India Missions Association
- an introduction -

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The background
The Origins of Indian Missions
Why & How India Missions Association was formed?
The Mission of IMA
The Vision of IMA
Objectives of IMA
Internal Values of IMA

Landmarks in the history of India Missions Association
Membership
Other Partners
IMA's Global Relationships
IMA's National Relationships
Statement of Faith
Management of IMA
Mission Field Comity Arrangement
IMA Members Credibility
IMA’s Credibility

IMA’s Audit Reports
Contact Us


The background:
The early Christians passed through the ages of persecution during the period of Nero and latter peace under the Emperor Constantine. Eventually the misunderstanding of Christianity gave birth to Islam which wiped out Christianity in the North African regions. Then the Crusades to occupy Jerusalem brought further animosity between the Muslims and Christians. This also closed the trade route to Asia, particularly to India by the Islamic nations such as Turkey which blocked the Christian nations to pass through to India. Because of which the Pope commissioned kings of Europe to find India by sea route which resulted in finding the Continents of America, Africa, Asia and thus the whole world became the colonies of various countries of Europe. During this time the division of Christianity into two as Roman Catholics and Protestants further divided the new colonized world. The European countries which conquered brought their brand of Christianity to different parts of the world. Thus, Christianity, till today, is seen as the religion of Europe and the religion of the conquerors and some see it as the religion of the exploiters of the nations. This has its tremendous backlogs for Christianity.

The Protestant missionaries worked very hard and the world was influenced by the many missionaries who sacrificially worked to help people to follow Christianity. They shaped the present missions’ thinking and the total mission endeavours in the newly awakened mission sending countries. The missions’ methods and policies were strongly influenced by the then leading Protestant missionaries such as William Carey, Hudson Taylor, William Cameroon Townsend, and Donald McGavran. The philosophies and practices of mission organisations emerged from those people, thoughts and times.

In this scenario around about 1950s most of the European colonized nations became independent and lost the traditional Protestant Western missionary services. The new independent nations restricted visas for the traditional missionaries. Thus, the church was left stranded developing their own indigenous leadership for their church denominations. Once the indigenous leadership for the churches established, due to some revival and consciousness about the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, Mission organisations came into being from mid 1960s.

The Origins of Indian Missions:
In this scenario, in India prior to 1965 there were only four indigenous missions. From 1965 the new born mission organisations and Indian Christians became conscious of cross-cultural evangelism. Most of the philosophies of mission, methods, and policies were built on the exact copies of the Western missionaries of the past. Some were good and some of them were and are irrelevant for the day.

Why & How India Missions Association was formed?
In this scenario, in 1977, the newly emerged missions gathered to form India Missions Association in the gathering by the Evangelical Fellowship of India at Devlalai, Maharastra. IMA was formed to connect and to deal with the issues of being cross-cultural missions. Thus, IMA was formed by six different mission agencies (IEM, BYM, FMPB, FEF, QC & MFGA) to bring together Christian organisations in India for mutual help, co-operation, and corporate expression. Today IMA represents 243 Indian mission organisations, agencies and Church groups and about 60,000 Christian workers within India and beyond.

 

The Mission of IMA:
India Missions Association is the national federation of missions in India, which assists Missions and Churches in the proclamation of the Good news and in making disciples of Jesus Christ among all peoples, languages, and geographical areas through members who partner to share resources, research, and training by their effective accountability and care of their personnel.

The Vision of IMA:
To connect and enhance missions and churches to establish Jesus worshipping fellowships among every people group within India and beyond.

Objectives of IMA:
* To Be An Association
     For All Christian Organisations and churches involved in Missions in India & beyond.
* To Be A Facilitator
     For Cooperation, Partnerships & Networks Through Sharing Resources.
* To Be A Challenging Voice
     In the Church For Increased Commitment To Missions.
* To Be An Initiator
     For Training, Workshops, Consultations, Conferences in New Avenues.
* To Disseminate Information
     For Mobilising Prayer & Creating Awareness on Mission Issues.
* To Connect Peoples
     In Churches & Missions both Locally & Globally.
* To Be a Catalyst
     In Evolving Corporate Vision, Ethos & Strategy.
* To Empower Missions
     In Caring For People Involved In Their Ministry.
* To Present An United Stand
     Before the Public & the Government for the Cause Of Missions.
* To Establish Mutual Transparency & Accountability
     In Ministry, Leadership & Management Practices.

