The Short-Term Minister Abroad (STMA) program allows certified, licensed, or ordained ministers, evangelists, Bible College professors or district officials to be involved in overseas ministry for up to six months. Those requesting an STMA application must be AG ministers, have a ministerial number and know their current district. The minister should contact the STMA Specialist at least six weeks prior to the desired departure date.
If you have an invitation from a missionary or a field fellowship to minister abroad, the PMC department will assist you in responding through the Short-Term Minister Abroad program.
During the initial contact the minister should provide the following information:
- Name of missionary(ies) extending invitation
- Dates (including travel to/from field)
- Location(s) of ministry - every city/country (excluding travel stopovers)
- Nature of ministry (i.e., preaching crusades, teaching in Bible school)
- If spouse (or other person) will accompany minister and will also be involved in the ministry assignment
The following procedures are required. First, authorization to minister is only approved in those countries in which there is already an AGWM presence. Second, you must have a written letter of invitation from the missionary fellowship of the country in which you wish to minister. After this is done, you may contact the STMA Specialist for an application packet. Upon completion of the application, attach a copy of the ministry invitation and return these documents to our office. A short-term account can then be opened or funds can be released from an existing short-term account after you have received a letter of approval from this office.
All persons participating in short-term ministry with Assemblies of God missionaries are required to obtain overseas travel insurance.
In most cases, the short-term minister contacts AGWM to initiate the approval process after a missionary invites him/her to teach, preach or participate in other ministries on the field.
The minister should contact AGWM Personnel and Member Care at least six weeks prior to the assignment at STMA@ag.org.
AGWM Personnel and Member Care provides:
- An informational application
- An Assumption of Risk and Insurance Enrollment form
- A Beneficiary Designation form
AGWM Personnel and Member Care contacts the area and regional directors for approvals.
Financial expenses for overseas ministry are the responsibility of the short-term minister.
AGWM, the missionary field fellowship or the inviting missionary cannot pay for STMA expenses. Churches or individuals cannot make monthly commitments or receive commitment certificates.
Churches and individuals may contribute toward the short-term minister's expenses, and AGWM will send a receipt for giving.
Approved persons will be expected to have their own financial resources for the ministry trip. Support will not be provided from the field. Deputation among churches is specifically prohibited. Monthly commitment forms are not available for this missionary category. Commitment certificates will not be issued to the churches or individuals contributing support.
A financial account is opened for each minister approved for overseas ministry through STMA. To receive Assemblies of God World Ministries Giving Credit and tax receipts, all offerings must be channeled through this account.
According to the IRS, all monies sent to this account are considered missions funds. Monies given by donors and designated for missions ministry of an individual are not personal funds, but missions funds.
Five percent of all offerings processed and/or received through AGWM will be reserved for the AGWM General Emergency Fund in accordance with the General Council Bylaws, Article XVII, Section 9., e., 1997.
Use of Funds
Funds may only be used for direct fares to and from the field, plus on-field travel, living and ministry expenses. Additional stops for sightseeing and shopping are personal expenses. In accordance with IRS rules, only locations of invitation for official ministry or required stopover points (due to air travel schedule) will be considered legitimate for financial reimbursement from the account. A travel reimbursement or advance will be made only after official approval of trip and only as funds are available in the account.
Upon completion of the overseas ministry trip, the minister using missions funds is required to submit to AGWM a complete financial report to be kept on file for review by the General Council auditor and, if required, by the IRS. An “Expense Report” form is provided by the STMA specialist in the Personnel and Member Care office.
Out-of-pocket expenses incurred in providing volunteer services on behalf of the AGWM may be considered contributions, to be reported on Schedule A of one’s personal tax return, based on the instructions of the Internal Revenue Service. The minister should consult IRS publications or a competent tax preparer concerning the method and appropriate records needed to utilize this potential deduction. No receipt is issued by AGWM for unreimbursed, out-of-pocket expenses.