Avant Ministries / Gospel Missionary Union

Summary

Since the 1890's, Avant has been planting churches among the world's unreached peoples. Avant believes that the Church is God's instrument to proclaim the Gospel, disciple believers and transform communities. Its church-planting principles aim to develop mature, reproducing churches led by nationals in as short of a time as possible.

A variety of ministries and methods are used to plant churches where they don't exist, and to help these churches grow and reproduce locally and globally. Ministries in support of this objective include church-planting teams, church development and support, camps, media and communications, theological education, and business ministries.

Avant Ministries is a nonprofit organization. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. It is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, and MissioNexus.


Contact information

Mailing address:
10000 North Oak Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64155-4155

Website: www.avantministries.org

Phone: (816) 734-8500

Email: info@avmi.org


Organization details

EIN: 440594428

CEO/President: Mr. Scott Holbrook

Chairman: Dr. Richard Biery

Board size: 12

Founder: Mr. George S. Fisher

Year founded: 1892

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1991


Purpose

Avant plants and develops new churches in the unreached areas of the world.


Mission statement

The mission of Avant is to plant and develop new churches in the unreached areas of the world.

The vision of Avant is to make a difference in time for eternity by rapidly planting and developing churches where none exist.


Statement of faith

Avant Ministries uses the following to communicate its faith:

We Believe:

The Bible
We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, God's final written revelation of Himself and His will, and the sole authority for all faith and practice.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

The Godhead
We believe in God, who is revealed in Scripture as subsisting in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet one in being, essence and power.
(Matt. 3:16-17; 28:18-19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6-7; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 2:22-23)

The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the supernatural birth of Jesus Christ, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, the incarnate Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us.
(Matt. 1:20-23; Luke 1:35)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is very God, the express image of the Father, the One by whom and for whom all things were created and consist.
(John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:16-17)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, that He died as a perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men, and that the believer's justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.
(Matt. 28:6-76-76-7:6-7; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; Heb. 2:9; 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of God, where He is the High Priest and Advocate for His people.
(Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1)

We believe in the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive His church unto Himself.
(John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13)

We believe in the subsequent, visible and premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ, with His church, to establish His promised worldwide kingdom on the earth.
(Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4-6)

The Holy Spirit
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, who convicts of sin, who is the supernatural agent in regeneration, and who, at the moment of conversion, baptizes and seals the believer into the body of Christ, immediately indwelling him.
(John 14:16-17; 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:13-14)

We believe that it is the duty and privilege of the believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who illumines, guides and energizes the believer, enabling him to maintain a consistent Christian walk.
(John 16:13; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)

We believe that the ascended Christ gives gifts through the sovereign will of the Holy Spirit for the edification and unity of the body of Christ.
(1 Cor. 12:4-12; Eph. 4:7-13)

Angels
We believe in the reality and personality of angels, both good and fallen, including Satan, the great enemy of God and man, whose opposition is ever increasing but whose ultimate doom is sure.
(Job 1:6-7; Ps. 103:20; Matt. 4:11; Luke 2:13; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 20:10)

Man
We believe in the creation of man by a direct act of God, and that he fell into sin and thereby became depraved and guilty before God.
(Gen. 1:27; 3; Ps. 51:5; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 1:21-23; 3:23; 5:12, 21)

Salvation
We believe in salvation uniquely by the substitutionary atonement of Christ by grace through faith in His shed blood to accomplish man's redemption from sin and reconciliation to God.
(Rom. 3:24-26; 5:9; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:18-21)

The Believer's Position
We believe in the sonship of all born-again believers in the family of God, their justification, sanctification and eternal redemption being fully provided for and assured in the finished work of Christ on Calvary and in His continued intercession above.
(John 1:12-13; Rom. 5:1; 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; 4:5-7; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 7:25; Peter 2:9; 1 John 3:2; 5:11-13)

