Is a mission board Biblical? Is a mission board really necessary? Why can’t a missionary just go to the field without being connected to a mission board? I am certain that there are various opinions, but Vision Baptist Missions believes a mission board is wise for missionaries for the following reasons:
1. Stateside Administrative Oversight
Though definitely not the most important aspect, the the area of finance is the most commonly thought-about part of how a mission board helps its missionaries. Financial accountability is most certainly an important and valid reason to use a mission board.
A missionary travels around the country on deputation raising funds so in order to get to the mission field. His goal is to raise enough money to get to the field and do the work that God has called him to do. The funds must be directed somewhere legal, logical, and feasible for the missionary to access when on foreign soil.
Most churches cannot pay a secretary dedicated solely for receiving the missionary’s funds, allocating those funds, sending out receipts and keeping records for the missionary. A mission board is equipped to manage those things most local churches are not able to manage.
2. Counsel, Instruction, and Direction for Missions Work
The local church pastor is busy with preaching, serving his flock, and supervising the ministry. As a result the pastor entrusts the mission board to help care for and counsel the missionary.
A mission board is built up of individuals who have “field experience”. The mission board leaders can and will help the missionary understand how to do deputation, learn a language, adapt to a culture, start a church in a foreign culture, train national leadership, and much more.
Many times, a missionary leaves the states and is, in a sense, left alone to fend for himself. A mission board serves to instruct, counsel, and help the missionary to keep going and even do more.
We all need to be pushed, instructed, and helped in our lives. A good mission board will offer this encouragement to the missionaries.
The accountability aspect is of great importance. The mission board should challenge the missionary to stay firm in his beliefs, avoid the pitfalls of sin or laziness, and use his money and time wisely. The leadership should help the missionary keep his marriage and family strong, safe, and spiritually healthy. The mission board should make sure the missionary has insurance and retirement policies in place, as well as help him keep focus, avoid sin, and continue growing.
A pastor has pastors fellowships, a music leader has CD’s and song books, and youth leaders have conferences, videos and books. However the missionary many times is left to fend for himself. We at Vision Baptist Missions offer our missionaries a comradery in which they can be challenged, grow, think, and know they’re among others working on the front lines. Email rings, missions/leadership podcasts, on-going classes, regional conferences, notes, and updates are a few of the ways we attempt to help our missionaries. We want our missionaries to know they are among brethren with the same heart, love, and desire to get the Gospel to the world.