Introduction to the Sending Guide

Compass and Map


Sending Guide Definitions

Apostolic Christian Counselling and Family Services (ACCFS) – Ministry of the Apostolic Christian Church of America that provides information, teaching support, consultation, and/or counselling to address hurting, emotional, spiritual,mental health, and relationship issues as well as providing resources for growth in marriages, parenting, relationships, and spiritual lives.

Candidate – A brother or sister expressing initial interest and discerning a call to serve as a missionary. 

Approved Missionary -- A brother, sister, couple or family seeking placement in missionary service within the Apostolic Christian Church who have successfully completed the Missionary Process.

Cross-Cultural Ministry – A ministry that is purposeful in crossing cultural barriers. These barriers often include language, worldview and faith.

Fellowship Support – The support and accountability provided to the missionary to maintain the relational connection to his/her sending church. This support ensures that fellowship is continued across the miles both from the missionary to the church and from the cross-section of the church to the missionary.

Intern/Short-Term Missionary – A brother or sister who is serving full time for a term longer than 3 months and less than a year.

Long-Term Service -- Missionary service in the field for a term of more than two years.

Mission – The entity in which a missionary is serving (i.e., CVE, Hospital Lumiere, MEBSH Construction, etc.).

HarvestCall Missionary – A brother or sister who has been sent from an Apostolic Christian Church to proclaim Christ and serve others across geographical and cultural boundaries at a HarvestCall mission.

Missionary Team – A group of missionaries in a common geographic location.

Physical Support – Support provided to the missionary for his or her physical needs. While primarily financial, physical support can also include unique needs that are outside of the responsibility of the Servant Fund or the Mission, such as the finances for a special trip or a special tool.

Regional Committee – The committee responsible for a particular geographical region and the all ministry in that region.

Volunteer/Seasonal Service – A volunteer role of less than three months, generally supporting ongoing missionary operations.

Servant Fund Oversight Committee -- A committee of brothers assembled to provide purposeful administration to the Servant Fund involving representation from the board, management team, and regional committee leadership.

Spiritual Support – The support and accountability provided to the missionary for his/her spiritual health. Spiritual support includes encouragement and resources for the missionary to assist with his/her growth and also ensures maintenance of spiritual health.

Mission Manager – The appointed person responsible to work as a liaison on behalf of the responsible committee in the effective management of the mission.

Outreach Manager – HarvestCall staff role responsible for the management of the Missionary Process and personnel-related issues.

Mentor – A brother or sister in Christ who provides primary spiritual accountability to the missionary through the roles of listening, coaching, and counseling.

Advocate - A brother, sister, or couple from the missionary’s sending church responsible for encouraging ongoing fellowship between the missionary and the church. This role provides direct accountability to the church to be in fellowship with the missionary and to the missionary to be in fellowship with the church.

Support Team – The coordinated effort of the Mentor and/or Advocate, Mission Manager and Outreach Manager.

Term – The intended time of service between furloughs. HarvestCall terms are typically one year.

Apostolic Christian Church of America Guiding Statements

Church Doctrine

The doctrine of the Apostolic Christian Church is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, which is recognized as God-inspried, infallible, and inerrant. New Testament teachings are carefully followed, and counsel and advice are sought from examples found in the Old Testament. 

Resource:

Statement of Faith

The Apostolic Christian Church Statement of Faith includes statements such as, "The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God to man" and "There is one eternal God, the Creator of all things, who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Resource: Apostolic Christian Statement of Faith

Mission

The mission of the Apostolic Christian Church of America (ACCA) consists of four pillars:

  1. To present to the lost the Gospel message of salvation based on faith in the shed blood of Jesus christ and a true repentance and conversion (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 3:19; Ephesians 2:8).
  2. To teach and nurture the believers toward a sanctified life and to faithfulness, by God's grace and through His Word (Colossians 1:28; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 5:26-27).
  3. To preserve sound doctrine by "contending for the faith" (Jude 3; Acts 20:27; 1 Timothy 4:16).
  4. To offer humble deeds of service to fellow believers and all mankind, in the name of Christ (Galatians 5:13; Galatians 6:19; Philippians 2:7).

HarvestCall Guiding Statements and Structure

Apostolic Christian HarvestCall is an outreach arm of the Apostolic Christian Church of America. HarvestCall is an organization reflective of the heart of the brotherhood to glorify God by living out the Biblical commandments and the Great Commission. Its purpose is to enable the Apostolic Christian brotherhood to proclaim Christ and serve others beyond the capacity of the local church. Everyone is encouraged to support HarvestCall as it strives to alleviate suffering and despair around the world by sharing Jesus through words of truth and deeds of compassion.

