David H. Moore
Church-mission relationships is one of the most crucial missiological concerns.1 The maturing of national churches into full selfhood as Church is accelerated or retarded by their relationship to missions that, under God, have been used to plant them.
These are some of the issues confronted in church-mission relationships: How does the mission differ from the national church? Should the mission be fused or absorbed into the national church? To whom is the missionary primarily accountable? Who determines the ministry assignment of a missionary? Should a missionary pastor a local church or hold office in the national church? Should the mission support national pastors, evangelists, church leaders? Should the mission finance primary and secondary educational programs for the national church? Should the mission fund theological scholarships for nationals? Who formulates the church's doctrinal statement? Who identifies biblical principles and applies them to the culture? Who determines church organization, worship style, music?
When struggling with these questions, and many others, there are no passages of Scripture to which one can turn that explicitly address the issues. To be sure, there is mission in the New Testament - God reaching out to people through the Church. But mission structure is rudimentary. Church-mission relationships are not treated. Nor is there much help from contemporary missiologists.
How are we to evaluate what we are doing today in missions and have done in the past? How do we determine what to do in the future?
We have to begin with a theology of the church, a functional theology. Ecclesiology is a primary informant of missiology. What kind of a church do we hope, under God, to plant? What will it look like? How will it act? What will be its nature and function? What is the biblical model? Functional theology is dynamic. It ought to be changing as our understanding of Scripture grows. There are biblical principles to be identified in the cultural, historical, and linguistic context in which the biblical writer speaks under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Those universal principles are to be applied in cultural and historical context under the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Even more difficult is to apply them in another culture.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance has an admirable record in church-mission relationships, largely because of the philosophy and policies crafted by Louis L. King during his long tenure as Foreign Secretary and later as Vice-President of the Division of Overseas Ministries.2 Partnership is the model that best describes the way in which The Christian and Missionary Alliance seeks to relate to overseas churches.3 In this model, church and mission relate as separate organizational entities, working together as partners. Overseas national churches are independent and autonomous. They are not related organizationally to the C&MA in North America except as equal members in The Alliance World Fellowship. The mission is primarily under the authority of and accountable to the sending church. The C&MA has opted for a partner relationship to overseas churches because it considers the model most conducive to the development of the overseas churches' selfhood.
"The Christian and Missionary Alliance has as its principal objective the winning of adults to Christ and the establishing of churches where converts are won."4 Christ's commission to disciple all the nations (Matt.28:19); to proclaim the Good News to all the nations (Lk. 24:46,47); to be His witnesses to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8) underscores the imperative of reaching unreached peoples. Emphasis on winning adults is not to devalue children or to imply that the C&MA should not be involved in children's ministries; it is to recognize the biblical emphasis, the cultural patterns of family structure, the societal role of children, and the culturally acknowledged agents of change. All other ministry activities must be supportive of and supplemental to the primary objective. Investment of personnel and finances are to be so evaluated.
Evangelization is best achieved through the planting of churches (note the emphasis on local churches in the Acts). Church planting takes priority in the allotment of personnel and finances. In exceptional cases where church planting is not possible, priority may be reassigned (such as literature, radio, and relief ministries in China and the Indochina countries; use of tentmakers in countries of limited access).
Christ's commission to disciple involes baptism as a faith expression and the communication of Christ's teachings (Matt. 28:16-20).5 In the Gospel of Matthew a disciple is a follower (8:22,23), a denier of self (16:24), a doer of the Father's will (13:49,50). A disciple, then, is one who has made a basic commitment to the person of Jesus Christ and whose pattern of life reflects that commitment. Winning people to Christ involves discipling them - training, teaching them to be followers of Christ. While the mission must not become mired in church maintenance ministries, neither may it neglect discipleship responsibilities nor close its eyes to problems of nominality in the church. Crucial is the development of discipleship models, culturally relevant to new believers. The most desirable models are those not only effective in training but that can be owned, used and financed by the church. Evangelizing and discipling are carried on simultaneously. Evangelism is integral to discipleship.6 There is no stopping to consolidate.
