Seminaries? Bible Colleges? Churches?
Now there were in the church … the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:1-2
It is clear from the Biblical text above that in the church of Antioch were good men deemed worthy by their church family and more importantly called by the Holy Spirit to be sent forth as missionaries to bring the gospel to other cities, countries and continents.
There is a clear lesson here: We cannot wait for missionaries to come from seminaries and colleges. The churches MUST stand up to the task given her by Jesus Christ.
The Unfortunate And Sad Truth About Missionary Attrition.
This year more than 7000 missionaries will quit. Nearly half of those will have managed only one term on the field. But that’s not the worst part.
At least twenty missionaries will pull the plug today. Every fifteen minutes one decides to throw in the towel. (from Paracletos)
How will we fill the ranks from those lost to attrition?
How will we move ahead for World Evangelism?
Biblically they MUST come from our churches. How many missionary candidates do you have in your church preparing for career missions? I travel to many churches each year and sadly I don’t see where these missionaries will come from. For many churches the missionary focus is mainly one week a year – their mission conference. Others may have a month long emphasis and of course there are sporadic missionary speakers scattered through the year. The missionary decorations, flags and banners go up. Then come down. Is this enough for fulfilling the MISSION of the church of Jesus Christ?
How many messages are preached in our churches emphasizing the need for missionaries, servants some being called, surrendering and entering gospel ministry? I believe many are hesitant to preach these messages for fear perhaps, of loosing some of their best and brightest from the home ministry.
Here Is Another Very Powerful Option – Short Term Missions!
An informal study found that between 2010 and 2016 eighty-four percent of new long term missionaries indicated they had previously served on a one – two week mission trip prior to signing up for long-term mission service. Another mission reported in 2000 that “almost 99% of our applicants today have had some sort of cross-cultural experience.” “Some studies have shown that short-term mission trips increase participants’ financial giving and prayer for missions, as well as the likelihood that they will become career missionaries.”
Some have questioned the validity of short term missions but I am here to validate the benefit. I am presently working with several couples who have come to our field on a short term trips and have written to me to share that it was a “life changing experience” and how they are praying along with their churches about the pursuit of career missions. But beyond my personal validation I believe we have too much Biblical validation to ignore short term missions:
When Jesus gathered 12 of his disciples and sent them out he was giving his 12 Apostles a missions apprenticeship that would pay long-term dividends for the kingdom well after his ascension. Dan Williams wrote, “Jesus knew that there was a time for the twelve disciples to be together in basic training (which, by the way, included short-term mission experiences for them) and a time for them to be propelled into full-blown mission.”
In referencing the city of Nineveh Philip Ryken said, “God’s plan for saving the city began with recruiting Jonah to go on a short-term missions trip.” The short-term mission work of Jonah resulted in long-term glory for God. Scripture calls the disciples of Christ to commit their lives to expanding the gospel. (The Aquila Report)
Plan Your Short Term Mission Trip Now – Let Us Begin Filling Our Churches With Missionary Candidates!