TEAM Missionary Program
a. Applicant must be born-again, an active member of a BBFI – affiliated church (A BBFI – affiliated church is one which supports at least one BBFI missionary).
b. Applicant will be required to provide a written recommendation from their pastor.
c. Applicant must be at least 20 years of age.
d. Applicant must have completed one year of college.
e. There is a possibility for completion of some academic courses while on the field in preparation for career missionary service with the BBFI.
f. Applicant must agree to work with an approved BBFI missionary. A work contract between the mentor missionary and the applicant will be crafted as part of the application process.
g. Applicant must commit to a term of at least one year and not more than three years on the field per terms of the contract with their mentor missionary. Any extension must be approved by the mentor missionary, sending pastor and the Mission Office at least three months prior to the end of their agreed term of service.
h. Return to the US for any purpose must be approved by the sending pastor and the Mission Office.
i. TEAM missionary must raise their own financial support under authorization of their sending pastor.
j. TEAM missionary must participate in a Mission Office approved medical insurance plan or program. Support must be raised to cover this expense and will be deducted by the Mission Office.
k. TEAM missionary must attend the scheduled TEAM Candidate School during the calendar year of recognition.
l. The TEAM missionary must submit to the authority of their sending church in all disciplinary matters. They must also submit to the authority of the mentor missionary on the field.
m. There will be no dating during the period of residency on the foreign field.
n. The TEAM missionary shall not incur additional debt during the period of residency on the foreign field.
o. The TEAM missionary must be willing to give active assistance to the mentor missionary in his church planting ministry as outlined in their work contract.
p. Formal recognition as a TEAM missionary will take place at a BBFI National Fellowship Meeting. The sending pastor must attend in order to give a personal recommendation before the Missions Field Committee.
q. TEAM missions service may be accepted as fulfilling the internship requirements for career BBFI missionary service.
r. TEAM may be used to fulfill the internship requirements for career missionary service in a Creative Access Nation (CAN) if this service is also completed for a minimum of one year with a BBFI missionary in an open access country that is culturally close to the CAN. The approval of the sending pastor, the Mission Office, and the CAN missionary is required. The minimum service in the CAN is three months.
Career Missionary Program
1. Personal Qualifications
a. Each candidate must:
i. Give evidence of being a born-again believer.
ii. Give evidence of a missionary call.
iii. Be a member of a Fellowship-affiliated Baptist Church.
b. Candidates shall not be considered who have been divorced and have two living mates.
c. We must prayerfully consider the consequences of all our personal choices – “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:” – Psalm 101:3. Our goal should always be that which is admonished in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” As a mission family, missionary personnel must abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages, non-medical use of narcotic drugs, and use of tobacco in any form, as well as participation in social dancing, lotteries or gambling. All missionaries must use utmost caution and Spirit-led discernment in the viewing of or listening to all forms of media, whether in movies, the Theater, DVDs and videos, TV programs, the Internet, or the printed page.
2. Education of Applicants
a. Applicants are required:
i. To be high school graduates or equivalent.
ii. To be college graduates with at least 18 credit hours of mission courses from a full membership and/or approved school. College graduates with a minimum of 18 credit hours of mission courses from another training institution may be accepted by the Mission Office during the application process and the Mission Field Committee at the time of approval.
iii. To have at least one year of acceptable experience in the pastorate or some other form of Christian service acceptable to the Mission Committee.
iv. A two-year supervised part-time exception may be acceptable to the Missions Field Committee.
b. The Mission Office shall administrate a measure of understanding and acceptance of the missions philosophy of the BBFI through the application process with the Mission Office and through the annual Candidate School. Additional formal/informal training may be required.
c. Five years’ experience as a pastor and pastor’s wife within the Baptist Bible Fellowship may be considered the equivalent of the educational and internship requirements for approval as Baptist Bible Fellowship missionaries. Waivers of the educational and internship requirements based on special experience of other kinds may be recommended by the Fellowship Directors in individual cases.
