What is GMSA’s philosophy of missions?
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 the GMSA a member of ECFA? If not, do you report to another financial oversight board?
GMSA is not a member of the 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. The Mission is also a member of the Fellowship of Missions, which involves qualifying for membership in a forum of separatist mission agencies, reporting to one another on statistics and finances, and reaffirming our shared convictions.
How much support does a missionary need before he or she leaves for the field?
This will vary from one country to another, but the approximate amounts are as follows: 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 by health insurance?
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. Optometry and dental are not covered. Short term missionaries can also apply for coverage from the same provider.
What services are provided to the missionaries by the US International HQs?
Our office provides annual IRS reporting, donor receipting, record keeping and many other tasks to facilitate our team of missionaries on the field.
What kind of training do missionaries need before going to the field? How much is needed before joining the Mission?
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 pass an oral proficiency interview.) All new missionaries receive orientation on their respective fields beginning upon arrival and are monitored by field leadership to assure that they adapt satisfactorily to the language, culture, the National Fellowship of Churches and the Mission.
How is a missionary’s support divided up?
As per current Mission policy 10% of the missionary’s “support” is withheld for administration. Most administration expenditures provide a direct service to the missionary whether overseas or at home . Donations receipted as Work Funds, Project Funds, Medical Funds and personal gifts 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 GMSA specialize in a certain field?
Currently GMSA has missionaries serving in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Our long term goal is to expand into other South American countries.
What is the strategy/method to reach people?
The missionaries are involved in evangelism and discipleship with the goal of establishing local churches. Supportive ministries, including Bible institutes and Bible camps, contribute to the goal.
What are the necessary qualifications in order to serve with the GMSA?
Candidates should “count the cost” and be prepared to live lives of privation, hard work, 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 do missionaries take furloughs?
Missionaries accrue two months of furlough for every year on the field and twelve months at the end of a five year term. Terms of service are generally 3-5 years. Special circumstances may permit a shorter term on the field and a shorter furlough at home.
Is it recommended that a missionary be married? Is there a limit on how many children a couple may have?
There is no Mission policy on these matters.
Does the GMSA help with schooling for the children of missionaries?
The Mission 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 work, music ministry, etc. Their initiative, abilities and language proficiency will help determine the degree of their involvement on the field.
What relationship does the Mission seek to have with sending Churches?
The GMSA serves local Churches by administering and providing accountability for the funds that they allocate for their missionaries and projects in South America. The Home Boards/Councils (through their Directors and Representatives) respond to questions and concerns of churches who support missionaries through the GMSA. The Mission endeavors to keep the supporting churches abreast of developments in the work and with their missionary through publications such as a bi-monthly prayer bulletin and the Southern Sentinel blog. Up-to-date support analysis statements are also available to supporters upon request. The office of the General Director welcomes the communication and input of the pastors of supporting churches.
What is the Mission’s philosophy of evangelism?
The Mission does not have an established approach to evangelism. Each missionary and field uses different methods of evangelism appropriate to the season, culture and capability of the missionary.
What is the average time to plant a Church?
Though many variables are involved, typically 8 to 15 years of ministry investment.
What is the administrative structure of the Mission?
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, the governing board of the Mission, 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’s International Headquarters is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.