Establishing an Integrated Auxiliary to Protect the Mission of the Church

At our October 25, members’ meeting, the church approved the establishment of an integrated auxiliary (IA) for the purpose of identifying and supporting strategic gospel partners throughout the world, beginning here in the United States. Since questions remain over the nature of an IA and how it will function, I wanted to remind us once again, how establishing an integrated auxiliary helps us protect and advance the mission of High Pointe Baptist Church – to see all peoples become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ.

Again, our mission is clear – “to make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19-20). We do that by going to all nations, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, baptizing those who repent and believe into the church, and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded. Because of the likelihood of “mission drift” – the idea that if we’re not careful, we will slowly move away from our mission to focus on other things – at High Pointe, we work diligently to protect that mission. While there are lots of good and even important things we could be doing, we have but one mission – “to make disciples.”

Yet, we may still want to be engaged in certain significant efforts without compromising our mission. For example, a church may be located in an area of town where there is a need to help the poor with food and clothing. That church could start a clothes closet or a food pantry or both. Or, maybe a church is located in a community where the schools lack resources and, as a result, many children receive a substandard education. That church may consider starting an after-school tutoring program or in-school mentoring. While all these needs are important, they are not the church’s mission. Still, one way a church may address needs like the ones mentioned above is by establishing an integrated auxiliary (IA). IAs allow a church to stay on mission, while also engaging in other important areas of need. But most church members have never heard about IAs, so let me define it and explain how it works.

What is an integrated auxiliary?
Ironically, the purpose of an integrated auxiliary arises out of the recognition by the United States Congress (in 1969) that there are times a church may want to do ministry that falls outside its sole mission. Jaime Dunlop, a pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which itself houses several IAs, explains that “integrated auxiliaries are structured as separate corporations from a local church with their own governing boards and finances. Nonetheless, they are permitted to share the church’s special religious exemption from some filings (such as the 990 and 1023 forms) and are considered integrated under the local church’s 501(c)(3) status.”

What are the benefits of establishing an integrated auxiliary?
According to Jaime Dunlop, there are at least three benefits:
  • It formally places the ministry under the authority of the local church. This helps ensure lasting gospel focus by tying the ministry to the institution Jesus designed to protect the integrity of the gospel: the local church.
  • Yet: this structure creates a distinct identity and governance for the ministry that will (hopefully) minimize the chance that church leaders will be distracted from their primary calling to pastor the church.
  • It relieves the ministry of some of the more onerous filing responsibilities of an ordinary 501(c)(3).

Why do we need to establish an integrated auxiliary?
Recently, we were contacted by a former member interested in making large donations to strategic gospel ministries. Because of his High Pointe relationship, he has asked us to help him identify strategic, like-minded gospel partners to support. After researching a number of ways we might work together for the advance of the gospel through the disbursement of funds to strategic gospel partners, we found that the best way to accomplish this strategic generosity is to establish our own IA. This particular IA will function as a vehicle that will help identify and support strategic gospel partners. Through this IA, this generous partner, High Pointe members, and others may give above and beyond their regular giving to strategic gospel work throughout the world, both at home and abroad.

Due to the donor’s interest in participating in distributing the gifts, this IA will allow him to be on the governing board and participate in the process of identifying and supporting these strategic gospel partners. To ensure High Pointe maintains financial control of the IA, however, a majority of the board will always be comprised of High Pointe elders. And for accountability to the congregation, the IA will provide regular reports, including financial reports of monies received and disbursed.

Please note that we are establishing this IA to help identify and fund strategic gospel partners. This is an exciting opportunity, and we rejoice in the Lord that he is allowing us to partner with generous Christians. May our Lord continue to open doors for us as we seek to engage the world with the gospel by partnering with strategic gospel workers.

Love,

Pastor Juan

No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories

no categories

Tags

no tags