3. Missionary Wives
a. The Fellowship primarily sends married couples to the mission field, deeming this both Scriptural and advisable. Because it majors in the preaching of the Gospel and the establishment of churches, the Fellowship promotes the ministry of men in the leadership of its missionary enterprise.b. This does not mean that the Fellowship depreciates the importance of women in this ministry, but rather requires that the missionary wife be capable of a ministry with women, young people and children. She is expected to learn the language and have an active part in the ministry of her husband; remembering, however, her first responsibility is to her home and family.
c. Because of her ministry and the adjustment problems on the field, a wife must fulfill the educational qualifications.
4. Single Missionaries
a. Single missionaries will be subject to personal and educational qualifications per Baptist Bible Fellowship mission policy.
b. While the Fellowship majors in couples, it does not close the door to highly qualified single persons. In view of the obvious problems in this respect, the Fellowship requires that any single women candidates be 27 years of age before departure for the field and that any single men candidates be 25 years of age before departure for the field; that they must promise to devote at least one full term to their ministry; and that they must further promise not to begin courtship, whether with a national of the field, another missionary, or anyone else. Any divergence from this rule must be brought to the attention of the Missions Field Committee immediately.
c. The Missions Field Committee must approve any change in the above policy.
d. No more than five percent of the missionary personnel of the Fellowship may be unmarried.
e. A single woman will be required to work with an approved missionary couple.
f. Single men will pursue a church-planting ministry.
g. Single men will be subject to Baptist Bible Fellowship International mission policy. The maximum age of a candidate at the time of application is 35 years. In special cases the Missions Field Committee may consider extending this age limit.
5. Age – Applicants over the age of 50 years will require a recommendation from the Mission Director to the Missions Field Committee.
6. Health – Candidates for approval are required to submit a medical examination report from a clinic selected by the Mission Director.
7. Applications from other groups – In case of applications received from candidates who have not been associated with the Fellowship, such applicants are required: (1) to become members of a Fellowship-affiliated church; (2) to take specified resident training in the Missions Course of a full membership and/or approved school; and (3) to otherwise satisfy the Missions Field Committee and Fellowship as to their qualifications.
8. Citizenship Requirements – Non-United States citizens will be considered on a case-by-case basis on the following conditions:
a. Must be married to a citizen of the United States of America.
b. Must be returning to the non-US citizen’s country of origin (after two four-year terms in the country of origin, the couple is free to apply for a change of field).
c. Must meet the following requirements:
i. The education and internship requirements of the BBFI. (The TEAM program will not apply. This policy applies to career missionaries only). Internship will be completed in the United States.
ii. Sent from a BBFI-affiliated church in the USA which supports other BBFI missionaries and the BBFI Mission Office.
iii. The non-citizen must maintain legal immigrant status, and provide annual verification of their status to their sending pastor and the Mission Office.
iv. In addition to the required recommendations, the candidate must have a recommendation of a BBFI missionary in the country of service or region. It is preferred the person making the recommendation NOT be related to the couple when possible.
v. As with the other missionaries, they are not considered employees of the BBFI and are personally responsible for dealing properly with US income taxes. Due to the nature of tax laws related to income derived in the United States by a foreign national, the couple agrees to furnish the BBFI Mission Office with a letter from a US tax preparer stating that their taxes are properly filed and paid. This letter must be received annually by the BBFI Mission Office no later than 30 days beyond the deadline for filing US income tax returns (normally April 15).
vi. The sending pastor will receive a copy of these policy guidelines and be briefed by one of the Associate Directors regarding the nature of these policies. The missionary couple shall furnish the BBFI Mission Office with a signed partnership agreement between them and their sending pastor stating their understanding of the responsibility of the couple to maintain compliance, specifically with regard to immigration status and tax laws and the willingness of their pastor to work with the BBFI Mission Office should this become an issue. This must be received by the application deadline for missionary approval.
9. Nationals – This is a missionary enterprise, and applications of nationals of other countries to be missionaries of the Fellowship will not be considered. The Fellowship has scores of national preachers on its various mission fields, each of which is encouraged to build responsible, self-supporting churches. The missionaries in charge of such a ministry should, by Scriptural instruction in consecration and tithing, develop such churches to support their ministry, and take responsibility for their churches.