Furlough Preparations

Many of you are making preparations to come home on furlough this year, some for the first time. Following are some tips that can assist you in making a smooth transition. Please let us know if there is any way we can assist you with your plans.

  • You may want to consult with your tax preparer before purchasing tickets, as your date of travel will affect your ability to claim the Foreign Income Exclusion.
  • Family Week always begins on the third Monday of June. Be sure to put this on your calendar and schedule your travel dates so you can attend. This year’s meeting will be in Shelby, NC.
  • Prayer cards can easily be designed and ordered in advance, so they are ready when you arrive in the US. Please be sure to supply the Office with 20-30 copies of your new card.
  • You may wish to update your support estimate prior to returning to the US so that you have current information to provide to your supporters. We recommend that support estimates be updated at least once every four years, or as you see changes in your family and ministry.
  • You may wish to review your Housing Allowance to be sure it is adequate to cover any needs while you are in the US, especially if you will be renting a home during your furlough.
  • Be aware that some financial report items will be different when you are in the US. For example, if you will be driving a vehicle not owned by you, there are different recordkeeping requirements. Meals and lodging will also be affected. We recommend that you read over at least the sections of the manual dealing with vehicle expenses and travel prior to returning to the US, so you are familiar with these items.
  • Be aware that your ministry expenses on the field will be very different from what they are on furlough. In addition, you may begin receiving love offerings from churches you visit on furlough, which may increase your overall income. We recommend adjusting your estimated tax payments to allow for these changes.
  • Be sure to contact your insurance company to ensure that you will be covered while in the US.
  • Be sure to bring all receipts and financial paperwork with you, so that there is no delay in submitting your reports while on furlough.
  • While you are in the US, you may wish to consider updating your will and updating any Powers of Attorney or other legal forms. Our staff members are notary publics and may be able to assist you with some aspects of this if you will be in our area during your furlough.
  • Be sure to schedule some time to rest and relax. Don’t push yourself and your family to the point of burnout!
  • Please be sure to let the Office know in advance of your travel plans!

Featured Article: The Importance of Christology for World Evangelism

In Titus 2:1, Paul instructs, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Theology is the foundation of our faith. Throughout this year, we will be sharing some articles with you that have been penned by our board members. A few of them have taken much time to research and write about an area of systematic theology. We hope this will be an encouragement to your faith. This month, Bro. Fred Daniel, Jr. has written an article on Christology–The Doctrine of Christ.

Hebrews 6:1–2 — Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” The very object for which He was born, and came into this world, was that He might deliver us from sin. What, then, was it that made us afraid? Were we not afraid of God, because we felt that we were lost through sin? Well, then, here is joy upon joy, for not only has the Lord come among us as a man, but He was made man in order that He might save man from that which separated him from God. (1) 

From Creation through Revelation, Christ is The Theme of Scripture! He is “The Word made flesh,” the embodied reality of the Written Word.

I. He is The Chosen of God – in Him we have the very Best God had to offer for us for salvation, daily life and eternity.
II. He is the Son of God – Jesus brings to the table His Divinity, which will assure us of God’s presence, peace and omniscience. He is The Son of The Living God.
III. He is a man – not just any man, He is God Incarnate. He identifies clearly with us in our humanity.
IV. He is The Lord – He has rule, authority and control over everything. He is now, and will be in eternity, the Lord of Glory. He is our Master.
V. He is The Power of God – He can do whatever is necessary to fulfill the will and purpose of God the Father. He is our Advocate, seeking our best at the right hand of God The Father.
VI. He is The Foundation – He is The Sure Basis of all the Bible teaches, of all we need spiritually.
VII. He is the Chief Cornerstone – He sets the standard upon which the Apostles laid the foundation of the Church. He is The Rock.
VIII. He is The Saviour of the World – there is no other.
IX. He is The Bread of Life – He provides the spiritual food for salvation and sanctification.
X. He is The Giver of Light – He shows the way to salvation and to successful Christian living.
XI. He is The Lamb of God – He is the perfect, one-time, all-sufficient Sacrifice for the sin of all humanity. He is the only Sacrifice for sin!
XII. He is the Reconciler of men – He is the only way for men to be made right and at peace with The Holy God.
XIII. He is The Purger of consciences – He gives peace to those who believe so that they are not condemned by their own knowledge of their wicked past.
XIV. He is The Head of The Church – He leads believers corporately to accomplish the Father’s will on earth.
XV. He is The Hope of Glory – He not only guides, protects and strengthens us on earth, but He is our Blessed Hope for our eternity with God.
XVI. He is The Firstfruits of The Resurrection – He was able to raise Himself from the grave; therefore, He is certainly capable to raise deceased believers’ bodies and rapture them along with living believers on that great day!
XVII. He is The Judge – our salvation and our works are known to Him. He will reward us at the Judgement Seat with mercy and grace.