Of the many images and analogies used of the Church in the New Testament, discussion is here limited to two and that in brief summarization.
The Church is basically people.7 Not all humankind is part of the Church. The Church is made up of a special kind of people: redeemed people (Eph 1:7); people in whom God has taken up residence (Eph. 3:14-19; Col. 1:27; Jn. 14:17); people to whom the Holy Spirit has come and to whom God has given His dunamis (Acts. 1:8; Eph 1:19; 3:20). The Church is made up of those called of God according to purpose (Rom. 8:28); called of Jesus Christ (Rom.1:6,7); called, both Jew and non-Jew (I Cor. 1:24); called and kept for Christ (Jude 1). The Church is not only called, it is sent (Jn. 20:21). Throughout his Gospel, John's emphasis is on sentness. The church is made up of those whom God purposes to transform from what they were and are into what He intends them to be (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18).
The Church is the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22,23; 5:23; Col. 1:18). Christ is the Head (Eph. 5:23). Every believer is under the Lordship of Christ, subordinate to the body head. Every believer is a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30). Each believer is "baptized," placed into the body by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).8 There is only one body (Eph 4:4). Every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7, 11) with a particular body function to perform. Age, sex, education, race, ethnic group, or spiritual maturity are not in themselves determining factors. Spiritual gifts are graciously given, they cannot be earned. Body health depends upon the proper functioning of all body members. Believers are interrelated and interdependent. Each is spiritually related to all other believers. Spiritual unity of the body is a fact. Each believer needs the ministry of the other body members in order to grow as God intends. Through His body members, Christ ministers to the Church.
There is a wealth of material in the New Testament concerning the Church in its nature and function. From statements about nature, function can be inferred. Where the Church is functioning, inferences can be drawn as to nature. However, care must be taken not to read into nature and function what is not biblically valid. Four of the many aspects of the Church's nature are selected to illustrate.
By nature the Church is a witnessing body. In the Upper Room Jesus informs His disciples of the parakletos whom He will send from the Father (Jn. 15:26, 27). The parakletos is the Spirit of Truth and He will bear witness of Jesus. The disciples will bear witness also because they have been with Jesus from the beginning. Jesus issues a promise to His disciples just before His ascension (Acts 1:8). They are to be witnesses of Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the remotest part of the earth. Witnessing of Christ is by the enablement of God's power received when the Spirit comes. Where the body members live under the Spirit's control, the Church will be witnessing of Christ.9
By nature the Church is a ministering body. By gifts of the Spirit body members are equipped for function and ministry (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4; 1 Pet. 4).
By nature the Church is a worshipping body. That the Church is a worshipping body is evident throughout Scripture. A representative passage is taken from the Acts (2:42-47):
Believers were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, to prayer. Day by day they were continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people.
By nature the Church is a giving body. In the New Testament the classic passage on giving is II Corinthians 8 and 9. The Macedonians were remarkable in their giving. They gave while experiencing affliction (8:2), and deep poverty (8:2). They gave joyfully and liberally (8:2), beyond human ability (8:3), and pled for the privilege of participation in giving (8:4). Following verses deepen our understanding of this giving church.
I Corinthians 9:1-18 is a highly significant passage for it instructs us on the relation of monetary support to the ministry.
Other passages treat the Church's privilege in giving (Acts. 11:28-30; 4:32-35; I Tim. 5:16; Phil. 4:15).
Theology, especially ecclesiology, informs missiology. Ecclesiological perceptions have implication for the church planted overseas and influence how the mission sent by the sending church relates to the planted church.
As God's people, the Church is universal - wherever the people of God are, the Church is. The church is visible, as visible as the people who compose it. The church is people living in history - frail, weak, sinful, subject to failure but in the process of radical transformation.
Every local group of believers is a local expression of the one body of Christ. In the New Testament they are called local churches. Buildings may be of importance culturally but they are not essential to the expression of Church nature.
There is basic unity of the body celebrated in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Yet there is diversity in member functions because of differing gifts of the Spirit. There is family likeness that is to characterize all believers - the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5).