The Resurrection
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, each in his own order: the saints to everlasting life in God's presence, the wicked to conscious and everlasting condemnation in hell.
(Matt. 25:46; John 3:18, 36; 5:28-29; Rev. 20:5-6, 11-15)

The Church and Its Mission
We believe in the Great Commission as the primary mission of the church; i.e., the preaching to all the world of the gospel of the grace of God, teaching converts to obey the Lord in baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; to remember Christ's death till He comes, in observance of the Lord's Supper; to be always careful to live godly lives in the world; and to pursue fellowship and seek ministry in visible, organized churches.
(Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:8; 13:1-3; 114:23; 1 Cor. 1:2; 4:17; 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:18; 1 Thess. 2:14; Titus 2:11-15)

Transparency grade

C

To understand our transparency grade, click here.


Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating395 of 58676 of 94
Fund acquisition rating223 of 58645 of 94
Resource allocation rating448 of 58675 of 94
Asset utilization rating397 of 58681 of 94

Click here to read Avant Ministries / Gospel Missionary Union's response to our ratings


Financial ratios

Funding ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20192018201720162015
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
8%6%8%6%7%6%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%6%7%6%6%6%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
94%92%94%92%93%94%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%7%7%6%6%6%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
6%8%6%8%7%6%
 
Operating ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20192018201720162015
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
82%75%78%78%79%79%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
98%82%102%87%93%97%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
80%62%79%68%74%77%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
2%18%-2%13%7%3%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
2%20%-2%13%7%3%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
11%18%15%15%14%15%
 
Investing ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20192018201720162015
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.070.830.840.750.740.82
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.692.823.022.502.853.09
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.182.342.531.872.102.54
 
Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20192018201720162015
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
8.794.703.534.343.462.71
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.110.210.280.230.290.37
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
4.714.033.394.954.062.97
 
Solvency ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20192018201720162015
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
10%11%13%12%14%16%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%0%0%0%0%0%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
75%108%104%117%116%102%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20192018201720162015
Cash$3,393,833$1,629,623$2,019,817$2,056,216$1,855,433
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$317,890$149,040$168,582$309,709$281,119
Short-term investments$5,048,561$4,921,595$6,010,837$4,693,666$3,492,185
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$8,760,284$6,700,258$8,199,236$7,059,591$5,628,737
Long-term investments$8,073,153$6,415,000$4,994,000$4,576,000$4,276,000
Fixed assets$6,353,415$6,559,619$6,731,655$6,313,131$6,586,958
Other long-term assets$1,537,062$585,767$550,017$2,184,994$922,174
Total long-term assets$15,963,630$13,560,386$12,275,672$13,074,125$11,785,132
Total assets$24,723,914$20,260,644$20,474,908$20,133,716$17,413,869
 
Liabilities20192018201720162015
Payables and accrued expenses$251,924$246,778$163,251$279,128$238,913
Other current liabilities$1,613,572$1,653,334$1,726,604$1,763,447$1,841,422
Total current liabilities$1,865,496$1,900,112$1,889,855$2,042,575$2,080,335
Debt$0$0$0$0$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$753,667$681,476$606,871$874,805$760,655
Total long-term liabilities$753,667$681,476$606,871$874,805$760,655
Total liabilities$2,619,163$2,581,588$2,496,726$2,917,380$2,840,990
 
Net assets20192018201720162015
Unrestricted$13,156,650$11,969,825$12,344,265$10,470,590$9,826,487
Temporarily restricted$8,948,101$5,709,231$5,633,917$5,242,823$4,746,392
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$22,104,751$17,679,056$17,978,182$17,216,336$14,572,879
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20192018201720162015
Total contributions$22,960,132$15,636,312$16,101,421$14,806,017$13,933,931
Program service revenue$909,328$815,118$807,764$738,781$721,688
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$918,409$84,824$548,901$323,473$40,347
Other revenue$178,642$137,765$115,648$110,096$64,731
Total other revenue$2,006,379$1,037,707$1,472,313$1,172,350$826,766
Total revenue$24,966,511$16,674,019$17,573,734$15,978,367$14,760,697
 
