Transforming lives on four continents

Church Partner FAQ's

How do I become a Church Partner?

Start by having a look at the BMS Church Partners brochure if you’ve not already done so

Browse through the focus area options of Ministry, People and Region and consider which might best reflect your church’s passion for mission

Work through the explore and sign-up process. Here you can develop a few example options which you can print out and take to a church meeting, or mission group meeting for consideration

Once your church is agreed on how it would like to express its partnership come back and complete the sign-up process all the way to submitting the form

Here’s a helpful video to illustrate the explore and sign-up process.

 

 

 

What does it mean to be a BMS Church Partner?

By being a BMS Church Partner, you can focus your interest in world mission in a way that’s not been possible until now. Your support is then focused on that interest.

 

 

What happens with our giving to BMS?

The first thing to say is that supporting BMS financially is not a prerequisite of being a Church Partner, though we would hope that supporting us in prayer and giving would be a natural outcome.

Church Partners provides a focus and purpose for your giving to BMS. Your financial support contributes to the costs we incur in maintaining the mission workers in your partnership portfolio and the ministries they are involved in.

 

What does a Church Partner Contact do?

The Church Partner Contact is an important connection between the church and BMS. Ideally the contact has an email address which is the one we will send our regular partners news to. These will let you know about the latest information available on the profile pages of your partnered mission workers so you can let the church know that there is new content to see. This will include prayer letters and blogs. If the Church Partner Contact is a different person to the church’s BMS rep, then we’d hope the contact would work with the rep to help promote BMS in the church, but specifically though the partnership.

 

What if I don’t have an email address?

If you are the Church Partner Contact but don’t have an email address, it might be that you could use another email – such as a church email if there is one or perhaps that of someone else in the church who can then print off the details and pass them to you. Ideally we need an email address to send all the information to as this is much more efficient for us and makes sure more money goes to mission. If you can’t get any email address to use, we’ll send you paper-based communication from time to time which will mostly be the prayer letters of partnered mission workers.

 

What’s happened to Link Up?

Whilst we’re replacing Link Up with BMS Church Partners it includes many of the features of Link Up but adds significantly to the choices and opportunities available to churches. The core of Link Up being relationships with BMS mission workers remains within the new Church Partners programme.

 

What about our existing Link Up?

We’ve automatically transferred the ‘link’ to BMS Church Partners. So if, for example, you have been linked with John and Julie Smith you will be classified as BMS Church Partners with a focus on people expressed through John and Sue Smith as your partner mission workers. You will continue to receive their prayer letters and access to their blogs all as now, and you will also have access to all the other benefits of the new programme. You will also have the opportunity now to expand your mission interest by adding other people or partnering through a region (perhaps where John and Sue serve) or a ministry (perhaps what John and Sue do). This will provide more partner mission workers and more feedback.

 

What about Link Up groups?

One of the problems with Link Up is that it was designed to operate with churches co-operating in groups of seven. Over time, and accelerating in recent years, groups have been fragmenting to the point where the average number of churches in a group was less than three (and falling). As a result there were more groups, but not enough mission workers to link with them. We have also found increasing numbers of churches wanting to develop links on their own. We therefore decided that faced with an inexorable trend we needed a programme that worked for individual churches. We will therefore set up BMS Church Partnerships with individual churches. Where there are local groups that work well together and churches want to continue to co-operate locally we’ll be delighted to see that continue, though it will be a local arrangement and we will only be able to communicate with individual churches.

 

What happens with home assignment visits?

We appreciate the importance of personal contact with BMS. We can’t guarantee a visit from a mission worker as demand far exceeds their availability; however mission workers are a part of the team of BMS Speakers, along with staff members and regional volunteers. When they are in the UK for their normal home assignment period mission workers are available as BMS Speakers. We’ll make their available dates known and churches can then specifically request a mission worker by name as a BMS Speaker. If we can’t provide the mission worker for whatever reason we’ll do our best to offer an alternative speaker. Within the Church Partners programme, if a church has opted to partner with us through either a region or ministry that will provide three mission workers who are available when on home assignment. Potentially churches could have six partnered mission workers so the opportunities of seeing a mission worker increase.

 

So, what about BMS Speakers?

BMS Speakers are available at any time and consist of staff, mission workers and regional volunteers. All are trained and equipped to speak on behalf of BMS and to reflect a church’s expressed mission interest. Normally though, we’d not provide a BMS Speaker to a church more than once in any year. Speakers can be requested at any time through the BMS website, or by calling the Church Relations Team on 01235 517600.

 

Will I still get prayer letters?

We really prefer to distribute prayer letters through the mission workers’ profile pages on the website and by email as this is the most efficient way of doing it. However, we will send one paper copy to each Partner Church if that’s requested and if there is no available email address for us to use.

 

What about mission workers in sensitive countries?

Mission workers in sensitive countries will have limited profile pages on the website for security reasons but all are available to select under the People focus. Obviously feedback from these mission workers will be limited so we recommend choosing maybe one along with two from non-sensitive countries. If you choose a region or ministry we will allocate three mission workers and this might include one from a sensitive country though that is by no means going to apply in all cases.

 

Can we change our Partnership focus or partnered mission workers?

Yes, you are free to do this although we would suggest that in the interest of mission workers feeling supported and valued, that you don’t do this any more frequently than once every three or four years. If you do want to make a change please contact the Church Relations Team for advice.

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