Asked Questions


How did Ripe For Harvest World Outreach start?

The founder, Dr. Tim A. Smith, felt that while there were many mission organizations fulfilling their respective corporate vision objectives, there were very few that gave opportunity for the individual missionary to fulfill his/her personal vision. There are many unique ‘one of a kind’ mission opportunities that were unfilled because they did not fit the profile of an existing mission sending agency. Ripe For Harvest World Outreach does not lower the standards for the individual missionary candidate but broadens the base of opportunity to which the applicant can qualify. Dr. Smith, raised on the mission field himself, wants the qualified missionary candidate to be able to respond to our Lord’s request ‘…ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’ (Mt. 9:37).

Where did the name come from?

This ministry began in 1979 as White Harvest Missions under which name it operated until 1994. To better reflect the newer Bible translations it was reincorporated as Ripe For Harvest. Then in 2006 it was reincorporated again as both a mission organization and a church using Ripe For Harvest World Outreach. The verse that reflects this name is John 4:35b, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest”.

What do you mean by Field Driven Ministry?

Ripe for Harvest is a Field Driven Ministry meaning that we allow the missionary the freedom to follow God’s leading in their ministry focus. Typically, ministries are Corporate Driven which means that within the organization, the leadership at the top sets the ministry direction for the missionaries to follow. Our model is just the opposite as we allow the missionary the freedom to follow God’s leading wherever and whatever that may be.

How are staff members paid?

We are a W-2 employer and each staff member raises his/her own financial support though friends, family, business, and supporting churches. These donors send their support gifts to Ripe For Harvest World Outreach where the monies are disbursed to cover the staff’s salary and project expenses.

How many countries do you have staff members in?

Currently there are 200 missionary families representing 30 countries and 15 states in the USA.

If I apply to be a staff member with Ripe For Harvest World Outreach and am accepted, can I pick my own country and mission project?

Yes. When the Lord has placed a particular country and people group on your heart, the role of Ripe For Harvest World Outreach is to help you answer that specific call.

In the application process, is there a orientation that I/we have to attend?

Ripe for Harvest does not require applicants to attend an orientation to determine their eligibility. Whether you want to start a new ministry or continue on with an established work, we want to make the process as easy as possible and not place a time/financial burden on you or your family.

Do I need to learn a foreign language to be on staff with Ripe For Harvest World Outreach?

It depends on the country and/or mission project selected. Needless to say, knowing the language of a particular country goes a long way in helping share the Gospel of Christ, but there are many mission opportunities where there are no language requirements.

Is Ripe For Harvest World Outreach a non-profit ministry?

Yes, we are incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and have received a ruling by the IRS as tax-exempt(Tax # 20-2322235). The Board of Directors govern the organization and set the staff and field compensation and expense policies and procedures. The board serves without pay.

What are your doctrinal beliefs?

We are members of the NAE and have adopted their Statement of Faith:

  1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that, for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: that they are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage and that the Biblical definition of marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

Do you have ‘short term mission trips’?

Not in the sense of working with groups or individual staff for a two or four week ‘work’ or ‘mission’ trip. Short term in mission circles is considered one or two years and yes, we encourage you to consider this time frame. However, many of our mission staff are long term career staff members.

What kind of training and or supervision does Ripe For Harvest World Outreach provide?

Many of our staff members are career missionaries transferring from another mission sending agency and have extensive training and experience either on the field or in academia. However, for those with limited training or experience, Ripe For Harvest World Outreach helps the individual through books, training manuals, internet sites and articles which can help them achieve the needed skills to be an effective ‘worker in the harvest field’ (Mt. 9:37). Periodic field visits by home office staff add to the training as well as give supervision to each staff member. Periodic written field activity reports back to the home office are required.

Do staff members ever get together?

Yes, once every couple/three years an international mission staff conference is held in the United States or in regional parts of the world.

If I apply as a staff member with Ripe For Harvest World Outreach, what types of mission activities can I be involved in?

We have pastors, evangelists, youth workers, Bible translation, medical, aviation, and church planting specialists, mission school teachers, ESL teachers, performing artists (i.e. singers, musicians, actors, illusionists), writers, Bible conference speakers, seminar leaders, and many other ministry opportunities too numerous to mention.

What are the administrative costs in being a staff member with Ripe For Harvest World Outreach?

Like all mission organizations and churches, there are home office expenses that need to be covered. This includes rent, staff salaries, accountants, legal counsel, required IRS reporting, postage and mailing supplies, operating supplies, travel for field visits, computer programming and maintenance, and just the everyday expense of running an office. Ripe for Harvest administrative share is 12% of each dollar donated. All the rest goes back to the staff member and his/her work or their project.

What makes Ripe For Harvest World Outreach unique?

This organization was founded by Dr. Tim Smith with the idea that each person has a personal vision they want to fulfill. Dr. Smith spent 25 years with other para-church organizations including the Billy Graham Organization, Campus Crusade Jesus Film Project, and Sports World Ministries. In each of these organizations he was helping to fulfill their wonderful founders’ vision and considered it a privilege to help them. He also spent 20 years n the pastorate. But it still did not help him fulfill his vision: to help individuals fulfill their personal vision. Ripe For Harvest World Outreach gives each staff member the opportunity to fulfill their God-called vision by handling the day to day administrative and home office duties to keep the ministry in compliance with all the legal, civic, and governmental agencies.

Should I start my own 501(c)3 non-profit church or organization?

Absolutely! But, if you are not gifted, knowledgeable, have an interest in administration, nor the time to devote to your new organization, then join us and let us do the paper work and you do your ministry. For we feel that this is our ministry. Ephesians 4:11-12 says it best: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”. We are the ones to prepare you for ‘works of service’!

What steps do I take to apply as a staff candidate?

Go to the Staff Candidate Page and download each of the forms, fill them out and mail/fax/scan to:

Dr. Tim Smith

Ripe For Harvest World Outreach

1375 E. Grand Ave. Suite 103 #333

Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Upon being accepted by the Ripe For Harvest World Outreach mission board then begin notifying your prayer partners and donors along with your supporting churches and make preparation to go to the field of God’s choosing for you!