Internal Values of IMA:
* To be a visionary and a catalyst
* To strive to be a model
* To be accountable and transparent
* To care for and build one another
* To encourage formation of national and multi-cultural teams
* To have multi-linguistic personnel and operations
* To advocate excellence in ministry performance
* To be guided by the Word and the Spirit
* To comply with statutory requirements of the land
* To enrich indigenous leadership and finance

Landmarks in the history of India Missions Association:

1977 - All India Congress on Missions & Evangelism (AICOME) was held at Devlali, Maharashtra organised by the Evangelical Fellowship of India
1977 - An Ad Hoc Committee was appointed to follow up the recommendation of AICOME for the formation of a Missions Association. Original Steering Team – Ad-hoc Committee Members
          1. Mr. John Richard, EFI - (Chairman)
          2. Rev. Theodore Williams, Indian Evangelical
Mission (General Secretary)
          3. Mr. R. Stanley, Full Gospel Young Men’s Association (Blessing Youth Mission) - (Treasurer)
          4. Mr. N. Emil Jebasingh, Friends Missionary Prayer Band
          5. Mr. D T Rajah, Fellowship of Evangelical Friends
          6. Mr. Thomas Samuel, Quiet Corner
India
          7. Rev. Henry Joseph, Maranatha Full Gospel Association
          India Missions Association was formed with Six member missions 
1978 - The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the first Annual Conference was held at Quiet Corner, Mavanahalla, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.
1979 - IMA was registered as a Society under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act of with its registered office at 38, Langford Road, Bangalore.
1980 - IMA Membership grew to ten members
1980 - Indian Institute of Cross Cultural Communication – The Bible Translation & Literacy Network was formed by IMA in partnership with SIL / WBT
1982 - The First Mission Leadership Training was conducted
1983 - The Unreached People’s Survey was initiated
1985 - Mr. Ebenezer Sunder Raj appointed as Associate General Secretary
1986 - IMA Office was opened at Chennai
1990 - The First Management Seminar
1990 - The First National Consultation on Evangelism
1990 - The IMA Membership grew to 44 members
1992 - The Missionary Training Network was formed
1993 - Missionary Healthcare Network formed
1994 - The Indian Institute of Missiology was founded on September 20, 1994
1994 - The Pin Code Survey of the presence of Christian workers was launched
1994 - IMA and The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) jointly hold a Partnership Consultation and issue a Joint Statement on Partnership in Nagpur.
1996 - Dr. K. Rajendran was appointed as Associate General Secretary.
1998 - IMA Delhi office opened with Mr. John Amalraj appointed as Coordinator
1998 - Indian Missions Alliance Among Neighbours’ Network (IMAAN) was formed
1998 - 14 acres of Land Purchased for the development of IMA Centre at Hyderabad
1999 - Christian Institute of Management (CIM) was formed
1999 - Dr. K. Rajendran was appointed as the General Secretary
1999 - IMA Membership grew beyond 100 members
1999 - For the Annual and all IMA gatherings CEOs were welcomed to bring their spouses, their second line leaders and their children above 18 to start the exercise of building second-line leadership and creating wider understanding of missions and leadership. It created a new organisational culture.
2000 - IMA Membership grew to 130 members.
2001 - IMA Guwahati office opened with Mr. Lalparlien Kumar appointed as coordinator
2002 - IMA Hyderabad Office opened with Mr. John Amalraj appointed as Team Leader 2002 - A part of the IMA Centre land was approved by the State Government for the purpose of institutional use
2002 - IMA Silver Jubilee Celebrations was inaugurated at
Bangalore.
2002 - The First IMA Annual Awards were presented Life Time Achievement Award and
Mission of the Year Awards in six categories
2002 - IMA Membership grew above the 150 mark.
2003 - Dr. K. Rajendran shifts the office from Chennai to
Hyderabad.
2003 - IMA releases a booklet on missions’ best practices after discussion by the member mission CEOs in the national conference.
2003 - Think-tanks on mission issues became regular parts of the IMA Activities.
2004 - National Youth Leaders conference was held at Hyderabad to reach Indian Youth.
2005 - Think-tanks on women in mission, emerging church planting and Younger CEOs became the benchmark for missions’ movements.
2005 - IMA Membership crosses 200th mark.
2005 - First MK camp was conducted by IMA at Pune.
2006 - Historical IMA National conference for the first time was held in Aizawl, Mizoram, recognising the unique contribution of the Church and missions in North Eastern India who have the potential to reach East Asia to begin with.

2007 - IMA National conference was held in Dehradun, Uttrakhand, North India during 3-5 May 2007.

2008 - IMA National conference was held in Hyderabad.

2009 - IMA National conference was held in Bangalore.

2010 - Rev. Sussnta Patra was appointed as the General Secretary

2011 - IMA National conference was held in IMA Vision City, Hyderabad during 13 - 17 Sept 2011.