Christology is the beginning point in a believer’s life. As ministers of the Gospel, we must baptize men in this important doctrine; we must thoroughly ground them in Who He, The Messiah, is. Christology is a foundation, a foundation that is laid once. Upon this foundation men must move on and build the Christian life for this dispensation, for a temporary time in heaven, for the Millennial Age, and, ultimately, for the Eternal Age on the New Earth. Christ is, and will be, our Hope and Stay forever.

If men are to understand the fullness of all God has for them as believers, we must make certain they are solidly immersed in Christology!

No aristocratic Christ have I to commend to you, but the Saviour of the people, the Friend of publicans and sinners. Jesus is the true “poor man’s Friend;” He is “a Witness to the people, a Leader and Commander to the people.” Oh, that each one of us might truly say, “Unto me is Jesus born”! If I truly believe in Him, Christ is born unto me, and I may be as sure of it as if an angel announced it personally to me, since the Scripture assures me that, if I believe in Jesus, He is mine, and I am His, and through union with Him I become a partaker in His everlasting life, and in all that He has. (2)

Pastor Fred T. Daniel, Jr.
Brookhaven Baptist Church
Greensboro, NC

If this has been a blessing to you or you would like to share your thoughts with Bro. Daniel, you can contact him via email here.


(1)  Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Christ’s Incarnation: The foundation of Christianity (p. 25). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

(2)  Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Christ’s Incarnation: The foundation of Christianity (p. 32). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.


Prayer & Dates: March 2018

March Prayer/Praises and Special Dates

Click the link above to download a PDF of prayer requests and praises as well as the birthdays and anniversaries for March. Note: You will need to login to SecureCloud in order to view this document. Once you have logged in, click on Files, Shared, then Headquarter Happenings, then scroll to the month you would like to view. This step protects people with WWNTBM in restricted access fields.

From Our President: March 2018

Danny Whetstone

Everyone should be aware that we are having two conferences this summer. If you are going to be in the States in June please make plans to be with us at Faith Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina. We met with Pastor Goodman and the Faith Baptist Church some years ago and they did a fantastic job hosting the meeting. We will have a wonderful time of fellowship. There will be great preaching and very good food. Now what else could an Independent Baptist hope to have?! There have been a number of new missionaries accepted with World Wide. Those on furlough and deputation will have an opportunity to get to know one another. Please pray that each speaker will be used of the Lord to help everyone attending the conference.

The second conference will be held in Germany. The last report I saw said that we had sixty-seven people signed up to be there. We have held a European conference a couple of times before, and those times were a blessing. This time we will have people coming from the United States, Europe, The Middle East, and other places hopefully. This will be an opportunity to get to know each other, enjoy services together, and have the pleasure of sightseeing in Germany. We are so grateful to Keith and Julia Klaus for their hard work preparing for the conference. Brother O’Malley is putting the conference together. Pray that the Lord will bless everyone that will journey to this meeting, and that everyone will be encouraged in the Lord’s work.

I want to thank each of you who are faithfully serving the Lord in regions beyond. Some of you have recently started your ministry with great dreams and expectations. Others of you have labored for many years in the work that God called you into a long time ago. Each of you is a blessing and encouragement to so many of us that watch your progress in the Lord’s work.

God is faithful and is capable of doing greater things than we are able to even dream. By the grace of God let us always press forward into the darkness with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. Whetstone here to let him know.

From the Memo Board: March 2018

Dates to Know

March 30 – the Office will be closed in observation of the Resurrection

April 1 – February financial reports will be due

June 18-21 – Family Fellowship Week in Shelby, NC

Financial Report Checklist

Changes in ministry can affect the typical expenses you list on your reports from month to month. For instance, someone on deputation will primarily have travel expenses, while someone on the field may have more costs related to renting a building or purchasing snacks and Sunday School supplies. Someone coming home on furlough will be dealing with mileage, meal allowances, and lodging costs they don’t usually see when on the field. We suggest that you click here to review our checklist of commonly overlooked expenses, to be sure you are claiming all allowable deductions.

