West Cohasset Chapel's Articles of Faith
1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments alone are verbally inspired of God and are without error in the original writings; and we believe they are the only authority in the matter of faith, daily life and final destiny. II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21; I Peter 1:22, 23.
2. We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons, namely: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. II Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 3:16, 17; Hebrews 1:1, 2; Genesis 1:1, 2; John 1:1-3.
3. We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary when she was still virgin and that He is true God and true Man. Luke 1:1-35; John 14:7-11; 10:30; I John 5:20.
4. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; and that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. John 16:8-11; I Corinthians 12:12, 13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30.
We believe that He is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth and that it is the design of God for each believer to be filled and led by the Spirit. John 16:13; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14.
We believe that God, by His Spirit, is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; that He calls and equips individual believers for leadership and service; and that His indwelling presence produces Christ-likeness in each believer. I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-12; Galatians 5:22, 23.
5. We believe that man was created by God from the dust of the earth in God’s image; but that when Adam sinned, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. As a result of Adam’s sin, all men are born with a sinful nature which makes them sinners in thought, word and deed. Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7; Romans 5:12; 3:23; Job 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:20.
6. We believe that the only escape from the penalty and power of sin is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith; He who alone is our sacrifice and substitute, having suffered the wrath of God for us, and whose blood cleanses us from all sin. John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26; I John 1:7; II Corinthians 5:21; Luke 13:3; Ephesians 2:8, 9.
7. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of Jesus Christ and His ascension into heaven, where He is now seated at the Father’s right hand, as our only high priest and intercessor. John 20:24-29; I Peter 3:21, 22; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; I Corinthians 15:3-7.
8. We believe that, according to the Word of God, the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of Christ into the air to receive to Himself both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel, and for this we should be constantly looking. We believe, next, that the taking away of the saved ones will be followed by the great tribulation in the earth which was predicted by our Lord, and that finally He will bring to end that time of judgment for the whole earth by His own appearing. John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51, 52; Philippians 3:30; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9, 10; Romans 5:9; Titus 2:11-14; II Thessalonians 2:7-10; Matthew 24:29-31.
9. We believe that this same Jesus Christ will return to the earth as He left it, and will set up His kingdom on the earth to rule and to reign for one thousand years, and the day and hour of His return no man knows. Acts 1:10, 11; Psalm 2; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:4-6; Matthew 24:36.
10. We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose for them, become children of God, being born again by the Holy Spirit; and that such have eternal life and shall never perish. We also believe that all such are members of the true church or the body of Jesus Christ, which knows no bound of denomination or sect. John 1:1, 1-13; 3:5, 6; 5:24; Ephesians 1:13, 14; John 10:27-29; I Corinthians 12:12, 13; Ephesians 4:4-6; 5:25-27; Romans 8:38, 39.
11. We believe that the Scriptures teach that all believers are to be baptized by water, and we preach and practice immersion. Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16; Romans 6:3, 4; Acts 2:41, 42; 8:36-38.
12. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance given for believers only, to be remembered until He comes. It serves as a proclamation of His death, a reminder of our gathering together unto Him; it symbolizes the fact that an abiding fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ can only be maintained by self-examination and confession of sin; it pictures our need of constantly partaking of Christ for spiritual sustenance; it bespeaks a unity of the Body of Christ, the Church. I Corinthians 11:24-26; 10:16, 17; 5; Matthew 26:26-29.
13. We believe that sanctification is threefold: first, that our standing in Christ is now perfect (II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 10:10-14); second, that our daily walk is imperfect, but we must endeavor to grow in grace (II Corinthians 7:11; II Peter 3:18; Philippians 3:10-12); third, that we shall all be made perfect like Christ when we shall see Him face to face (I John 3:2; Philippians 3:20,21; I Corinthians 15:51-53).
14. We believe that the heathen, even though they have never heard the Gospel, are still lost and that it is the tremendous responsibility of every child of God to do all he can to see that they hear the Gospel which alone can save. Romans 1:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; John 3:18; 14:6; Acts 4:12.
15. We believe that all who have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ shall be raised from the dead into everlasting blessedness; and that all others shall be raised from the dead into everlasting, conscious punishment in hell. I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15.
WCC Missions Patterns and Principles
Patterns and Principles for Missions
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
A. Definition of Missions
West Cohasset Chapel (WCC) defines missions to be any evangelistic endeavor outside our local congregation to fulfill the Great Commission by proclaiming the gospel of Christ, making disciples, baptizing them and gathering these disciples into local congregations, while relating to the needs of the total person (spiritual, physical, emotional and social).
B. Purpose Statement
The goal of our missions effort is to see God win individuals to the Lord Jesus Christ, equip them in the faith and establish churches that have the same aim in every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Acts 14:21-23). The Missions Committee, guiding the congregation, will work to this end.
