In April of 1993, Pastor Jeff Jackson returned to the United States after 5 years of church planting in Cebu City, Philippines. While serving on the field, Jeff and his family received exceptional missionary care from their home church which left an indelible impression him. The seed of a vision began to germinate and take root; the possibilities for churches and their missions involvement were endless. Convinced that local churches can and should venture into cross-cultural endeavors, Pastor Jeff began fleshing out his vision to create a unique missions organization.
Shepherd’s Staff’s passion is to empower churches to participate fully in the Great Commission. As a facilitating ministry that was begun in 2001, Shepherd’s Staff currently serves over 100 churches and their missionaries, primarily through administration of missionary support funds. Although we are definitely a “parachurch” organization, our continued existence is dependent on local churches raising up their own members who have been called by God, confirmed in that calling by the church’s leadership, and who are convinced that it’s time to move forward with serving the Lord in another country. The missionary and their home church are the ones who determine:
- Where they will serve
- What their ministry on the field will be
- When they will depart for the mission field
- How often they will take furloughs, and the length of those furloughs
- When they should no longer serve on the foreign field
Shepherd’s Staff does not approach churches or individuals for people or financial resources to help fulfill our vision. We provide “services” to local churches and their missionaries to help a church fulfill its missions vision.
For the missionary
- W-2 employee status with the IRS and the appropriate withholding and depositing of funds according to IRS guidelines throughout the tax year.
- Timely distribution of funds to the missionary each month along with a list of names, addresses, and amounts donated during the previous month.
- A group health insurance plan that includes benefits for medical care on the mission field, coverage for emergency medical evacuation, and coverage for health care in the U.S. due to an emergency or during furlough.
- A minimal 10 percent administrative fee on donations with a monthly maximum of 450 dollars, (10 percent of the first $4,500 received.)
- A 403b retirement plan that allows missionaries access to a tax preferred method for retirement savings
For the home church:
- Freedom from administrating support funds on behalf of your missionary. All donations are recorded and administered by Shepherd’s Staff, and donors are receipted for each donation within 10 days of receipt of their donation.
- Monthly updates informing the church leadership of the funds received each month, in comparison to the monthly budget created by the missionary.
- Satisfaction of knowing that your missionary is in the correct status with the IRS and that the appropriate tax withholding is being accomplished on their behalf.
- Peace of mind that results from knowing your missionary has a solid health insurance policy that will provide access to the best health care possible at the lowest possible cost to the missionary and his family.
- Confidence that the missionary’s donors, many of whom may be members of your church, will only receive a receipt for their donation to Shepherd’s Staff on behalf of your missionary, along with a coupon for another possible donation, and an envelope. No other mail or any form of solicitation from Shepherd’s Staff will ever be sent to them.
- Awareness that Shepherd’s Staff stands ready and able to assist your leadership in providing care for your missionaries that take into consideration the unique stresses that they live and serve under. Whether it’s giving your church leadership insight, or providing the care directly to the missionary on your behalf, Shepherd’s Staff is always available to be an expression of your love for your members serving on the foreign field.
For the donor:
- A variety of methods to give financially to the missionary whom God has called them to support. Whether by a check sent through the mail in the traditional way, an electronic monthly debit from your checking account, or a one time or monthly charge on your credit card, Shepherd’s Staff makes financial giving as easy as possible.
- A receipt sent to them for every donation they make, usually within 10 days of the date it is received by Shepherd’s Staff.
- A handy tear off portion of the receipt that can be placed in an enclosed envelope and mailed back to Shepherd’s Staff if they’d like to make another donation.
- A guarantee that the only mail they’ll ever receive from Shepherd’s Staff will be the receipt for their last donation. No newsletters from us, no solicitation for funds, and no distribution of their name and address to any other organization will ever take place.