2012 - IMA National conference was held in IMA Vision City, Hyderabad during 20 - 23 Sept 2012.

2013 - IMA National conference was held in Chennai.

2014 - Dr. Theodore Srinivasagam was appointed as the Interim General Secretary

2015 - Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer was appointed as the General Secretary

 

Membership:
Membership is open to Indian Missions (Christian organizations and Church groups) both inter-denominational and denominational, which are involved in ministry within or across
geographic, linguistic, ethnic or socio-economic distance resulting in establishing of worshipping fellowship of peoples within India or outside.

Membership is also open to Indian missionary training centers, research centers, mission resource agencies, funding, sponsoring, facilitating, and other allied service groups.

Membership Criteria:
1. Membership is open to Indian Missions (Christian organizations and Church groups) both inter-denominational and denominational who are involved in ministry within or across geographic, linguistic, ethnic or socio-economic distance resulting in establishing of worshipping fellowship of peoples within India or outside.
2. Membership is also open to Indian missionary training centres, research centres, mission resource, and funding, sponsoring, facilitating and other allied service groups.
3. Partners: Partnership is open for overseas Missions & Churches involved in ministry to Indians.

Membership Requirements:
1. The organization (or in the case of a mission’s department, its parent body) must have been functioning for at least three years as a registered body under the Societies / Trust Act.
2. The organization (or its parent body) should be registered with the Commissioner of Income tax.
3. There should be a minimum of at least seven board members or trustees and generally no two persons of the same family function as an office bearer of the organization.
4. An organization seeking membership with IMA, having satisfied itself that it qualifies, must pass a resolution seeking in its board meeting to apply for IMA membership.
5. Subscribe to IMA’s statement of faith.
6. Accept the annual membership contribution.
7. Accept the Mission Field comity arrangement of IMA.
8. Accept the best practices of Ministry, Leadership & Management as advocated by IMA.

Needed Documents / Check List:
1. The IMA Membership Application Form duly filled & attested.
2. The Mission fields, branch offices and other appendix details duly filled in.
3. A copy of your society / trust / company registration certificate.
4. A copy of your audited accounts for the last three years.
5. A copy of the resolution of your board seeking membership with IMA.
6. A copy of your recent newsletter or magazine.
7. A copy of your introduction folder / information brochure.
8. A copy of your latest Annual Report read in your last AGM or Trust meeting.
9. A copy of your Memorandum of Association, Bye laws / Rules & Regulations / Trust deed.
10. Enclose a Demand Draft in favour of India Missions Association, Hyderabad for Rs. 1500/- as processing fee.

Membership processing Fee:
When sending the filled in membership application form, please include the membership processing fee for            Rs 1500/-(DD in favour of India Missions Association). 

How the Membership Application is processed:
When the membership application form dully filled in is received by our Member Relation Team in Hyderabad, the same is scrutinized. After which a senior staff of IMA makes a personal visit to build a relationship. Later the application is presented to the IMA Executive Committee that meets once in a six months. During the meeting the application again is scrutinized by the Executive members before it is accepted for membership. All the IMA members are then issued a membership certificate that is normally valid for about three years.

Membership Contributions:
More details on the this...Please contact esnorth@imaindia.org or essouth@imaindia.org

Other Partners:
Partnership is open to overseas missions, churches and individuals involved in ministry to Indians.

IMA exists by the members and for the members. All members contribute toward the financial needs of IMA annually.

IMA's Global Relationships:
IMA partners with International bodies such as the World Evangelical Alliance - Missions Commission, Great Commission Roundtable, Lausanne, Ethne Movement, US Center for World Missions, COMIBAM, Pioneers,  NEMA and other such bodies.

IMA's National Relationships:
IMA is the founding partner of Indian Institute of Missiology (IIM), Christian Institute of Management (CIM), India Leadership Development Commission (ILDC) and Christians in Service (CIS - Prabhav) and partners with certain other national & regional networking agencies.

Statement of Faith:
We believe in:
1. The Holy Bible which is the fully and uniquely inspired Word of God, the only infallible, sufficient, and authoritative rule of faith and practice.
2. One God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. The deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death and atonement through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial intercession, and His personal return in power and glory. He is the only Saviour of mankind.
4. The salvation of lost and sinful men through regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is by grace through faith.
5. The indwelling of the believer by the Holy Spirit, enabling the Christian to live a godly life.
6. The resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto to the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
7. The spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, who comprise the Church, the Body of Christ.