The fundamental perspective of how HarvestCall is intended to function is through the principles of servant leadership. With the perspective of all being in submission to Christ, the primary consideration for decisions and interactions is what would be in the best interest of those we are responsible for serving in each situation. HarvestCall is wholly owned by the Apostolic Christian Church of America and functions under the authority of the Elder Body. Direct governance is provided by a Board of Directors with operations facilitated by regional and cross-regional committees. An Executive Director and staff provide leadership and coordination.

Resource: HarvestCall Purpose, Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles; HarvestCall Organizational Structure

The Sending Process

Vision

The vision of HarvestCall's Sending Process is to support the sending of brethren who are...

  • ...called by the Lord and equipped and mobilized for the field.
  • ...serving in humility with servant hearts through the support of their sending churches and the Apostolic Christian Church of America brotherhood.
  • ...actively growing spiritually, personally, and professionally.
  • ...committed to HarvestCall's mission.

Purpose

The purpose of HarvestCall's Sending Process is to:

  • Resource our missions with brethren who have been called and possess the skills, behaviors, and attitudes to fulfill the work with excellence.
  • Provide support (spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational) and accountability for brethren and their families who serve.

Strategy

HarvestCall's Sending Process seeks to fulfill its purpose by working together with HarvestCall brethren in the following strategic areas:

  • Sending church support: Assist the sending churches and the Apostolic Christian Church of America to become churches equipped to send and support brethren to serve in missions beyond the capacity of the local church.
  • Mission support: Assist the entire harvestCall organization to efficiently and effectively support and manage brethren.
  • Goer/Missionary support: Create structures of preparation and support to assist brethren in successfully fulfilling the mission in ways that they and their families can thrive. 
  • Prayer support: By following scriptural examples and principles, HarvestCall is committed to submitting to prayer, proclamation of the Gospel and service to others. As ambassadors who carry our eternal treasure in earthen vessels, recognition is made that any sufficiency is of God (2 Corinthians 3:4-6). Therefore, prayer and fasting is foundational to each individual's faith and critical to the ministry of the Gospel in word and deed. All necessary measures and methods are encouraged to develop individual commitments to prayer and fasting as well as accountability to develop a culture of prayer.

The Three Levels of Sending Intensity

Depending on the destination of the brother or sister entering the sending process, the level or degree of engagement with the Sending Process will differ. For ease and clarity in communication, HarvestCall has designated three levels of sending which apply as follows.

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Church Bolsterer
Church Bolsterer - Specific Roler
Church Planter
Mover/Relocator
Church Bolsterer - Minister
Tentmaker Missionary
VBS Worker
Long-Term Sunday School Worker
Cross-Cultural Church Planter
International Intern
Short-Term Missionary
Long-Term Missionary
Short-Term Sunday School Worker


Sending Guide Venn Design

Each brother or sister going through the Sending Process will most likely be preparing for one of these potential roles. If that role falls in Level 1, they will proceed through those sections of the Sending Process and Sending Guide which apply to Level 1. The same goes for Level 2 and Level 3. 

The above figure shows how there is overlap between all Levels. A person in Level 3 will do much of what a person in Level 1 or 2 will do in the Sending Process as well as fulfill some additional responsibilities that a Level 1 or 2 will not be required to do. 

The figure also shows the overlap between the three Phases. This visualizes how a person might simultaneously be completing a task in Phase 1 while working on one from Phase 2 as well. This all depends on the situation.

The Sending Guide is split up in to three phases:

  1. Interest and Calling
  2. Confirmation and Commissioning
  3. Preparation and Sending

All three of these phases apply to all candidates, missionaries, and goers. However, the degree to which they apply depends on the level of the candidate, missionary, or goer. For example, a greater amount of preparation in the Preparation and Sending phase will be required for a cross-cultural church planter in relation to an intern. 

In order to organize and communicate the varying degrees of application for each person throughout the Guide, HarvestCall has divided all potential missionary or goer positions into three different levels depending on the degree of application for each position. This can be viewed in the Venn Diagram above.

