I don’t know about you, but I am an excellent excuse-maker. For example, I am a master at convincing myself why I don’t need to exercise, or why I need another bowl of ice cream, or why I need to watch “this” sporting event, even if I am up late. My personal excuses, in these ways and others, are (to me!) water-tight, air-locked, drop-the-mic conclusive. To be persuaded otherwise, it would take an incredible proof or motivation ……. or just my wife giving me that “look” (and you married guys know what I am saying).… Continue reading
Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading
An old pastors’ adage says, “Those who can’t, go; those who can’t go, teach”—the shortened aphorism for “Those who can’t preach, go to the mission field; those who can’t go to the mission field, teach.” Whoever created this useless and unbiblical proverb deserves appointment as minister of sanitation over church restrooms. This adage contradicts the following truths:
Every man going to the mission field must be able to preach the Word.
No one should go to the mission field as their second or third option for ministry.
Missions is something that happens overseas. That’s why missionaries need to be sent, missionaries need to be supported, and short term mission trips are taken. That is the common wisdom anyway. Let me be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that missionaries need to be supported and that overseas missions are vitally important. But I think too often we focus on overseas missions and neglect the mission field all around us.
I am not talking about simple evangelism of our neighbors (which we absolutely must do), rather I am talking about reaching out to the non-American people groups that surround us. When I think of missions, I start my thinking with the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.… Continue reading
The Word of God must be at the core of all missions strategy. Without the Word of God, no ministry can be satisfactorily performed—
the Word provides the authority for ministry,
the instruction for ministry,
the power of ministry, and
the message of ministry.
To all of this nearly all agree. But what we too often neglect is how Bible translation fits into missions strategy.
Bible Translation and Evangelism
First of all, James 1:18 and 1 Peter 1:23 declare that the new birth itself is by means of the Word of God. That means that a missionary must speak from the Bible in the language of the people in order to evangelize.… Continue reading