Management of IMA:
IMA is corporately governed by the General Body, which consists of the CEOs of all its 200 Plus member organisations. The General Body annually elects its representatives to form the Executive Committee / Board of Directors, who meet twice a year and at other times, through correspondences.
The term of the executive members is for three years and could be re-nominated for one more term and could continue if elected by the general body. Maximum would be for two-terms and step down for a break of at least one year.
All the programs and activities of IMA have the proactive policy guidance of the representative team of leaders who are groomed and approved by the Executive Committee.


Mission Field Comity Arrangement:
1. A ‘mission station’ is defined as a place where one or more full-time paid missionaries of a particular mission reside permanently and work in and around that place in evangelism/ pastoral/ socio-economic ministries. An occasional preaching point or the residence of an honorary worker will not amount to a ‘mission station’.
2. Member organisations will send to IMA annually, the location of all their ‘mission stations’. They will also inform IMA of any change in the location of their mission stations periodically.
3. The opening of a new station in a geographical (rural, urban or tribal) area should not be done within the working distance of another mission. One practical unit of working distance is the Postal PIN code area. Each Postal PIN area represents a population of about 35,000. If a mission or a church has a regular working station in a particular PIN code area, the other missions/churches should avoid establishing similar work in that PIN code area.
4. Clause [3] shall not apply where two organisations work in or near the same place among two distinct people groups [for example: Punjabis and Tamils in Delhi] or are working among two different linguistic groups [for example Bhojpuri’s and Mythili in Patna] or are involved in two distinct ministries [for example: Bible Correspondence Follow-up and Ministry to the Blind]. IMA advises that before starting the work, the two organisations should enter into a mutual written agreement to confine themselves to their stated goals and not overlap at a later date.
5. Any overlap of ministry or intrusion into one another’s work or structure should be reported immediately to the leader of the concerned organisation. It is best to immediately sort out such problems between the two organisations by themselves. If there is no solution found within a reasonable period, the matter can be brought to the notice of IMA. Once both the organisations establish and develop their work in their own way by overlapping, later it becomes extremely difficult to resolve comity issues.
6. [a] If a missionary leaves one mission (organisation) and joins another mission (organisation), but wants to continue to work in the same place, this should not be permitted. The second organisation (mission) cannot inherit the work in that station as its work. The mission station and the work belong to the first mission. The second mission should post that missionary to a new area as per the above guidelines.
If the first mission is unable to continue to work in that station, then with the written consent and invitation of the first mission, the second mission can start work in that station.
   [b] A Congregation is defined as a group of at least 6 adults [from non-Christian background] led to faith, baptized and given pastoral care by that organisation. A smaller group is called a preaching point.
Other missions should not enter the congregation [or weekly preaching point] established by one mission / church. If the paid worker who is pastoring that congregation [like a pastor / evangelist/ Social worker] leaves this and joins another mission, the congregation still belongs to the first mission. The second mission cannot post any of its paid or voluntary staff to pastor this congregation. In all such posting of staff, clause 6 [a] of the guidelines shall apply.
7. Before opening any new station among any people groups, linguistic groups or geographical areas, organisations should refer to IMA to verify if there are any other organisation working in that particular people groups, linguistic groups or geographical areas.
8. IMA strongly advises the member organisations to concentrate on selected people groups, linguistic groups or geographical areas. Most of the conflicts in overlap of mission field work between missions happen because missions do not concentrate their manpower in a few selected areas. Instead, many missions scatter their manpower all over the country.
9. What is stated above for member organisations should equally apply to member church / denominations which are involved in evangelistic outreach and church planting or social work.
10. The member organisations when requested for clarification on such comity issues shall render full co-operation and provide all the required information and abide by the decisions made.

IMA Members Credibility: Any mission / Church Missions Board that seeks membership in IMA is required to fulfill certain pre-conditions before it is accepted as a member to maintain the corporate credibility. The membership application is then scrutinized and where necessary one of the IMA Senior staff makes a personal visit. After this process, the IMA Executive Committee accepts the new members. All members of IMA are issued a membership certificate that is valid for about three years.

Prayer and Vision in fresh thinking:
Matt 9: 37 & 38: He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”

Praise God:
For the vision of the founding leaders; For the pioneering cooperation of member missions; For the partnership in raising the credibility of Indian Missions and For the partnership of missions in research & training.

Contact Us:
India Missions Association, 5-47, Kundanpally (Village), Godumakunta (Panchayat), Keesara (Mandal), Rampally (Post), Dayara
R. R. District - 501301
Telangana, India.


Phone                     : 91-48418-202064/65/66
Email                      : ima@imaindia.org
Website                  : www.imaindia.org

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