World Mission of the Church - Lesson 14

Top Ten Things You Should Know about Missions in the 21st Century

The mindset of 19th century Europeans included the belief that the government and society of their country was superior to other countries. This was a predominant attitude in these societies, not just in the missionaries. The predominant secular attitude today is that all cultures are equal and no aspect should be criticized. There is a distinction between preaching the gospel to a culture with a viable church and and one without a viable church. Community is  foundational for evangelism and missions.

The material in this lecture is based on the article, "Top Ten Things You Should Know about Missions in the 21st Century" - American Baptist Evangelical Journal (Summer, 2003, Vol. 11, #3):  3-17. The audio covers points 6-10, but the audio for points 1-5 is not available.

Timothy Tennent
World Mission of the Church
Lesson 14
Watching Now
Top Ten Things You Should Know about Missions in the 21st Century

I. Introduction to 21st Century Missions

A. Changing Global Context

B. Defining Missions

II. Top Ten Key Insights

A. Holistic Approach

B. Indigenous Leadership

C. Partnerships and Collaboration

D. Technology and Innovation

E. Urbanization and Migration

F. Short-Term Missions

G. Global South's Growing Influence

H. Contextualization and Adaptation

I. Business as Mission

J. Diaspora and People Groups

III. Conclusion and Future Trends

A. Challenges and Opportunities

B. Continuing Role of the Church

  • For people who are pastors or will serve as pastors, this course will expose you to what you need to know about missions to be effective in the local church. This is also a foundational course for people who are preparing for missionary service by considering topics dealing with practical and theological aspects of missions. For everyone, regardless of your vocation, this course will challenge you to become a world Christian. (Note: It is helpful to know that a pericope [pair – ik – o – pay] is a section of scripture containing a teaching or describing an event.) 

  • Mission is the reconciling work of God in the world. Missions is the obedient, Spirit-led strategy and implementation of plans to fulfill God's mission in the world. The basis of the Torah is not untethered from a global heart of God for the nations of the world.  Even in the Writings and the Prophets, the covenant is being celebrated in the context of the nations of the world, including ramifications of both blessing and cursing.

  • Mission is the reconciling work of God in the world. Missions is the obedient, Spirit-led strategy and implementation of plans to fulfill God's mission in the world. The basis of the Torah is not untethered from a global heart of God for the nations of the world.  Even in the Writings and the Prophets, the covenant is being celebrated in the context of the nations of the world, including ramifications of both blessing and cursing.

  • As the early Christians experience missiological breakthroughs, they will cite the Old Testament because they see these events as a fulfillment of what had already been written. The Abrahamic covenant is cited to demonstrate how God is using the Messiah to bless the nations. The theology of Great Commission found in culminating texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and reinforced in Acts 1:8. Jesus repeated the Great Commission to his disciples in different ways and at various times. Matthew’s account begins by saying that Jesus is giving authority by the Father for the extension of His kingdom. God has given us a mandate to present the Gospel publicly to the world, not just to separate into a cultic community. The only main verb in the passage is, “make disciples.” God’s command is to disciple all people groups, not just people in each country.

  • As the early Christians experience missiological breakthroughs, they will cite the Old Testament because they see these events as a fulfillment of what had already been written. The Abrahamic covenant is cited to demonstrate how God is using the Messiah to bless the nations. The theology of Great Commission found in culminating texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and reinforced in Acts 1:8. Jesus repeated the Great Commission to his disciples in different ways and at various times. Matthew’s account begins by saying that Jesus is giving authority by the Father for the extension of His kingdom. God has given us a mandate to present the Gospel publicly to the world, not just to separate into a cultic community. The only main verb in the passage is, “make disciples.” God’s command is to disciple all people groups, not just people in each country.

  • The verses that contain Mark's version of the Great Commission first appear in later copies, but there are good reasons to treat these verses as part of the inspired text of the Gospel of Mark. In Mark, the proclamation is to be made to all creation. The emphasis in Mark is preaching. The emphasis in Luke is witnessing. The emphasis in John is sending.

  • Acts 11:20 describes the first time the Gospel is intentionally preached in a cross-cultural situation. A church was planted in Antioch and Saul and Barnabas discipled believers there for a year. The Antioch church sends them out, and they come back and report to them what happened. Both local evangelism to your own people group and cross cultural evangelism are important. 