1. Purpose—The purpose of the missions policy is to:
a. Provide guidelines to stay on course.
b. Maintain consistency as team membership changes.
c. Insure good stewardship in the allocation of mission’s funds.
2. Exceptions to patterns and principles—The approval of the Missions Committee and Elder Board is needed to approve exceptions.
3. Revisions—the Missions Patterns and Principles will be reviewed annually and revised as often as needed by the Missions Committee. Before implementation, the Elder Board must approve all revisions.
II. THE MISSIONS TEAM
A. Size and Selection
The Missions Committee will be selected from the West Cohasset Chapel membership role by the Elder Board and will consist of a minimum of 4 members, maximum of 12, with at least 2 held over from the previous year.
B. Term of Office
Ideally, members will serve for many years. Annually, the committee will review each member’s desire to continue serving on the committee.
The chairperson will be elected by the committee at the first meeting following the Annual Business Meeting.
Members are expected to:
1. Pray consistently for God to guide our efforts.
2. Grow in the knowledge of God. (Col. 1:10)
3. Attend a majority of the meetings.
4. Assist on projects as necessary.
5. Take an active role in the decision-making process.
6. Continue to learn about global gospel outreach and encourage the congregation in doing so.
7. Be a vibrant, visible presence for mission’s events.
1. Pray—Encourage intercession from the congregation for global gospel outreach and for our missionaries.
2. Educate—Assist in providing resources for global missions and supported missionaries to our congregation. This will include information about the world and our missionaries.
a. Sponsor an annual missions emphasis event for the congregation.
3. Mobilize—utilize the resources of WCC to further the gospel. This would include but is not limited to offering short-term and other global outreach opportunities.
4. Send—Support missionaries and nationals in prayer, financially and practically.
5. Pray-for all short term missionaries.
6. Care—Provide practical assistance to missionaries while they are on their field and home assignments.
7. Support—prepare a missions budget and oversee the allocation of the funds throughout the year.
8. Represent—Serve as a liaison between the church, our missionaries and/or missions organizations.
9. Evaluate—Review the missions program of the church and make changes as necessary. This includes evaluating the missions policy statement as well as the ongoing support for missionaries, organizations and projects.
10. Annually review all supported missionaries to determine if any changes occurred (Mission Agency, doctrine or focus) that would affect their agreement with this document.
With an open Bible, in prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit, the Missions Committee will seek to establish long and short-range goals for our various responsibilities.
Recognizing that there will always be more needs than we can fill, the following is meant to assist us in our decision-making. We have a twofold missions strategy: mobilization and global evangelization. Mobilization includes our efforts to help the congregation become more missions active. Global evangelization includes our efforts to help complete the Great Commission. While there is overlap between the two, we have different goals for each strategy.
1. Mobilization Priorities
a. Education: inform the congregation of the importance and impact of missions to encourage their participation.
b. Ministries supported by our church: Those individuals or organizations for which there is no money designated for in our annual budget.
c. Ministries supported by individuals from our church and endorsed by us: Those individuals or organizations who are supported by people in our congregation which are outside our established budget. These must be in compliance with this document.
2. Global/Local Evangelization Priorities
a. Missionary support: Priority will be given to members of WCC.
b. Unreached people groups: Evangelism and church planting among unreached people groups.
c. Strategic Partnerships: These ministries are more encompassing than merely giving funds. In these cases, our church commits to be an active partner in a particular ministry. This may involve sending short-term teams, hosting or attending conferences, sending our pastor or church member representative to a site on a yearly basis, etc.
d. Strategic Ministry Support: This category includes those opportunities where we can make a difference for the kingdom of God, regardless of any relationship or benefit to our church. We assist because it is strategic. We might not have any involvement other than giving. We may never see the missionary or national we support. This support could be for people or projects.
e. Balance: Acts 1:8. Our goal would be to focus equally in these four areas of ministry: Locally, Regionally, Nationally and Globally.
IV. SHORT-TERM MISSIONS
Any missions activity of one day to one year duration with the primary benefits going to those whom we are serving, not ourselves, and is in complete agreement with this document.
Our primary purpose is to strengthen national believers, edify the local churches, and/or evangelize non-believers. Our secondary purpose is to educate and mobilize our congregation to be more missions active.
C. Short-Term Missions Approval Process
1. The short-term mission must be in a subordinate partnership with a national church, a long-term missionary or mission agency.
2. The organization must be in agreement with our Missions Purpose Statement.
3. An adult applicant must be a member of WCC or if not a member, sign our articles of faith and complete a background check.
