the personal way the message of the gospel comes through in this new publication.”
“We have been delighted with the reception,” stated Deborah. “Feedback has been positive. However, we welcome comments that stretch us and encourage us to provide an even more satisfying experience.”
World Missions Emphasis 2016
Antioch, TN—April, designated World Missions Emphasis Month, provides an opportunity for churches around the denomination to focus on the work God is accomplishing through Free Will Baptists around the world. The month culminates with many churches receiving a World Missions Offering on the last Sunday.
“Make no mistake, we want our churches to take an offering April 24,” emphasized Director of Church Relations Sam McVay. “However, we don’t just want your money. We want our churches—all our churches—to experience the synergistic effect of pulling together to accomplish a singular goal.
“We believe focusing on what God is doing through missionaries and workers around the world and praying diligently for overseas churches, pastors, national leaders, Bible colleges, evangelistic efforts, missionaries, and more will result in more than funding for overseas missions being raised. We believe individuals will recognize God moving in their hearts to witness to their coworkers, neighbors, and friends. We think our churches will be infused with a new sense of purpose. As churches and individuals recognize the Great Commission is bigger than one offering a year, people will decide to make monthly commitments to fund missions.
"And as people release their hold on their resources, we believe they will become more available for service and God will call more people to labor in the harvest locally, our colleges will see higher enrollments, both North American Ministries and International Missions will struggle to process all the candidates applying for service, and funding will not be an issue.”
International Missions has resources available to help your church focus on global missions. Free downloads include bulletin inserts, children’s stories with coloring pages (two new this year), videos, and more. Use the online store to order free directories, posters, prayer cards, and banks, as well as other materials. Or, call International Missions (877-767-7736) and a staff member will help you.
Snapshots Around the World
Japan—Doug and Miriam Bishop (pictured below, as they were greeted in Nashville)completed a two-year internship in Japan and returned to the States November 19. The IM board approved the couple for career missionary service in the December 2015 board meeting. The couple is in the process of raising the additional support necessary for career service.
France—Joel and Lydie Teague returned to the States November 27 after completing a two-year internship in France. Their work focused on J’Pense (I think about it) events and discussion groups aimed at young people. Several young people accepted Christ as Savior during their time on the field, including Jonathan and Claire during their last two weeks in France.
Côte d’Ivoire—Four new pastoral students began the 2015-16 school year at the Côte d’Ivoire FWB Bible Institute: Daniel Kambou (19), Jérémie Hien (33), Gemain Hien (26), and Jonas Kambou (41-year-old father of two). More trained pastors are needed as new churches are planted.