  • There have been changes in missions between 1792 and the present. Many people credit William Carey with beginning the modern missions movement. The Moravians were taking the Gospel to places all over the world, even before Carey began his ministry. The eras overlap because it takes a while for new ideas to catch on. A key figure in Beachhead Missions is William Carey. In Carey’s book, “An Inquiry,” he challenges the inaction of the church in cross-cultural missions. He says God has given to the Church, the responsibility of spreading the Gospel   to other parts of the world, summarizes missions history, gives anthropological data and discusses practical issues people give for not going. Ultimately, people need to be open to the call of the Holy Spirit and willing to respond to the challenge. Carey’s motto is, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” He and Judson wanted to plant churches in a new country. 

  • Hudson Taylor went to China as a first era missionary. Taylor travels inland and pushes the limits of what the missions organizations were willing to do. Frontier missions focused on the interior areas of countries, used a faith missions model for organization and funding, and recruited lay people, including students and women. Contextualization is preaching the Gospel in a way that is sensitive to the recipient.

  • The close of the second era, Beachhead Missions, came in 1974 when Ralph Winter gave his address at the Lausanne Conference on world evangelism. As a result, people began looking at missions in terms of people groups rather than geographic areas. The fourth era of missions emphasizes “by whom” the Gospel is presented. Lausanne II and the Global Consultation on World Evangelization took place in 1989.

  • In this lesson, you will learn that the “ten forty window” is one of the places where there is a concentration of unreached people groups. A window is a way to recognize the big picture while realizing that every local context is unique. The main focus is to look at each of the five mega-spheres and identify what is unique about each one.
  • The “ten forty window” is one of the places where there is a concentration of unreached people groups. A window is a way to recognize the big picture while realizing that every local context is unique. The main focus is to look at each of the five mega-spheres and identify what is unique about each one.

  • It’s helpful to summarize what you need to know as a pastor to communicate to people about missions and what the pathway is to getting prepared to serve as a missionary. Every continent should be a sending and receiving continent. Short term missions is the best thing and worse thing that has happened to the local church.

    Previous to the beginning of the audio, there was a video shown that is not available to us. It was an account of the breakthrough of the gospel into a culture.

  • By studying this lesson, you'll gain insights into the top ten key aspects of 21st-century missions, including their holistic approach, indigenous leadership, partnerships, technology, urbanization, short-term missions, Global South's influence, contextualization, business as mission, and diaspora focus.
  • Some mission boards are associated with a denomination and some are independent. Most missions organizations belong either to the IFMA (Interdenominational Faith Missions Association) or EFMA (Evangelical Foreign Missions Agency). Fundamentalist missions organizations each have a specific focus. The steps you go through before you go to the mission field are designed to help you get good training and build a team that will support you. Churches are tending to provide a larger percentage of support for fewer missionaries. Terms are usually 3-4 years at a time. Your first term is usually spent just learning the language and culture. Missionaries spend time between terms connecting with people and preparing to return. People often are more receptive to the Gospel when they are living in a culture other than their native culture. Air travel and email have made asynchronous relationships possible. People with professional training have access to some countries that won't allow people to come in as missionaries.

  • As you consider becoming a missionary, it is helpful to recognize areas in the world where the population predominantly identifies with another religion. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism are popular with large population groups in the 10-40 window. There are also large immigrant populations in locations throughout the US.

    The map referred to in the lecture with the world religions color coded is not available to us.

  • Hinduism is practiced by a large percentage of the people in India. It also has an impact on the culture and politics of India. Buddhism teaches that there is one path to spiritual enlightenment, as opposed to Hinduism that teaches that there are many. 

  • Understanding world religions affects our strategy and the way we do our ministry around the world. 

    Most people who need a gospel presentation are members of another world religion (e.g., Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism). We study other religions so we know the context of belief of that people group. Identification vs. extractionist model. By understanding the teachings of different religions, you can explain the gospel in terms they can understand. Muslims agree on many parts of the Old Testament but don't believe in the Trinity or that Jesus is God. Religions in China and Japan emphasize sincerity, orderliness and personal and public conduct based on precedent. 


Recognizing the responsibility of all Christians to complete Christ’s commission, this course gives an overview of the strategic and historical progress of worldwide missions today. The ways in which a local congregation can fulfill its worldwide biblical mandate are also considered.

