The purpose of this document is to provide a resource for churches and mission agencies involved in member care who desire to provide the best input and support that they can for their members involved in Global mission. All of us want our mission personnel to thrive, not just survive. These guidelines have been assembled for that purpose. While they will be most helpful to churches and mission agencies, those interested in a missions journey themselves should find the material helpful in moving them forward and in facilitating conversation with their own church and the agencies they choose to have dialogue with.
One of the felt needs when the NZ Missions Interlink Member Care Committee was constituted in 2010 was for Guidelines for Good Practice. Two years later and it’s finally a reality.
We acknowledge with gratitude the work of Global Connections UK who have developed their own Guidelines for Good Practice in Member care. This document has provided a starting point for us and with their permission we have adapted it for the New Zealand context.
We have outlined the core values which we believe are a valid and responsible statement of the principles which drive the following Good Practice Guidelines.
The Guidelines then provide further information about how the values might be put into practice. There always needs to be flexibility in applying these, depending on the particular situation.
While we would claim that this document represents a minimum standard for those involved in sending mission partners from New Zealand, we recognise the practical limitations faced by many in terms of staff and resources.
Therefore these Guidelines are intended to be aspirational, to point us in the right direction, to facilitate the sharing of resources between agencies and churches and to assist individuals, agencies and churches to ask the right questions and to be aware of the range of preparation and support activities which contribute to an appropriate placement and an effective member care plan.
These Guidelines for Good Practice in Mission Member Care are designed to apply to any church or Christian organisation which is sending staff or volunteers overseas from New Zealand.
The practices apply to all personnel such as volunteers working overseas, and mission personnel and their families. The practices mainly relate to those who are expecting to be overseas for more than six months.