Expenses20192018201720162015
Program services$15,452,868$13,169,767$12,013,733$11,761,330$11,315,214
Management and general$3,673,982$2,570,684$2,312,052$2,114,095$2,178,216
Fundraising$1,413,966$1,232,694$983,180$962,408$821,471
Total expenses$20,540,816$16,973,145$15,308,965$14,837,833$14,314,901
 
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$4,425,695($299,126)$2,264,769$1,140,534$445,796
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$4,425,695($299,126)$2,264,769$1,140,534$445,796

Response from ministry

2019 Financial Report reflects the mid-year merger of Camino Global with Avant Ministries.


History

Avant Ministries (AM), formerly known as Gospel Missionary Union, emerged out of the missionary movement of the last two decades of the nineteenth century, a movement that propagated numerous foreign missionary societies. Through the evangelistic efforts of the YMCA, young men of Kansas were challenged to Christian service. One of these young men was The Secretary of the Kansas State YMCA, George S. Fisher, whose parents had been missionaries in Jamaica.

He lead a campaign for foreign missions among the local association of the YMCA in Kansas. The movement spread to other States and soon there were a considerable number of young men and women eager to go to West Africa with the gospel. Although the mission was not officially organized until 1892, the first party of nine missionaries landed in West Africa in 1890. Within a few months, five were dead. Soon a second party of twelve sailed to join the survivors.

Fisher's conviction was that the gospel must be preached in all the earth, wherever Christ was not named. In 1892, Fisher and other Kansas leaders resigned from the YMCA and formed a new independent organization called the World's Gospel Union.

The name was changed in 1901 to Gospel Missionary Union, and changed again in 2003, when Gospel Missionary Union became known as Avant Ministries.

1975 Merger (EUSA):
The Evangelical Union of South America (EUSA) was inaugurated at the Keswick Convention in Liverpool, England, in 1911. The society formed after missionaries working in South America were informed that the continent was not to be discussed in the 1910 World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh, since Anglicans objected to Roman Catholic lands being considered a legitimate field for mission. EUSA was formed from three existing missions operating in South America: the sections of Regions Beyond Missionary Union working in Argentina and Peru; the South American Evangelical Mission working in Argentina and Brazil; and the Help for Brazil mission, which joined EUSA two years later in 1913. (from archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk) The North American Board of the EUSA merged with Avant in 1975, adding some 150 members serving in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia.

2019 Merger (Camino Global):
Camino was founded in 1890 as the Central American Mission, at nearly the same time as the founding of Avant. Some of the same leaders were involved in the founding of both ministries, including C.I. Scofield and Luther Rees. A.E. Bishop, a co-founder of Avant in 1892, was also Camino's pioneer missionary to Honduras in 1896.

In 1917, the Central American Mission was a founding/charter member of the Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association, now MissioNexus.

The Central American Mission became CAM International in 1975. In 2012, CAM became Camino Global, its rebranding focusing on serving the global Church, journeying with Spanish speakers everywhere to transform communities, equip believers and reach the world. Camino missionaries served in Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hispanic USA, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, the Philippines, Spain, and Uruguay, several of which became new fields for Avant when Avant and Camino merged on July 1, 2019. Following the merger, Avant's active membership exceeded 500 for the first time in its history, serving in some 50 countries on 5 continents.


Program accomplishments

In 2013, Avant launched Vision 2020, prayerfully establishing several benchmark ministry goals to be achieved by 2020:

  • We prayed for 40 new churches as a result of Avant ministry efforts. There are now 72 new churches!
  • We celebrate that we reached the goal of serving in 20 new countries!
  • We set a goal to have 400 active missionaries serving cross-culturally and reached 504 by the start of 2020.

Needs

Numerous ministry needs and opportunities in nearly 50 countries exist to serve in the following categories:

  • Church-planting
  • Church support and development
  • Media and Communications
  • Camps
  • Theological Education
  • Business Ministries