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World Mission of the Church


Top Ten Things You Should Know about Missions in the 21st Century

Lesson Transcript

Great. Thanks. Okay. Let's begin again to give you some of its larger kind of structural ways that missions in North America operate. I have this chart here to give you some feel for how mission boards are today organized. If you were to be a part of a denomination that sends out missionaries, that may be your default. I suppose you go back to this previous chart that we've been kind of looking at this already, But if you were to we'll say you belong to the Southern Baptist Church or the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church or the Assembly of God, this is three very different examples. Well, the Assembly of God has a very vigorous, exciting mission board around the world. If you are a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance, they have a very vigorous, exciting mission work around the world. Same with Southern Baptist. So if you belong to Southern Baptist or Christian Missionary Alliance or Assembly of God or something like that, then the first maybe default might be that you would approach your own denomination and say, Would you be willing to send me as a missionary to, you know, some of your work and you could look at their work and see what they're doing with involved? The Assembly of God, for example, have has a lot of really exciting work in India, and most of it's based in Calcutta. You could easily work in Calcutta in some capacity with the Assembly of God. I be right there in India. Okay. So that's kind of out there. That's domination. All kind of work, is there. But for many of you, you are not in that situation.

[00:02:08] The PTA has a mission board that is exciting mission to the world. They have their own missionaries and you could be approved in a process and the PCA could send you The PC USA has a mission board, but maybe you're not pleased with that because there's no commitment to planting churches among unreached people, groups or the United Methodist Church. So even if you belong to a denomination that sends out missionaries, you may find yourself more interested in one of the independent boards that clearly shares your evangelical background and perspective and all that. And by the way, that does not mean if you were to go out with an independent board like Wickliffe, for example, so you would be able translation. It doesn't mean that that could be connected to even the mainline denomination. When I went to Africa. I went with an organization called the International Institute for Christian Studies. It's is a independent faith mission board that plants departments of Christian studies in universities around the world. And they do the ultimate education essentially on the campus of universities. So I was actually the very first professor they appointed to do that back in. 19 9091. Now, when I did that, I went to the Methodist church and I said that I felt like I wanted to do this work. I felt called to do this. I was a methodist pastor at the time, and I said to the the church, would you second me? Second is just like spell out the word second. Secondly, it comes from the word second, first, second, third. That kind of conception that you have a main sounding board like the the case of Methodist Church called the Global Board of Ministries. That agreed to allow me to go out through another group.

[00:04:12] So it's called seconding, so you can be seconded to one of the more independent boards. So there's many ways the larger church sometimes agrees to do that. In many parts, commission field, for example, like if you want to go work in Sierra Leone, the CMA are the only group that has permission from the government to work in Sierra Leone. Only Protestant group. So if you belong to the Southern Baptist Church, you have to go through the visa allowances of the CMA. So therefore they have to get permission. And you essentially are seconded through another organization. This is very, very commonly done. All mission boards do this kind of thing today because it's more cooperative than it used to be. This is helpful to be aware of how it's organized. Even though we realize the relationships can be kind of interconnected on the individual level. On the extreme left of the chart is where you'll find most of your mainline denominations that we've talked about in the class. The deal refers to the division of ministries and the NCC. USA is the National Council of Churches in Christ. This is part of the World Council of Churches, their mission arm or whatever. Now the Dome and CC USA does not allow mission groups, mission arms or boards of nominations to belong to any of these other groups than were evangelical groups. So what happens? They do not allow double membership. So that creates a situation where you're forced to decide. And so typically liberal nominations would not be a part of the evangelical board because they don't permit double membership. So it typically makes it so that virtually all of your dome in the USA or non-evangelical boards that are doing things around the world, they have hospitals and clinics and all kinds of things that may not have much at all to do with church planting and the kind of stuff we've been talking about.

[00:06:15] But they're out there in the spending. I mean, vast amounts of missions, money that comes through traditional kinds of offerings in churches, mainline churches. So that's there. And that's why I said, if you belong to mainline church, you might be frustrated because your choices within this camp are very restricted. If you really have a heart for frontier evangelism church planning, it can be difficult. Methodist Church is impossible. In our case, we have an evangelical board that was founded entitled Mission Society for United Methodist. It was an independent board established to help, you know, Methodists who really had a heart to go to unreached people groups. And it was independent of the church. It was an independent mission board. So Methodist began to go into that board, and today they have more missionaries than the entire denomination has. It's just a little small, fledgling mission board. So the evangelical boards are societies are typically found all in this second category. And this would be represented mostly by what you have in this book. This book covers all three of these categories. The majority of them would fall in the second category. Now within the evangelical world of missions, there are two basic umbrella organizations. One is called FEMA. One is called FEMA. FEMA is the Interdenominational Faith Missions Association. So it's interdenominational. So it's not one of the domination boards. It's interdimensional and it's based on Faith ministries. So this would be all of the organizations out there that. Ask their membership to do Deputation. Deputation is the term du p a to an deputation where you go out and you raise your own support. So they will help you with this. There's all kinds of avenues to encourage you in this. This one is like our Olympic program, where you write letters to supporting churches, and that goes into either a common fund or sometimes earmark to you.

