Version 1, February 2009
Beware of enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
Henry David Thoreau
In addition to the Village Church of Barrington's official ministries, the people of the Village Church have a rich history of being involved in numerous additional activities that further God's kingdom. Many of these activities have been closely aligned with the Village Church over the years and typically are made up of several VCB persons. These activities often leverage VCB resources such as its facilities and means of communicating information. VCB welcomes such ministries and encourages God's people to follow their hearts into ministry. However, the Village Church does not have the time or financial resources to support all such ministries to the fullest degree. This guideline was prepared so that ministry teams and individuals know what VCB resources they can leverage and how to request them.
The requests normally received by the Village Church of Barrington fall under four categories: financial support, fundraising for projects, promotion of an event, and ministry updates. This 2009-01 document provides a guideline for responding to requests (whether these requests come from persons in our church body serving externally in their community, are from persons or organizations supported by our church budget, or are requests coming to us from sources external to the functions of our church body) for some level of assistance in the three main geographical divisions of the work of the VCB outside its walls -the divisions are named Local Impact, Regional Impact, and Global Impact. "Local" includes the geographical area in which our congregation live; "Regional" is beyond local out to the continental borders of the USA, and "Global" refers to all geographic areas outside the continental borders of the USA. "Support," as used in this document, refers to financial support as the basis for considering whether other types of resources can be provided. Those individuals and organizations to which we have committed financial support through our budget are eligible to receive a greater use of our resources than those not financially supported.
Local impact is wherever our constituency live, but projects suggested in these areas will need to be prioritized by several criteria - closeness to our demographic center, scale of return of benefit (investment) for our congregation, ongoing ability to service the project, our DNA (ability to serve the need). In short, it means that the further a person lives on the periphery of our congregation's geographic spread, the less likely it will be that we take on a project as a church, unless there is a special move planned, i.e., to plant a new congregation.
REQUEST REVIEW AND APPROVAL PROCESS
All requests must be submitted a minimum of eight weeks in advance to the Associate Pastor for Impact Ministries who will first process the request through the grid below, and then, as appropriate, take the request to the appropriate divisional team. This divisional team will act on the request based on history and the set of guidelines below. The Associate Pastor, after receiving the team's recommendation, will, where necessary, review the team's recommendations with the Senior Pastor, and then respond to the request. The final decision of the team will be recorded in the team's minutes.
LOCAL AND REGIONAL IMPACT SUPPORT REQUESTS:
Fundraising: No organization, including those supported by our church budget, is allowed to raise organizational funds through church sponsored meetings or by using church mailing lists or contact information. However, projects sponsored by organizations financially supported by our church may from time to time be approved on a case by case basis by the VCB Board after submission to the Board by our VCB Impact Ministries. After approval of the project and its parameters is received from the VCB Board the VCB Impact Ministries will then work with the event leader to guide and monitor the fundraising effort.
Promotion of Events: With the approval of the VCB Impact Ministries, events may be advertised according to the following support status - Organizations and persons financially supported by VCB IM may be allowed any or all of the following when asking for the promotion of an event: posting on the Impact Ministries' bulletin boards, a blurb in the weekly bulletin, an insert in the bulletin, posting on the web site. In addition, pulpit announcement time may be allowed by the Impact Ministries if the event is strategic to the wider life of the church at that point in time, and scheduled at the discretion of the Senior Pastor.
Organizations not financially supported by VCB IM may, with the approval of VCB Impact Ministries, promote issues and events that are deemed pertinent to our congregation through the Impact Ministries' bulletin boards. When an issue or event of this type is considered significant to the majority of our attendees, a blurb in the weekly bulletin and a promotional table in hall adjacent to the sanctuary will be allowed for a maximum of two weeks, normally on an annual basis. Promotion via the literature racks and in the LLEC classes is not normally allowed.
Ministry Updates: Organizations and persons supported through the VCB IM budget are allowed platform or presentation time once a year, as worship service scheduling permits, to update the congregation on the ministry. Requests to action this privilege should be made by the ministry leader or co-leader in writing to the Pastor for Impact Ministries. When the request is approved, guidelines for the presentation will be given to the ministry leader.
GLOBAL IMPACT SUPPORT REQUESTS:
The following paragraphs govern the decision making of the Global Impact Team for all aspects of team responsibility, including new missionaries considered for support, special projects, and short term missions.
Budgeted Financial Support:
Priority for new personal support will be given to home-grown missionaries. Persons interested in receiving support will follow the normal application process and should address their request to the Pastor for Impact Ministries.
New organizational support will focus on leadership development.
Partnerships will focus on evangelism potential and church infrastructure development together with holistic community transformation. At this stage of VCB development we will only pursue one partnership at a time.
Partnerships are defined as longer term projects in which a two way benefit is maintained between the two parties. Even though more benefit may accrue to one party rather than the other, both sides will understand the responsibilities each has to the other. Benefits, responsibilities, and a working relationship are agreed upon by the two parties. For VCB, partnership may involve providing funds, resource persons, and promotion.
VCB focuses on holistic community transformation. Transformation means change in both attitudes and structures, bringing them into line with God's kingdom principles and values. Community means that we seek to impact all levels of a given group of people. Holistic means that we seek to impact every area of lack in life - social, educational, spiritual, economic, physical health, etc. - although not necessarily simultaneously or even totally. Whatever we do in a given area, however, will not negatively affect other areas.
Non-budgeted Financial Support - The only thing we will support that is not in our budget is Short Term Mission efforts. These requests are handled through the Ev Rogers Fund policy.
Fundraising, Promotion of Events, and Ministry Updates: As for Local and Regional above.
Short Term Missions Support Grid
General Guidelines: There are three levels of STM involvement. These are gauged by the planned level of interaction with local people, but the aim of all STM trips is to have some personal contact with a missional intent. "Missional" means to go out from our body of believers to any identified group with the intent of sharing the gospel message so that the people whose lives are touched will become disciples of Jesus Christ to God's glory and worship.
Those short term trips that are initiated by the Global Impact Team will receive a higher level of support than those initiated by individuals.
The Grid: The GIT will use the following checkpoints to assess the acceptability for sponsoring any proposed STM based on the financial guidelines above.
- Assist our existing missionaries in specific material and spiritual ways that benefit their long and short term goals.
- Organization or missionary that we support or through a member who has a direct link to the receiving church (i.e. OT Ochieng)
- Kingdom building potential coupled with a demonstrated critical need (i.e. Moldova)
For example, the introduction of the steel ax into an Australian aboriginal society destroyed the social structure, the economics, and ultimately the mental and physical health of the people (see Richard Broome, Aboriginal Australians, Allen & Unwin, 2002).