National churches (including the C&MA in the USA, C&MA in Canada, and overseas C&MA - related churches) are expressions of the same Church, assuming the members have experienced spiritual birth. No one national church is all the Church. Nor are all of them together all the Church. There are other believers in other national churches. Each national church, each local church is an expression of the same Church. Overseas national churches are as much Church as the C&MA in North America. National churches have Church nature. The parakletos has come to them. God's dunamis enables.10 This means that national churches overseas are as free to make erroneous decisions as missions or churches in North America.
The body of Christ is expressible in various cultural forms. The Church - wherever it is, in whatever culture and context - may express itself in culturally and linguistically authentic forms. This includes worship forms, witness and ministry forms, musical and art forms, organizational and theological forms. The Church - wherever it is, in whatever culture and context - is under the authority of Christ and His Word. National churches in their early years may reflect organizational, theological and cultural patterns of the planting mission. However, national churches must be given freedom to initiate changes that are biblically and culturally consistent. It is the national believer that is ultimately responsible to God and His Word for appropriate contextualization. Overseas churches are in no greater danger of accommodating to culture and societal norms than are national churches in the United States and Canada. Identifiable in western evangelicalism are the influences of contemporary society and culture, some of which are "rationalized" as biblically rooted.11
The mission must not usurp the church nature of the national church. With the national church the mission can witness, minister, worship, give. But not in place of it!
Because it is Church, the national church overseas is as much subject to the impulse of the Holy Spirit in witness and to the mandate of Christ in the Great Commission as is a national church in North America. Sensitivity to that impulse is currently expressed in cross-cultural mission by overseas churches within their own national borders.12 Missionary outreach beyond national borders is also carried on by some overseas churches.13 For most overseas churches the western mission model is not practical because of limited finances and other reasons. Those churches must be encouraged to create or adapt models to fit their own resources. History demonstrates that the church was involved in missions many centuries before the current western mission structures developed!
Biblically, it may be assumed that all the gifts of the Spirit are being distributed to believers in the overseas national churches. Gifts of leadership have been given. They may be exercised in cultural forms quite different from the church in the west. Gifts of evangelism and of teaching may be used in culturally relevant patterns. The overseas churches are being equipped by the Spirit for ministry. Gifts may require development for maximum effectiveness, but they are there.
Overseas national churches will express their worship nature in forms that differ from North American churches. Emotional expression may be more overt. Vocal and instrumental music may sound strange to western ears. Services may seem interminable to westerners accustomed to a 60- or 90-minute service. Prayer may be in concert aloud. Early morning prayer services in homes or in churches may be practised more than private devotions. What matters is the expression of true worship in cultural forms meaningful to the worshippers.
Overseas national churches, as part of the Church, have a giving nature. A national church may be relied upon to support its leaders and pastors in a manner that is culturally suitable. That church may well struggle to practise responsible stewardship as do churches in North America. Often most difficult for the overseas church to support are western institutional structures (such as theological schools or hospitals) inherited from the mission. The financial area is usually where the mission (and the individual missionary) finds it most difficult to disengage.14 The mission may cooperate with the national church in special projects of evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, church planting and construction.15 To help and not hinder the national church is the mission's objective. Aid, in whatever form, hinders when it hinders the expression of the church's Church nature. The mission must make that kind of judgment in considering assistance, even when the church misunderstands. As Dean Gilliland has observed, "The perception on the part of the church to know when not to receive is as important as it is for the mission to know when to give and when to withhold."16
Consciously or unconsciously, the overseas church and the mission relate to one another differently depending on the stage of their relationship. W. Harold Fuller of SIM International has suggested four stages.17 He calls them pioneer, parent, partner and participant. Using those titles but not necessarily Fuller's definitions, the development of church-mission relationships may be described as follows:
Pioneer. In the pioneer stage there is no national church. There are no national Christians, at least among those people targeted by the mission. The missionary comes and seeks to communicate the Good News of Christ so that it will be linguistically and culturally perceptible to the people. The Holy Spirit opens the minds of some to understand and respond. Spiritual births result. A church is born! The pioneer has become a parent.