4. The applicant must fill out a request for funds which is available online at westcohassetchapel.com/short-term-missions-fund-request/
5. Recipients of short term funds will be encouraged to share with the congregation following their missions trip.
6. Attend information/training/ funding session available to those seeking support.
1. The ministry is supported or endorsed by our church.
2. The ministry will help a person evaluate a long-term missions ministry.
E. Financial Support
If accepted, WCC will provide significant support for the applicant’s trip equaling up to 30% of the total need and assist those who need help in networking to achieve their financial goal.
V. FINANCIAL POLICIES
A. Annual Budget
The Missions Committee will prepare an annual budget each year to be submitted to the Elder Board.
1. Totaling a minimum of 10% general fund income plus any funds designated to missions.
2. Budget will increase by $2,500 per year during fiscal years 2013-15.
a. Subsequent annual budgets should total a minimum as noted in A1 above.
B. Monetary Support
Support for a long term missionary will be determined based on their financial need. Payment frequency will be determined based on the needs of the missionary/organization.
1. One-time gifts and/or love offerings will be given as determined by the Missions Committee. Both short and long term missions must meet same criteria and comply with the contents of this document.
2. The Missions Committee will have the authority to give one time gifts without the approval of the Elder Board, giving consideration to available funds.
C. Ministry Changes
If there is a major change in either the ministry and/or location or if the missionary joins a different mission agency, the Missions Committee will re-evaluate its support commitment in a timely manner. WCC requests advance notice of any significant changes in ministry.
D. Support Termination
Termination of financial support for a missionary is the exception at WCC. For it to occur, both the Missions Committee and the Elder Board need to approve the decision. If we terminate support, we will strive to do it in such a way as to limit the negative effects on the missionary/organization.
E. Support Review
Based on available funds, at least every 2 years, the Missions Committee will review the support needs of currently supported missionaries and consider initiating support for additional missionaries.
F. Funding Priorities
The expenditure of funds will be consistent with the priorities mentioned in Section III B.
G. Budget Items
The missions budget not only will include missionary support but also other items needed to fulfill the goals of the missions policy (for example: missions emphasis events, funds for pastoral visits to mission fields, books, short-term projects, etc.).
H. Payments for Missionary Presenters
A missionary speaker will receive all travel expenses (food, lodging, transportation) plus a love offering, taken during the service or a one time gift from the Missions Committee as deemed appropriate.
VI. MISSIONARY SELECTION POLICIES
A. Qualifications for individual missionaries
1. All applicants must be in agreement with WCC’s Articles of Faith.
2. They must be accepted for service with a mission agency approved by the missions committee. Tentmakers and nationals may be an exception in special situations.
a. Purpose and priority of the mission agency must be in accordance with purpose and priority of WCC’s Missions Patterns and Principles as stated in I B and III B.
3. They must demonstrate the qualities found in 1 Timothy 3:1-10.
4. Their home church must be in agreement with their decision.
B. Qualifications for ministry organizations
1. Their mission statement shall be in agreement with WCC’s Articles of Faith
a. Purpose and priority of the mission agency must be in accordance with purpose and priority of WCC’s Missions Patterns and Principles as stated in I B and III B.
C. Application Procedures
1. Complete a written application. Applicants will also be given a copy of our Missions Patterns and Principles at the time of application.
2. Meet with the full Missions Committee. If approved, the Missions Committee will then make a request for support to the Elder Board.
D. Responsibility of WCC to Its Missionaries
1. Remember the missionary in prayer.
2. Communicate with each missionary regularly.
3. Promote the work of each missionary within the church.
4. Encourage the missionary.
5. Work toward a partnership relationship with the missionary and/or ministry.
E. Responsibility of the Missionary to WCC
1. Communicate regularly with WCC.
a. Provide timely updates with prayer needs and praises.
2. Give the Missions Committee advance notice of any significant changes in ministry and/or location.
3. Provide the Missions Committee with written yearly goals and an appraisal of the last year’s activities.
4. Send the Missions Committee updated support figures for each year.
5. Missionaries will be encouraged to present at WCC during their home assignment.
VII. MISSIONARY PRESENTATIONS
A. Priority will be given to WCC supported missionaries.
B. The missionary will fill out a presentation request online at westcohassetchapel.com/missionary-presentation-request or will be mailed a Presentation Request Form by the office.
C. The Church Ministry Coordinator will communicate with the missionary regarding date availability, order of service and other details.
D. The missionary will be given the opportunity to present during Sunday Morning Bible Class as well as a 5-7 minute presentation during the worship service.
E. A love offering will be taken during the worship service or a onetime gift will be given in accordance with the financial policies listed in Section V. WCC will also provide accommodations for lodging and food if needed, through congregation or other means.
F. The Missions Committee will, when possible, provide a means for the congregation to meet the missionary and get to know them and their ministry on a personal level. (ie: open house at Missions Committee Member’s home).