Changes in Tax Laws will affect you this year

Our CPA has given us guidance on several changes taking place for this tax year. While our staff is not qualified to give tax advice, we do seek to keep you aware of situations that may impact you financially. Please review the following information carefully, and contact us or your tax preparer if you have questions.

  • Necessity of submitting MFRs

Our accountable plan has always provided a benefit to those who choose to submit Monthly Financial Reports. Those who do not participate have previously had the option to itemize unreimbursed employee expenses on Schedule A of their personal taxes. However, starting this year that is no longer an option. This means that if you have previously been submitting ministry expenses through your tax preparer, you will lose the tax benefit this year unless you begin submitting MFRs. Some ministry expenses could possibly still be used to modify self-employment taxes via Schedule SE, but those specifics would need to be discussed with your tax preparer. By far the best situation is for you to report all ministry expenses through WW, thus providing the fullest tax benefit. If you are new to submitting reports, or even if you just need a quick review, you can click here to download a handy checklist.

Please note that other personal expenses may still affect your tax return, such as health care, contributions, etc. This change specifically affects ministry expenses, such as mileage, travel, and so forth.

  • Change in Entertainment Expenses

Several have asked about the change that eliminates the ability to claim business entertainment expenses. Our CPA has assured us that taking a supporting pastor to lunch and hosting missions teams are expenses that can still be listed on your MFR. One key factor is recording the business purpose of the meal, as well as the participants. (i.e. Took Pastor and Mrs. Smith to lunch to discuss ministry philosophy, or took the Taylors to coffee for a counseling session.) This change specifically affects entertainment expenses such as tickets to sports games or concerts, or sightseeing excursions, so will likely have little impact on our missionaries.

  • Change in Moving Expenses

One big change is that moving expenses are no longer tax deductible. Therefore, shipping a container of household goods is no longer able to be listed on your MFR. If that container also has ministry items, it is possible there may be some allowances that can be made for a portion of the overall expense. Our CPA is unsure how the impact of this change will play out, as the IRS begins making decisions on case-by-case situations of what may still be allowable vs. what will definitely not be allowed. Passports and visa costs will still be allowed, as they are not specifically related to moving. For now, please be aware of this as you estimate costs for moving to the field. As many costs will no longer be tax deductible, you may wish to increase your estimated tax payments to help make up the difference. Please communicate with us when the time comes to move, so we can consult our CPA about your individual case.

  • Change in Child Tax Credits

These changes will affect each family differently, and it is vital that your tax preparer is aware of both state and federal laws that affect this complex situation. Following is a brief note from our CPA: “We are balancing state and federal laws regarding the foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE), foreign tax credits, and child tax credits. In some cases, we delay using the FEIE for federal purposes (but not for state, if applicable), in order to gain benefits of child tax credits. With the increased credits, especially the refundable portion, it’s potentially a whole new ballgame. As our missionary clients get older and their children begin to turn age 17 or begin to attend accredited colleges (depending on the five-year window for FEIE elections), we annually must revisit these factors.”

We recommend discussing your situation with your tax preparer annually, and asking that they recommend which method of exclusions vs. tax credits will most benefit you not only in the current year but also for the future. Our CPA is also available to discuss this should you or your preparer have questions.

  • Tax Notes

As you prepare to submit your financial documents to your tax preparer, here are some things you may want to give them:

  • List of dates you were in the US vs. out of the country
  • Details of any housing expenses
  • Information on any retirement plans – IRA, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or 403(b)
  • Information on any investments
  • Information about any foreign bank accounts on which you are a signatory
  • Details of any family births or deaths in 2018 (Names, dates, and SSNs)
  • Details of estimated taxes submitted
  • Information about your health coverage and medical expenses, including the type of health coverage you have (i.e. traditional insurance, marketplace insurance, health sharing plan, etc.)
  • W-2s, 1099’s, and other tax forms received
  • Details of charitable contributions
  • Be sure your tax preparer is aware that you are a dual-status minister, who is self-employed but receives a W-2.
  • New for this year: You may need to provide copies of a photo I.D. such as a drivers license or passport if your preparer will be submitting your taxes electronically

Tax Time Reminders

Tax season is once again upon us! Here are several reminders concerning tax issues that you may face. We trust that this information will be useful to you, both in giving you a better understanding of your reports and helping you to be aware of items that may affect your personal taxes.

