ARM Ministries serves as a sending organization for those who are called to a particular ministry and who need an organization that can assist both them and their sending churches with their administrative needs (to see how we can assist churches see our Resources for Churches). We are a sending agency:
- Helping churches send workers to the field
- Maintaining low administrative fees, allowing more resources to go to workers
- Partnering with national workers needing US-based funding
We at ARM Ministries believe that missions is the role of the church rather than para-church organizations. As a para-church organization, ARM Ministries therefore seeks to empower churches to send workers to the fields. As such, we seek missionaries and workers who have a strong relationship with a sending church and that the sending church is committed to both the ministry of the missionary as an extension of the church’s mission and to the long term support of the missionary—spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
There are several distinctives of how we operate at ARM Ministries. We believe that:
The vision of the worker is preeminent.
Our mission and vision statements as an organization are intentionally very broad to allow for a maximum number of ministries to develop under the vision of almost any particular worker in almost any particular place. We also do not have an outcome-based approach to ministry as all our workers are contract workers, not employees; the relationship is more important than the function. Finally, our workers have freedom to pursue their ministry goals; supporting churches or denominations can mold those goals as they desire.
Workers are accountable primarily to sending partners.
Sending partners should keep up with the work of each worker they support through ARM Ministries. We recognize that oversight and accountability differs with many other organizations such that partners may not be familiar with the kind of relationship we encourage between workers and partners. Our intention is to provide resources to both partners and workers that can help develop these interactions. Our main responsibility is to provide with integrity and promptness the handling of all funds from supporters to workers, all done with good and open accounting procedures. Secondary responsibilities include some member care and counseling for direction in major decisions as particular needs arise. Finally, all workers, including home office workers, are contract workers raising their own support funds.
A flexible global enterprise for international workers is most effective.
We are not bound to any geographical location, and our workers come from a variety of nationalities and cultures. We are not bound by a particular type of ministry but leave these decisions to the worker and supporting partners, encouraging supporters to remain with a worker based on a relationship, not where the worker is or what he or she is doing. We are also not bound to a numbers approach to ministry of having so much done by any certain time. Things need to be done, but there are many variables depending on where we are working, who is doing the work and what culture they are in.
Low administrative costs direct funds to the work of the ministry instead of organizational structures.
ARM Ministries has a very low 7.5% administrative fee on all funds donated to the mission to support general operational expenses (this is about half as much as other organizations; the average seems to be around 18%). Normally, these fees are not used toward substantive labor costs as all workers, including those who provide administrative support for the mission, are asked to raise their own support needs. We also attempt to return much of this administrative fee to workers. We do this primarily through matching health care and retirement benefit options. Our goal is to actually return the entire amount, and even to increase that amount beyond the 7.5% administrative fee as the mission is able to raise excess funds for general operating costs. ARM Ministries seeks to never own assets in real property or other property that would keep us bound to any one particular geographical location. We seek to be a very lean, mobile and flexible organization to maximize our impact for our field workers.
We would be happy to discuss any of this further if you are seeking a sending agency that fits with these ideals. Our requirements for becoming a missionary or worker are fairly simple. We seek those who:
- Have a strong relationship with a sending church— will want to speak with a representative of that church in the approval process
- Agree with our statement of faith
In order to serve our workers well while limiting costs, we require that workers have a U.S.-based bank account into which funds can be disbursed. We also strongly encourage our workers to participate in health and retirement savings and we provide annual matching funds for those who participate.
If this describes you or if you know someone who we may be able to serve well according to these ideals, contact us today by email at email@example.com about how we might be able to help you get to the field.
Part of our effort as indicated above is to keep our operating expenses as low as possible so that more resources can go to missionaries rather than operations; it is the desire of ARM Ministries to actually operate on less than the 7.5% fee revenue on donations. ARM Ministries seeks to have a relatively low emphasis on raising funds for actual operating costs. Our emphasis is on ministry, not fund raising. We do make known our needs and ask our workers, their donating partners, our board members and others in the general public to consider donating to our general operating fund. Our desire is that these gifts would total about 5% to 7% of all our giving in any given year. We are also open to endowments or grants that may be available for these costs. If you desire to support these general operations (things like accounting software and reporting, banking, and payroll costs) we would gladly accept donations toward this effort.