Parent. The missionary/mission acts as spiritual parent. The missionary teaches, organizes, supports. The newborn church totters, leaning heavily upon the missionary/mission as it learns to walk. But the church does grow and mature. Eventually church and mission arrive at the third stage. Blessed is the church and mission who recognize what has happened and act accordingly!
Partner. In the partner stage, the mission drops the role of parent and assumes that of elder brother or sibling. The church has come of age. It appoints its own leaders; chooses or adapts its organizational structure; makes its own decisions; develops its own patterns of evangelism, discipleship and worship; finances its own programs. Tension, even conflict, develop if the mission or certain missionaries continue to treat the church as a dependent child, or if the church alternates between the roles of child and partner to serve its own purposes. In the partner stage there are usually national church leaders who are older than the missionaries in experience and age. Wise is the missionary/mission who retreats further and further in order to encourage the church to exercise the full responsibility of adulthood. In effect, this ushers in the next phase of church-mission relationship.
Participant. In the participant stage the missionary and national work side by side. Only when the church asks for it does the mission offer advice (and that sagely). Mission staff is far outnumbered by national church. Church institutions are directed by the church. Church priorities may differ considerably from mission priorities because a church's concerns are broader than those of a mission. Missionaries may be seconded to church agencies to work under church authority. Missionaries may be minority members on joint church-mission committees. The mission participates in the ministry of the church by invitation. Much of what describes the participant stage began in the partner stage but now is normative. It is at this point that the mission should seriously consider full redeployment of staff into unreached areas outside of those occupied by the church or consider withdrawal from the country altogether.
Observations. This is a helpful analysis in understanding the evolution of the church-mission relationships. However, the following merits emphasis. There is no precise hour or day to which church and mission can point and say with certainty, "At such and such a time we passed from pioneer to parent stage, or from parent to partner." In retrospect it is easier to identify a time in general terms. Stages dissolve from one into another. Transitions are not clear and sharp. Rather than four stages in development, there may be twenty-four! To relate optimally well, both church and mission need to understand where they are on the continuum. At times there may be a foot in each of two stages. In most countries The Christian and Missionary Alliance is probably between the partner and participant stages in church-mission relationships. What irritates a healthy relationship is a significant number of persons in church or mission who seek to retain a role from a former relationship stage.
There are four levels on which The Christian and Missionary Alliance relates to overseas national churches.
Personal. By far the most crucial of the relational levels is the personal relationship developed between individual missionaries and national church leaders. Whether field director with church president or missionary with local pastor or layperson, strong relationships are imperative on the personal level. To build strong relationships requires time and serious identification with nationals on the part of the missionary. But without healthy personal relationships, formal church-mission relationships are meaningless.
Joint executive committee meetings. At least annually, the executive committees of national church and mission meet for several days. In joint session they do not have legislative power over the respective bodies. They do, however, discuss matters of mutual interest - problems or potential ones, assignment of missionaries, joint projects and other concerns. They can also strategize together and set mutual priorities.
Working agreements. Church and mission relate formally through working agreements negotiated over a period of from two to six days.18 Normally, agreements are in effect for five years at which time a new one is negotiated for another five years. Originally, agreements were born out of crisis in church-mission relations. In an effort to find a mutually agreeable solution, church and mission with DOM representatives met for an extended time. Procedures for the consultations were developed out of experience and have been revised as needed. The two major participants in the working agreement consultation are church and mission. However, two representatives from the Division of Overseas Ministries (vice-president and regional director) are also parties. Representing the mission is the field executive committee which includes the field director. The church is represented by its executive committee. There may be additional delegates from the church due to ethnic diversity, geographic expansiveness, or the unusual size of the church.
