Frequently Asked Questions
What is the GMSA philosophy of what missions is about?
We believe that Biblical missions focuses on evangelism, discipleship, and the establishment of local churches, along with ministries supportive of these goals. You can read more about our philosophy here.
Is GMSA is a member of ECFA? If not, do you report to another financial oversight board?
GMSA is not a member of ECFA. However our Florida Board of Directors does obtain an annual certified financial review and financial statement, which we make available to all upon request.
How much support does a missionary need before he or she leaves for the field?
A single person needs $2,900.00 per month. A couple needs $3,800.00 per month. A family must seek an additional $270.00 per month per child. 80% of this recommended support level is required before leaving for or returning to the field. The Field Director may authorize exceptions.
Are missionaries covered with health insurance? Are other services provided?
Yes, GMSA has a group health insurance plan with IMG (International Medical Group). The current yearly deductible is $500 with full coverage up to one million. Prescription medications are also covered. Prescription eye glasses are also considered under Mission policy. Short term missionaries can also apply for coverage from the same provider.
What services are provided to the missionaries by the office?
In addition, our office provides annual IRS reporting, donor receipting, record keeping and many other tasks to facilitate the missionary.
What kind of training program do missionaries have before going to the field? How much training is needed before joining the Mission and how much does the Mission offer?
Candidates should have: a) Graduated from High School b) Graduated from an approved Bible School or its equivalent c) some pastoral/practical experience is strongly recommended. The Home Board governs where exceptions are made. Applicants will attend candidate school for orientation. Appointees will normally attend language school at RGBI in Texas (exceptions are made for those who speak Spanish fluently.) All new missionaries have a two year probationary period to assure that they adapt satisfactorily to the language, culture, nationals and missionaries.
What percentage of support does the missionary receive and how much goes to the mission board?
Current Mission policy withholds 10% of the missionary’s “support” for administration. Most administration expenditures provide a direct service to the missionary whether overseas or on home ministry. Donations receipted as Work Funds, Project Funds and Medical Funds are not subject to this administrative deduction. The remainder of the missionary’s support is distributed to the missionary as: salary; passage; health insurance/health care coverage; quarterly estimated self employment tax; retirement savings; and other personal designations, which the missionary may request.
Does the mission board specialize in a certain field?
Currently GMSA has missionaries serving in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In the future we hope to establish churches in Paraguay as well.
What is the strategy/method to reach people?
The missionaries are involved in evangelism and establishing local churches with supportive ministries, including Bible institutes and Bible camps, to train and equip the believers for ministry.
What qualifications are necessary?
Candidates should “count the cost” and be prepared to live lives of privation, toil, loneliness, danger and to be despised at home and abroad. Minimum qualifications are normally:
- Graduation from high school
- Graduation from Bible school or its equivalent
- Satisfactory health
- Satisfactory statement of faith
- Satisfactory spiritual life testimony
How often are furloughs?
Terms of service are generally 4-5 years. Special circumstances may indicate a shorter ministry term and a shorter furlough.
Is there a recommendation to be married? Is there a child limit?
There is no mission policy on these matters.
Does the mission board help with schooling for the children?
The mission board does not take an active role in how missionaries educate their children. Parents decide how their children will meet educational standards.
What role do short-term missionaries play?
Short term missionaries can be very helpful in construction projects, youth evangelism, home schooling MK’s, secretarial/office labor, and music ministry. Their abilities and language proficiency may help determine their role on the field.
What partnership role does the board seek with sending Churches?
GMSA serves the local Churches by administering and providing accountability for the funds that they allocate for the missionary enterprise in South America. The Home Boards/Councils (through their Directors and Representatives) respond to questions and concerns of churches who support missionaries through GMSA. The Mission endeavors to keep the supporting churches abreast of developments in the work and with their missionary through publications such was a bi-monthly prayer bulletin and the Southern Sentinel blog. Up-to-date support analysis statements are also available to supporters upon request.
What is the mission’s approach to evangelism?
Gospel Mission of South America does not have a set approach to evangelism. Each missionary and field use different methods of evangelism appropriate to the season, culture and capability of the missionary.
What is the average time to plant a Church? What are the methods used?
There are too many variables in establishing a local church to be able to give a set figure of average time. Normally one would anticipate 8 to 15 years of ministry.
What is the structure of the Mission? Who does what within the organizational structure?
The Mission has three sending countries: Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and three overseas fields: Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Each of these six countries has a Board or Council and a Director or Representative who administrates their department caring for all government legal business, Mission representation, facilitating the missionary, and providing accountability for both finances and personnel. The General Director and all Home and Field Directors compose a General Council, which oversees and coordinates all Mission ministry. The individual missionary has a voice and vote in approving their Directors and modifying the Mission’s Principles and Practice. The Mission has an international office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.