I love being a Foursquare missionary. I have the privilege of serving a global church family that is passionate about Jesus Christ and seeing lives transformed by the gospel. We are a mission-driven movement.
This passion for missions has led our church to grow from a single church with a global vision to a global church with a single vision: to reach the world for Jesus Christ by making disciples, planting churches, developing leaders, and they, in time, sending their own missionaries. This is what we call our Four-Stage Model of national church development. It is our Foursquare missiology.
Foursquare missionaries are charged with living out Foursquare missiology. This tandem force of missionaries and missiology has served as an apostolic movement resulting in a global Foursquare church of more than 65,000 churches in over 130 nations.
When The Foursquare Church began sending missionaries, a “sending method” was developed between the denomination and the missionaries. The missionary was told: “We want you to focus on the field. We will care for you, pray for you and financially support you, so that all your time and energy can be focused on the harvest, not on where your next meal will come from.”
All Foursquare churches agreed together to support these missionaries through what is now called the Global Missions Fund (formerly called the General Missions Fund). Being apostolic means you are both “sent to” and “sent from”—our missionaries were “sent to” the unreached cities, nations and people groups of the world; they were “sent from” a church united around missions.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Foursquare Missions International (FMI) was designed by missionaries for missionaries. Consequently, there are inherent strengthens and weaknesses. The two greatest strengths FMI brought to the table were: (1) our missionaries could focus on the harvest, not on raising support; and (2) we were very “mission specific,” and thus we deployed a very specific type of missionary. These strengths allowed a very small number of missionaries to produce an incredible amount of fruit.
Over time, however, certain deficiencies arose, especially as our culture became more high-tech and high-touch. These weaknesses were the mirrored reflections and unintended consequences of our strengths.
These unintended consequences were: (1) a lack of connection and partnership with local U.S. churches (FMI became viewed as a “black hole”); and (2) limited opportunities for those sensing a calling to serve on the mission field but who did not necessarily have the gift mix and calling of the typical Foursquare missionary. (FMI was seen as a very difficult club to join.)
FMI has been working on how to keep the strengths of our apostolic assignment and “sending model” while, at the same time, making a way for every person called by Jesus to serve as a missionary, as well as every local church, to have greater personal involvement in missions work. It is a daunting task. The results have not been perfect; it is far too complicated for that. But a new day has dawned.
Every pastor, church and believer must wrestle through how they can best serve the Great Commission—how they are to “Pray, Give and Go.” By working together, we can accomplish far more.
Regarding the financial support of missions, each pastor, church and believer needs to resolve within themselves how they can best support the advancement of the gospel. Within FMI, there are four ways to financially support missions:
- Support the Global Missions Fund. This focuses on our shared assignment and calling as an apostolic people.
- Support individual missionaries. Many of our missionaries now raise their own support.
- Support a project. There are so many opportunities around the world.
- Support disaster relief via Foursquare Relief and Compassion. This helps The Foursquare Church respond to crises at home and around the world.
Each category serves a kingdom purpose. I think it is always a good idea to have a “diversified kingdom portfolio,” where you are investing in the harvest through multiple streams. Check FMI’s website for available opportunities.
As a missionary who is supported by the Global Missions Fund, I hope you will partner with me and the more than 25 missionary couples who are supported through this fund. We are actively engaged in reaching the harvest fields of the world because of your prayers and financial support.
Challenge to Pastors
Why should pastors and their congregations support the Global Missions Fund? Here are a few reasons:
- You believe missionaries are best served when they do not need to worry about where their next meal will come from.
- You believe we should recruit, train and empower the best of the best, and send them to reach unreached cities, nations and people groups.
- You believe every Foursquare church should have equal access to the harvest.
- You believe developing healthy church planting movements is the best way to reach nations.
- You believe fruitfulness should be rewarded.
- You believe the Foursquare family has a shared mission to “go around the world with the Foursquare Gospel.”
Pastor, would you consider setting aside time one Sunday per month for your congregation pray for Foursquare missionaries, and then receive an offering for FMI? It will take only a few minutes a month, and it can change your church—and the world.
Individuals can also support FMI, either through their local churches or by donating online. Checks may also be sent to the following address:
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
P.O. Box 26776
Los Angeles, CA 90026
By: Jeff Roper, Foursquare Missions International area missionary to Europe