Tax Paperwork for 2017

Tax-related paperwork generated by WWNTBM is in your SecureCloud folder. This includes W-2 forms, MFR Summary Reports, and Estimated Tax letters. Please be sure to look at the 2nd page of the MFR Summary, to see if there are any specific notes for you and your tax preparer. If you requested that we submit your tax information directly to your tax preparer, please note that those documents will be sent in late February. This is to ensure that there is time for us to include any forms that may arrive in our office from other sources. If you have any questions, please contact Naomi.

1099 Forms

If churches issued funds payable to you in excess of $600 during the year 2017, they may issue you a 1099 form. If those funds were either mailed to the office, or included on Line 2 of your MFR as extra income, they are already included in the total of your W-2. Our office can assist you in verifying whether the funds were included on your W-2. Your tax preparer can assist you on your return in recording this so that you are not taxed twice on the same income. We recommend that you request churches to make checks payable to WWNTBM to avoid this issue in the future.

Foreign Tax Exclusion

In order to claim the foreign tax exclusion, you must be out of the US for 330 days over a 12 month period of time; however, these days do not have to be in the same calendar year. In order to gain the full benefit of the foreign tax exclusion, your tax preparer may be able to revise your returns based on the actual time you have spent overseas. Because of this, it is vital to provide your tax preparer with all of your travel dates to and from the US. You may also wish to discuss with your tax preparer what dates would be the best travel dates when planning to leave for the field or return on furlough, as this could affect how much you are allowed to claim under the foreign tax exclusion.

It is our understanding that, while the Foreign Tax Exclusion does benefit many of our missionaries, it may not always be the best solution, as there are other situations which may give a greater benefit. Some of those options may affect taxes not only for this year, but for future years as well. This is another reason we recommend consulting a tax professional who can advise you in relation to your unique circumstance.

Healthcare and your taxes

Our financial report gives a location for you to track ‘heath insurance costs.’ However, each individual situation is different. Some use this area to record traditional health insurance, some use it to record expenses through the MarketPlace, and others use it to record details for a health care sharing ministry such as Samaritan Ministries. While all of these are heath related costs, each of the examples affects your taxes in a different way. Please be sure that your tax preparer is aware of the details of your health coverage, as it may affect how they complete your tax return.

Estimated Tax Payments

Missionaries are considered to be self-employed, and are therefore subject to self-employment taxes. Submitting quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year will help to prevent having a large tax payment due each April. Estimated tax payments can be submitted on your own, or, if you are interested, you may contact our office for information on how we can submit them for you.

Tax Paperwork for those with Foreign Bank Accounts

US Treasury Dept. regulations require that if you have any foreign bank accounts, and if the sum total of all of your foreign accounts has ever been $10,000 at any given time during the past year, you must complete the IRS Foreign Bank and Financial Account Form (FBAR) and give it to your tax preparer. This includes all foreign accounts on which you are a signatory, such as a ministry account. This form, and further information about it, is available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. It is our understanding that there have been several changes to these requirements in recent years, and you may also need to complete Form 8938. Please refer to the IRS website and your tax preparer if you have any questions.

Ministry Bank Accounts

If your ministry has been chartered and established as a non-profit organization, we recommend having your ministry get a bank account in its name. Funds for purchases such as land may be able to be sent directly to your ministry, thus eliminating your personal tax liability. Please note that there are limitations to this option. Of course, regular support could never be sent this way. Please contact our office for more information.

Utilizing a Tax Professional

Studies have shown that the average person who uses a tax professional, instead of filing their own taxes, receives a much greater tax return. When comparing the returns of those who self file vs. those who use a tax professional, it is estimated that a self-filer loses between $297 and $791 in missed refunds. The savings far exceed the amount spent to hire a professional. Many have also found that using tax software does not always compare to the benefits of using a professional, either. In many instances it is not that the software or the self-filer is wrong, but that other choices may be better. (Information taken from daveramsey.com.)

It is also good to note that not all professionals are familiar with tax situations that might affect you. We encourage all missionaries to use a certified tax preparer who is familiar with special tax situations that affect missionaries and those living overseas. A listing of tax preparers used by other missionaries is available on SecureCloud, under the Forms and Manuals section.