The Purpose of COG Misssions
Church of God World Missions seeks to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…” (Matthew 28:19).
We seek to be a gateway of information and support between those whom God calls to minister around the world and those whom God calls to sponsor these ministries. We support and develop an international perspective, in fulfilling the mission of the Church of God, and ensure the sponsorship of ministries that meet the needs of persons of different cultural settings. Our work includes specialized training programs and materials, opportunities for leadership experience, and opening channels for new ideas.
Church of God World Missions exists to exalt Jesus Christ through evangelism, church planting, leadership development and other ministries of compassion for a flourishing international church.
Robert H. Glover defines Christian missions as “the proclamation of the Gospel to the unconverted everywhere according to the command of Christ.”
The Scriptural purpose of the involvement of the Church of God in missions is:
To fulfill the Great Commission of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:17, John 20:21).
To share Christ’s love for the world (Luke 10:2, Matt 9:36-38, Matt. 18:10-14).
To minister to the totality of human need (Matt. 25:31-46, Luke 16:9, Luke 16:19-31, Luke 10:2).
To bring men and women to the knowledge of God and to His redeeming grace (John 3:16, Rom. 10: 13-15).
To obey Christ by confessing Him to the world (Matt. 10:32-33, Matt. 25:41-46).
Our purpose is to help (1) unchurched or nominal Christians to become committed disciples of Christ, and (2) non-Christian people to become Christians. For this reason we send missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christ, to train national leaders, to proclaim the Gospel to their own people and to other nations, to help relieve people who are suffering, and to develop mature disciples for the Kingdom of God.
PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY
Our philosophy consists of the following four areas:
Foundation for Ministry
Authority for Ministry
Personnel for Ministry
Undergirding for Ministry
The Missionary God
FOUNDATION FOR MINISTRY
Church of God World Missions affirms the biblical truth that God is a missionary God. The Triune God acts for the redemption of man: The Father ordered the plan of salvation, the Son actuated it and the Holy Spirit executes it. The Father sent the Son; the Son gave His life in obedient sacrifice; and the Holy Spirit draws mankind to salvation.
From the beginning of mankind’s history, God has been a seeking God. He called out to fallen Adam, and He has continued to call men and women to Himself. He has raised up people to whom He reveals Himself that they might in turn make Him known to the world. He has commissioned priests and prophets, apostles and missionaries to convey the message of redemptive truth. Part of the essential activity of God is that He is a sending God.
Building on this understanding of the nature of God, Church of God World Missions seeks to be the embodiment of His sending and seeking, finding its mission statement in Rom. 16:25-27: “Now to Him who is able to establish you by my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him–to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen” (NIV).
AUTHORITY FOR MINISTRY
Spirit, Word and Church
The authority for ministry in Church of God World Missions resides in the Holy Spirit, who equips and empowers; in the Word, which commissions and guides; and in the church, which structures and supports.
In His pre-ascension statements to His followers, Jesus Christ declared that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him, and the Holy Spirit would empower His followers to be witnesses throughout the earth (Matt. 28:18; Acts 1:8). Missions ministry is spiritual ministry. The Holy Spirit actively and powerfully works in the lives of missionaries, combating the forces of evil and guiding in truth.
The Word is the source of authority. The biblical commission directs believers as they are going, baptizing and teaching to make disciples of all peoples.
The heart of World Missions ministry is the implementation of a global strategy of evangelism, church planting and training. To support its ministries, World Missions devises a budget and raises funds through the efforts of department personnel and appointed missionaries. The World Missions staff performs editorial, public relations, financial and administrative functions for missionaries on the field and for the constituency of the North American church.
PERSONNEL FOR MINISTRY
The Missionary Family
A missionary, as identified by World Missions, is a person under appointment and receiving support who performs ministry in the context of geography or culture other than his own. World Missions selects persons for cross-cultural ministry from various countries where the church has been established and sends them to other countries for service. World Missions also recognizes the valuable ministry of national leaders and other ministers who serve within their home countries to advance the Kingdom of God.
The essential qualifications for missionary appointment include spiritual maturity, doctrinal integrity in harmony with the Declaration of Faith of the Church of God, good health, college education (except for specialized ministries), experience in ministry and the recommendation of the local church where the applicant is a member.
Candidates for application undergo an examination by the World Missions Board and its designees who investigate evidence of qualification. Applicants have the opportunity of sharing their calling and burden. They answer questions relating to doctrinal positions, family matters and health. They are given a physical examination and a series of personality profile evaluations.
Missionary service on the field takes various forms, including teaching or administering in educational institutions and programs, serving in medical ministries, planting new churches, working in relief and development efforts and many other areas. The World Missions Board determines the precise nature of each missionary’s ministry in consultation with area superintendents and national church personnel.
Reaching souls for Jesus Christ is at the heart of missions. The missionary, therefore, must be empathetic and manifest true love and compassion for the people to whom he ministers. He must nurture and undergird the church and help those persons, liberated from sin through the Gospel, enjoy abundant living in Christ.
The missionary is a guest in the country in which he serves and must always act legally and ethically in performing his duties. He must be apolitical since political conditions vary from country to country, affecting the propagation of the Gospel and building up of the church. To remain true to his calling and position, the missionary must not become involved in politics. Missionary service supercedes politics in order to reach all people of all political persuasions with the Gospel.
UNDERGIRDING FOR MINISTRY
The Local Church
Church of God World Missions declares its commitment to the position that the local church is the indispensable key to missions success and effectiveness.
Local churches produce missionaries. The men and women who labor in foreign fields tomorrow are being converted, nurtured and matured in their home churches today.
Local churches provide support for missions. The gifts of money that send missionaries to all nations and sustain them while they are there come from local churches. The prayers that assure missions victories originate from local churches.
For these reasons World Missions affirms its unswerving support for the development of strong local churches, strives to maintain communication with local church pastors and leaders and urges missionaries to sustain close ties with local churches.