By Steve Fulks
You may have already noticed a new logo appearing in our publications that indicates in just two short years, Baptist Mid-Missions will be celebrating 100 years of helping churches launch their missionaries to the field. Our first five candidates were interviewed on October 15, 1920, and that same process continues through today.
Any organization is only as good as the people who make up that particular entity. Carelessness in the vetting process will only lead to a slow deterioration of the purpose and fabric of the original institution. We thought it would be helpful for you to understand just how someone becomes part of Baptist Mid-Missions. While we desire to add new recruits, we use extreme care in their acceptance to ensure the Mission stays true to its founding purpose and that the missionary DNA of new applicants is the same as those who have gone on before.
Here are the steps making up that process and the
information we seek:
• Initial face-to-face conversation
• First Steps Application—conversion, call to missions, moral qualifications
• Formal Application—philosophy of ministry
• Medical Questionnaire—suitability for field
• Doctrinal Questionnaire—ability to define beliefs with Scriptural backing
• Doctrinal Exam—ability to verbalize beliefs with members of BMM’s General Council
It is of utmost importance to note that, because BMM serves churches, the sending church must vote to recommend their member to BMM for full-time service by unreservedly indicating their agreement with the Articles of Faith of Baptist Mid-Missions. This has been true since the inception of this agency. To review these tenets, view our web page: www.bmm.org/about/our-mission.
Also, the church indicates its willingness to have its missionary abide by the guidelines of BMM. Such norms are necessary to ensure that team members coming from different churches have a framework within which to function in harmony.
Only after satisfactory completion of these steps are the candidates invited to Candidate Seminar, where they will receive training for deputation as well as preparation for transition to their field of service.
We share this information with you so that you know we do everything possible to safeguard that the organization conceived on October 15, 1920, stays on course. Has missionary methodology changed over the years? Of course. Times and people change, and the way we reach them must reflect those ever-changing times. It was said of the sons of Issachar that they were men “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). We, too, must be cognizant of the times in which we live so that we may know best how to reach the lost. However, our unswerving commitment to the principles and faith of our founders remains the same! Praise the Lord with us for His care of this organization.
Steve Fulks is BMM’s Second Vice President and Administrator for Operations. He previously served as Administrator for Church Relations and Enlistment and as a missionary to Peru with his wife, Judy.