Church, mission, and DOM representatives submit items for the agenda. The church selects three of its representatives and the mission two of theirs to serve on an Agenda Committee. That committee forms a unified agenda with items prioritized. Church and mission each appoint official secretaries who work together to ensure an accurate record of the proceedings. Once the agenda is approved in plenary session, discussion of the items begins. Debate is candid and open. A running account is kept of the discussion but names of debaters are not entered. At this time no decisions are reached by vote. Usually a consensus emerges or it becomes apparent that, for whatever reason, a particular request cannot be fulfilled. Discussion of agenda items may extend from one to two days. After the agenda is completed, church and mission meet separately to draft an agreement document as to how they shall work together. Next, the draft documents are submitted to the five-person Agenda Committee which is now increased to seven, one additional member from church and mission. The committee then seeks to write a document from the two drafts. That church and mission highly respect and have confidence in their Agenda Committee members is important because some negotiation occurs within the committee. When the committee has completed the document, copies are made and it is read in plenary session. Here decisions are reached. Revisions, additions, or deletions may be made. Any changes are incorporated into the document and new copies prepared. In plenary session the revised document is read. Church, mission, and DOM delegations then meet separately to determine if they can sign the document. In plenary session, each group gives its decision (rarely is there dissent at this stage). Representatives then proceed to sign the document.19 Following a brief recess a communion service is held by which church, mission, and DOM celebrate their unity in Christ and their desire to work in partnership for Christ.
I have participated in over twenty working agreement consultations in almost seven years. As a member of the field executive committee, I was involved in the first agreement negotiated with the church in Indonesia in 1973. Experience in agreement consultations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America has been convincing that though the method may be western, it has been effective in strengthening church-mission relationships. Debate has been open, sometimes heated and often controversial. The missionaries, at times, have been shocked to hear the church's views and perceptions. Content of agreements changes over the years as third and fourth agreements are negotiated. Financial matters have decreased in importance and in some agreements are hardly mentioned. Agreements may deal with joint projects, personnel priorities, property transfer, joint executive committee meetings, evangelism goals, unreached peoples targets, and any specific problem areas.
The use of working agreements is a transitional phase in the stages of church-mission relationships. Consultations in the future may increasingly centre on joint goals and strategies. In time, the agreement methodology will become obsolete. It is, after all, only a means to strengthen church-mission relationships.
Alliance World Fellowship. Almost all of the overseas churches are members of The Alliance World Fellowship which was organized in 1975 and meets quadrennially. The AWF is a fellowship. It has no legislative authority over member churches. The C&MA in the United States and Canada are member churches on the same basis as other national churches.20 At the AWF meetings papers are presented, responses given, and discussion facilitated in small groups. Groups' reactions are summarized by designated reporters in public meetings. Worship sessions characterize the week. Perhaps the greatest benefit for many delegates is to fellowship with the larger Alliance family and hear what God is doing elsewhere.
Evangelism with a view to gathering those who believe into local churches is the major objective of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in its overseas ministries. Missionaries engage in theological education, Bible translation, the production and distribution of Christian literature, radio broadcasting, medical ministries, refugee and famine relief, and tentmaking service. But all is intended to contribute toward evangelism and church planting. Church planting means local churches. The local churches grow into a national church. Relating to those national churches are the churches that send the missionaries. Basic to sound missiology is a strong ecclesiology. Scripture does not speak directly to church-mission relationships. However, Scripture contains principles applicable to those relationships. To correctly interpret Scripture, identify universal principles, discern the missiological implications of them and apply them, is a continuing process. That does not lend itself to cement-like dogmatism. Church-mission relationships are not static. There are stages in growth. Recognition of those stages enables church and mission to better understand each other. All levels of relationship are important. The sending churches of the United States and Canada are grateful to the overseas churches for their patience, understanding, and partnership. As more and more of the overseas churches become themselves ending churches, they will appreciate our struggle. May they also learn from our mistakes and surpass us in the quality of their relationships with churches they are planting.
*David H. Moore, His Dominion, 15(2): 7-18 (1989)
1. George W. Peters saw it as the foremost issue on the administrative operational level years ago. See his "Issues Confronting Evangelical Missions" in Wade T. Coggins and E.L. Frizen, Jr., eds., Evangelical Missions Tomorrow (South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1977), p. 158.
2. Louis L. King served as Foreign Secretary and, after reorganization, Vice President of Overseas Ministries in The Christian and Missionary Alliance from 1954 to 1978 when he was elected President. See Robert L. Niklaus, "From Homestead to Executive Office," Alliance Life 122:10 (May 13, 1987), pp. 11-13.
