TCPP's Vision, Mission and Philosophy of Ministry

Our Perspective on Missionaries and Missions:
TCPP firmly places its loyalty with Christ and His Church and not with TCPP as a human institution. We do not exist for the sake of self-perpetuation, but rather to be used by God how, when and for what period of time that He is pleased to have us.

Missionary service is a calling, not a career. In human for-profit corporations, the applicants for a job as well as the employer often deem it a privilege for the employee to be hired by the company. This perspective just does not have a place in God's economy of building his kingdom. It is a privilege for missionaries to be called by God and given a part in his work. It is to Him they are indebted. But we do not think it is a privilege for missionaries to be working with TCPP.

To the contrary, we feel a great privilege to be entrusted with the care and administrative support of missionaries whom God has called and entrusted to be His ambassadors. We delight in the part of God's Work that he has given us.

So our mission as an organization is merely to be a part of what God is doing, as the Lord is willing. We are partners with the missionary, and partners with the churches to facilitate them sending out those who are called.

DISCUSSION FORUM

Towards the Ideal - Rev. Joel H. Linton, Spring 2006

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I'm trying to rethink the whole concept of missions organizations, take a step back, and reassess the traditions and methods that have come in over the years by which current churches operate. To do that we want to look at the Biblical models to the extent it is provided to us in the Scriptures. And I want to invite you to help in this.

The following is a discussion that is in essence the start of the discussion, to work from. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Why or why not? What Biblical examples can you see that clarify the issues? How close does this statement below come to the Biblical examples of how missions should work? Please feel free to email and join the discussion: p u b at t a i w a n c h u r c h dot org . We would like to post your ideas.

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" Baker then asked the presbytery to dissolve his pastoral relationship with his church and to send him to Texas as the missionary of Tuscaloosa Presbytery, and salaried by them. This was agreed on by presbytery." - Douglas F. Kelly in Preachers with Powers, p. 28, published by Banner of Truth Trust, 1992, about the Second Great Awakening, Southern Presbyterian preacher Daniel Baker (1791-1857).

* Note how his presbytery itself was the missionary sending agency.

Mission boards and organizations should ideally not be like corporations that hire employees. Rather they should ideally be like servants to the General Assembly of a denomination, servants who merely facilitate local churches and presbyteries to send out missionaries. The missionary would not be "joining" the organization; he would already have "joined" his presbytery and they approve his call, etc. In essence, he would already be a member of the ranks of the denomination's Gospel ministers. The only additional thing would be that the presbytery or local sending church would enlist the assistance of the mission organization (set up by the denomination for that express purpose) to arrange the details of getting the missionary on the field and handling all the donations, etc. and administrative details that would help maintain that missionary on the field.

In essence, the denomination as represented by its local presbyteries and church elders would be the source for the vision and direction of missions, through prayer and vision and assessment of qualifications (1 Timothy 3). This would be after the pattern of how Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the church in Antioch. And the mission agency would be handling money, etc. like the deaconal function, to maintain the physical needs of the missionaries. Like the widows in 1 Timothy 5, missionaries who qualify to receive church aid would be put on a "list" by the elders and then a separate group in a deaconal role (e.g. the mission agency) would actually distribute the aid.

This would really free up the missions agency to focus on a most efficient use of funds and developing the grace of generosity among the church members for missions. The churches and presbyteries themselves would have a closer involvement in vision and prayer and oversight of the missionaries.

Recommended Reading on the Subject

* "The Debate on the Administration of Missions Led by James Henley Thornwell in the Presbyterian Church" 1839-1861 -- Doctoral Dissertation of Dr. Kenneth J. Foreman submitted to Princeton Theological Seminary 1977
Print on demand by ProQuest/ U.M.I. Dissertation Information Services 1.800.521.0600 or 1.313.761.4700 or order online with order number 7721193

The Nevius Plan for Mission Work: Illustrated in Korea by Charles Allen Clark Ph.D., D.D.
Published by Christian Literature Society, Seoul, Korea
On Sale in the U.S. by E.C. Heinz, 3624 Fifth Ave., South Minneapolis, Minnesota
Printed in 1937


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