No church knowingly shirks its responsibility to its missionary candidates, but, at times, a genuine lack of awareness of the task of the pioneer church planter results in some churches not vetting candidates well before they send them off to get trained. Some assessments that we assume all churches are doing include observing that the individual (or couple) are living in a godly manner, sharing their faith, and growing in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus and His Word.
The words “church planting” are never found in the Bible. The goal of this article is to clarify the link between Jesus’ final commands to His disciples and the pursuit of church planting. Jesus commissioned us– to study God’s Word, teach the Word, baptize new believers, pray and encourage one another.
There is an unfortunate presupposition that has worked its way into current missiology that says some version of “This generation won’t pay the price that previous generations did. Therefore, we must alter the way we do missions.”
Not only does this run counter to principles we find in scripture, it is also counter to those who seek to gain a better resurrection…no matter the generation they were born into.
Why do missionaries leave everything we have at home, our friends, family, churches, air conditioning, favorite foods, and the comforts of home? Why do we go to 90–100-degree weather, all types of diseases with centipedes, huge spiders? The answer: we have seen the glory of God AND we know that God deserves the glory.
Implicit in the command of our Savior in Matthew 28; “Go and make disciples of all nations…” is the reality that goodbyes are going to be a regular part of ‘going’. Saying ‘goodbye’ is the bane of missionary life.
Would a single woman be useful on the field? How could I survive training without a partner, without a spouse? I was afraid of doing mission training and going overseas alone. I thought a husband would fix that.
As Paul wasn’t sinless, neither are those who take the gospel to unreached peoples. But Pauls’ challenge to himself must be ours also, I Cor. 4:1,2 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
Radius is not training any type of secret super-soldier or elite missionary that is going out to do something that no one else can do. Rather we are training men and women to rely on the Lord to produce fruit for His glory through the faithful living, ministry, and gospel proclamation of his servants. (1 Cor 2:1-5)
My simple aim in this article is to share with you a few of the benefits of the Radius training program through the eyes of a Green Beret. Our country doesn’t send untrained men and women to the most dangerous parts of the world to work in isolation and behind enemy lines; they don’t even send decently trained soldiers to do that. They only send their best and most thoroughly trained. Shouldn’t we do the same? The stakes are much higher; after all, they are eternal.
In the 15th chapter of the book of Romans, we have Paul laying out his rationale for why he must press on to new places that have yet to hear the gospel. The missionary is then to go to places that have no foundation and preach the gospel. The ambition of missionaries is to preach where Christ has not been known, to build that foundation. Three implications that come out of those two observations are as follows.
One of the implicit assumptions that seems to be prevalent in our time is that there is no such thing as “Bad Missions”. As long as the intentions of the missionary are pure and the goal of the church sending them out is Biblical, then there are no grounds to question what is done overseas. This should not be.