3. Partnership is a term preferred by the writer rather than modified dichotomy which was used by Louis L. King. See his "Mission/Church Relations Overseas," parts I and II, in Vergil Gerber, ed. Missions in Creative Tension (South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1971), pp. 154-188. In the same volume George W. Peters uses the term "partnership of equality and mutuality," in his A Biblical Theology of Missions (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), pp. 199-241. Despite the different titles used by King and Peters, their models are similar. Arguing for an integration model is Petrus Octavianus in Patrick Sookhdeo, ed., New Frontiers in Mission (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), pp. 25-35. Orlando E. Costas has an interesting chapter on mission and church-mission relations in The church and Its Mission: A Shattering Critique from the Third World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1974), pp. 153-174. Finally, in a seminar presentation C .Peter Wagner touches briefly on the problems arising out of a mission fusing or totally integrating with the national church, "Church-Mission Relations: Some Implications for Churches, Mission Agencies, and Missionaries" with responses in The Future of the Missionary Enterprise (New York: IDOC International, 1974).
4. Missionary Handbook for Overseas Ministries, 1987 edition (Nyack: The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 1987), p. 7. As noted on p.5, the policies contained in the Handbook have been approved by the Board of Managers of the C&MA in the United States and the Board of Directors of the C&MA in Canada.
5. The verb used in Matthew 28:19 is matheteuo. It occurs elsewhere in Matthew 13:52 and 27:57. The only other New Testament occurrence is in Acts 14:21. The noun form, mathetes, is found over 250 times in the Gospels and the Acts. Neither verb nor noun are used in the Epistles.
6. See Roland Allen, The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), pp. 20-25. Note also Alan Tippett, Introduction to Missiology (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1987), p. 373.
7. Compare the use of laos in the New Testament.
8. Interpretation depends on how Paul is using the preposition en in First Corinthians 12:13.
9. For further explication see "The Impulse" in Roland Allen, Missionary Principles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), and Harry R. Boer, Pentecost and Missions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961).
10. See the remarks of Roland Allen in Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours (London: World Dominion Press, 1956), pp. 183-190.
11. A few examples are the following: wealth is an evidence of blessing. God will always bless His children if they trust Him and work hard. Decisions for Christ are made only on a private, individual basis. One relates to God in a strictly individual manner. For a classic analysis of American culture see Edward C. Stewart, American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (LaGrange Park: Intercultural Network, Inc., 1972).
12. There is a definitional problem that generates considerable confusion in North America. It is the use of the term "native missionaries" by some organizations to describe what have traditionally been called "national evangelists" or pastors. For a helpful discussion see "Beyond `Native Missionaries'" by Ralph Winter in Mission Frontiers 8 (September-October, 1986),pp.3,8,9.
13. See the Prayer Directory, 1989 edition (Nyack: The Christian and Missionary Alliance), p. 145 where 49 missionaries from 5 national churches are listed. In addition, there are Dutch, West German, British and Australian missionaries listed along with missionaries from Canada and the United States, according to field classifications. They are supported by churches in their respective countries and serve under the administration of the Division of Overseas Ministries.
14. See the chapter entitled "Finance" in Roland Allen's Missionary Methods. Also Alan Tippett's discussion of self-support in Introduction, p. 380; "Beyond Independence to Responsible Maturity" by James Plueddemann in the Evangelical Missions Quarterly 19 (January, 1983), pp.48-55.
15. For C&MA policy see Missionary Handbook, pp. 25-43.
16. Dean S. Gilliland, Pauline Theology and Mission Practice (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), p. 256.
17. W. Harold Fuller, Mission-Church Dynamics (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1980), Appendix G.
18. Working agreements have been concluded over the years with 17 overseas national churches. Currently there are agreements in effect with 14 churches. No attempt has been made to negotiate agreements with over 20 of the churches. Small size, geographic concentration, and church age are factors.
19. Each delegate receives a copy. Copies are sent to all national church workers and mission staff. An English translation is made and signed for the files of church, mission, and DOM. However, the official copy of the agreement is the one in the national language of the church.
20. Forty-one national churches are members of The Alliance World Fellowship.