The overlapping circles of the Venn Diagram represent the three phases. They overlap because they are somewhat fluid. Depending on the circumstance, a candidate may be simultaneously working through a portion of the Interest and Calling phase while also working through a portion of the Confirmation and Commissioning phase. Likewise, a candidate may be asked to complete a portion of the Preparation and Sending phase before they complete all portions of the Confirmation and Commissioning phase. ">

The Sending Process is the method whereby the Apostolic Christian Church selects, sends, and supports brethren for service. The goal of the process is to lovingly send and support the brethren so they can thrive in their service and ministry of the Gospel to those in need. The major steps in the pre-field Sending Process will be outlined in Parts 1-3 of this guide.

Perspective on Member Care


The Sending Process will be administered to personnel using the following perspectives:

  • Mission effectiveness and the Goer/Missionary Health are interrelated and cannot be separated. We have a combined and interdependent concern for the well being of individuals and the ministry of HarvestCall.
  • The process is a ministry to individuals and the organization, which includes leadership, administration and mentoring.
  • Goers/missionaries and their families should be treated with love, care and respect, which may sometimes include rebuke and discipline.
  • The Sending Guide is holistic in that the health of families and each individual’s spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs are all the concern of HarvestCall.

Biblical Principles

The personnel responsibilities and procedures outlined below are an important part of achieving HarvestCall’s purpose with sending. HarvestCall is committed to developing and implementing its care for brethren based on a Biblical foundation.

Resource: Biblical Principles - Please view sections "The Nature and Value of Humans", "Work and Ministry Calling", and "Care of Those Who Serve".

The Role of Prayer in the Sending Process

Throughout the Sending Process, the goer/missionary, the mission, the local church and HarvestCall personnel should remain committed to prayer. The demonstrated dependency on God exhibited by each will serve to ensure that the process is surrendered to the Lord. Prayers together are encouraged regularly. Additionally, those in counsel roles (ex. Elders, other brothers/sisters) should also be encouraged to commit to prayer.

Commitments of a Missionary/Goer

A missionary/goer is defined as a brother or sister who serves long-term through HarvestCall. The duties of a missionary/goer will vary based on the specific role and the mission. In general, he/she will:

  • Be an ambassador for Christ in the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel.
  • Be a representative of HarvestCall and the Apostolic Christian Church.
  • Supportive and in alignment with the HarvestCall Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles.
  • Serve within the framework and in alignment with the principles, practices, and policies of this Sending Guide.
  • Serve within the framework of the established role description for the mission.
  • Commit to long-term service (term of more than three years).
  • Always make decisions and minister with the long-term well-being of those being served in mind.
  • Consider how to disciple, train and involve those being served so that they will be able to continue the work in a sustainable manner.

Qualifications to Become a Missionary or Goer

To become a missionary/goer, candidates should first be prayerful and demonstrate the following qualifications:

  • Be a brother or sister in the Apostolic Christian Church of America.
  • Receive support from your local church Elder.
  • Fully support and practice the Apostolic Christian Church of America’s Statement of Faith.
  • Possess a conviction and passion to serve the Lord in all aspects of the four-pillar mission of the Apostolic Christian Church of America.
  • Be committed to serve the entire brotherhood of the Apostolic Christian Church of America.
  • Be sound in Biblical doctrine.
  • Produce evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in his/her walk.
  • Possess character and integrity in all areas of conduct and life.
  • Comply with the Biblical principles of those in leadership positions.
  • Be at least 4 years removed from High School.*
  • If married, be married at least one year prior to beginning service.**

*For all candidates less than 4 years removed from High School, it is recommended that the initial term be limited to less than a year.  After the 1 year term, a review of the term as well as a completion of the Sending Process is recommended to initiate the long-term sending process.

**Candidates may begin the Sending Process prior to one year of marriage, but it is recommended that newly married couples wait at least a year before beginning service.

Interns

In some instances, a person may be called or asked to become an intern as opposed to full-time service. There are various reasons for this including:

  • Time availability for service is short and there is not an expectation of repeating the term of service.
  • The person does not yet have the experience or qualifications to go full-time.
  • Starting as an intern on a “probationary period” is a preferred way by the candidate to start service with HarvestCall as opposed to becoming a full-time missionary.
  • The person intends to serve for a longer period of time, but circumstances dictate that an initial period as an intern would be beneficial first (e.g. issues with family, sending church, finances, health, etc.).

The HarvestCall Regional Committee, under the guidance of the intern policy, will manage interns. Specific terms of service and financial arrangements are defined by these agreements. Directors (or their personnel staff) may make and terminate these agreements with the advice of their respective committee leadership.