Member Care Covenant
The founding purpose of Africa Inland Mission according to our constitution is that we “serve the church of Jesus Christ in its responsibility to make disciples of the peoples of Africa” according to the Great Commission. The churches are the senders, and the role of AIM is to assist, challenge and educate the churches regarding the spiritual needs of Africa and her peoples, to provide direction for missionaries in the field, and to ensure proper member care for missionaries both on the field and in the United States.
The church has been given the commission to go into all the world and make disciples from all peoples (Mt. 28:19-20). Inherent in this commission is the church’s responsibility for its own members, training them to be disciples and make disciples, discerning which members are being called into cross- cultural ministry, and setting those members apart for the work that God is calling them into. Churches who obey Jesus’ Great Commission, not only identify those with a missionary calling but also invest in sending, giving of their time, spiritual gifts, finances and expertise, praying for the ones they send, and providing pastoral care during their assignment and upon their return.
All members of AIM are commissioned and sent by a local “home” church and recognize the authority of that church in their lives and ministry. They recognize that although the direct supervision of their ministry has been delegated to AIM, their ultimate accountability is to the sending church under the lordship of Jesus. With this in view, AIM members expect to honestly report about their ministry and personal lives to both their church and their mission leaders, and when faced with major decisions to consult both AIM and the appropriate leaders in their church. Churches should take initiative to consult when they become aware of problems facing their members, and likewise AIM desires to be proactive in consulting with the church should serious issues arise. AIM members will look for ways to assist the global vision and missionary mobilization of both AIM and their US churches, and when they are on home assignment, they use the opportunity of personal presence to give and receive ministry in the churches.
There are many areas where the responsibilities of AIM and the sending church will overlap. AIM desires to maintain flexibility to coordinate with the sending church regarding assignments, preparation and training. AIM desires to offer education and resources to churches about the best practices for creative access protocols, spiritual warfare and prayer support, missionary counseling and debriefing, with the goal of caring well together for our sent ones.
This covenant is not a memorandum of understanding but a recognition of the holy privilege and responsibility we share as church, missionary and mission.
The Member Care Covenant is a voluntary agreement between the Missionary, Sending Church, and AIM, expressing our shared commitment to support and sustain those who go. We desire to establish this covenant with every sending church.