What is Member Care?
The GMCN Member Care Definition
Member Care is the ongoing preparation, equipping and empowering of Missionaries for effective and sustainable life, ministry and work.
Missionaries (according to local/regional definition)
Member Care addresses all aspects of a missionary’s personality, spiritual, emotional and relational, their physical and economic well-being, both singles, couples, families and children, and is developmental and educational. It seeks to empower missionaries to make healthy choices by offering ongoing training, resourcing and equipping in all these areas. It is integral to all aspects of mission, leadership (for/by), logistics, spiritual formation, and church life. It begins with selection and continues throughout the missionary life cycle to re-entry or retirement.
The responsibility for member care rests with the sending agency, the sending church, the receiving church, leadership (home/field), the team, families, individual supporters, competent member care providers and the individual missionaries themselves.
Those involved will seek to develop competence in all those areas where they are working by ongoing learning, networking and resourcing. They will serve the mission community with humility, integrity and compassion, recognizing their own weaknesses and dependence on Gods grace and gifting.
Why does the GMCN exist?
The GMCN Purpose Statement
The Global Member Care Network (GMCN) exists to resource, equip and connect internationally all Christian practitioners of member care at any level.
It is a professional community in which mutual learning, training and sharing can take place.
It is committed to developing the member care profession by setting high standards, advancing the kingdom of God and glorifying His name.
Its activities include:
- Actively connecting regional and national member care movements
- Generating publications
- Validating training
- Database of multilingual resources
- Online and distance learning
- Regular global member care consultations
- Guidelines of good practice
- Facilitating partnerships
With members representing every continent, GMCN aims to be the voice of the global member care profession.
What is the vision of the GMCN?
The GMCN Vision Statement
We, the GMCN, would like to see a healthy, spiritual, relational, resourced, vigorous, global mission community serving God effectively, connected vitally to both the sending and receiving church, reflecting Christ accurately in life and task.
For us in Member Care, that means:
- There is a culture of discipleship and of member care among evangelical leaders;
- Pastors and church leaders have a vision of integral holistic care for their members and workers;
- Churches care for their personnel and missionaries with a team of Member Care-givers set apart for that role;
- Theological seminaries and mission training institutions include member care issues in their curriculum;
- Member care is fully integrated into the Mission Commission—pervasive in all different levels of the mission community worldwide and all the different elements of the Mission Commission, influencing and being influenced;
- Mission organizations have a well developed strategy for member care, staffing and funding for this effort;
- The mission community includes individuals with diverse backgrounds, singles, couples, families, teams, leaders, structures, systems, policies and practices—member care impacts all of these;
- Missionaries serving worldwide are effectively cared for by mission organizations and churches (both sending and receiving) in order to enhance the missionaries’ effectiveness;
- Missionaries work effectively toward the vision to which they are called, caring for themselves and being cared for by the mission agencies and churches;
- Tentmaker missionaries and independent mission workers are uniquely and adequately cared for by their sending and receiving churches;
- Missionaries are encouraged to develop their own member care plans, and resourced adequately to meet their needs and goals.
- Receiving churches and organizations have an accurate awareness about member care and have developed basic structures for that.
- The Global Member Care Network is a representative, well-connected member care network that identifies and addresses member care needs and facilitates the development of resources, coordinating and/or delivering those resources.