[00:08:30] And that's the way it's handled. Some mission boards will say you're not required to raise your personal support. We will support you personally, but you're required to do general deputation for the mission. So you go out and you preach the gospel and talk about what you're doing. And when you come home from furlough and you raise mission awareness and that goes into a fund which is supporting you and others, but it's not something that you you know, you have that assurance that you'll be supported. Their whole range is there for faith missions, but all the boards that belong that are in that category belong to that. And they only allow you to belong to IFA if you are a faith mission board. So nobody else can be a part of that. So the Methodist Church or the Christian Missionary Alliance or Southern Baptist cannot be members of FEMA because they're not faith missions. In that sense, they don't require their membership to raise support because they want to address the particular challenges and issues of that kind of board. The FEMA is the Evangelical Foreign Missions Agency, the Evangelical Foreign Missions agency. Both of these groups are evangelical. The evangelical would be all kinds of evangelical groups that are not faith missions, but support their ministries or, you know, have consultations and so forth. And FEMA is quite happy if you also belong die if they don't care. There are some people that belong to FEMA. And I if I may, but you do not have anybody that is not a faith ministry in i FEMA. So one of the requirements that we have at Gordon Cornwall, for example, is that all of our own AMP programs, all of our own paid partnerships are with FEMA or FEMA organizations.

[00:10:23] We don't work with other groups outside of this category because there are hundreds within this group. The advantage of working within FEMA, if I may, is that there is a certain assurance that we share a common basic perspective on the gospel, the uniqueness of Christ and basic biblical authority and all of that. You don't have to worry about that If you work with organizations that operate with this, they have to sign a statement of faith, a general evangelical stand of faith that says that they affirm the basic historic Christian doctrine. So if I was in your shoes and I was looking for a mission board, I might inquire, Do you belong to if I may or if I may, it's something that you might want to ask about. Ironically, two of the organizations that we've talked about a lot in the class don't belong to any organization. There are certain boards that just by principle, they don't want to belong to any board, any or any umbrella society. So like New Tribes mission, so yesterday, they're very independent minded. They don't want to belong to any kind of society board or larger structural thing. Wickliffe doesn't belong to it. So, you know, it doesn't mean that if they don't belong, that that you can't go out with them. It's just that that's just one kind of consideration for how it's done. So every year. FEMA and FEMA has major national conferences where all of the boards get together. And all the leadership misses. Thousands of people get together, the leadership of all these boards and they meet together to give papers, talk about what their strategy is and how they can cooperate with each other. It's very, very good. I have spoken at these myself and had once every three years I go, I can't go every year because it overlaps with our ETS.

[00:12:16] But every three or four years I'll go. And it's a remarkable to actually connect with the mission boards. What are they saying? Were they thinking and how they're working together? And that sense these umbrella organizations do provide some coordination that would otherwise make these groups a little more splintered. But there's no denominational kind of big umbrella. The third category. It's a bit sad that this is the way it happens, but the way it's happened is the fundamentalist have not been happy with the evangelical boards. As a rule, the fundamentalist typically want to have their own separate ministries, separate mission boards, and typically do not communicate well or attend in these conferences. So the team I see is the associated missions. This is the International Council of Christian Churches, which would be really, really hard line fundamentalist groups that would have very, very strict sectarian conceptions of what someone should believe it's like to be a missionary. So they would not accept much distinction between what we would call here going with the charisma and core teachings of all Christians in the area. Four things that we disagree about in good faith as part of the family, this is much more strict. You know, this is what we believe and we will not work with anybody who doesn't believe these things all the way down the line. So it's a little stricter group. The Fellowship of Missions is a bit broader and does talk to the evangelicals at least. But the team I see in from do not allow double membership. So therefore, if you belong to one of the fundamental groups you cannot belong to. If I may, I, if I may, the result of the double memberships on the ecumenical side and the fundamentalist side is it does tend to really put the mission boards within certain fairly clear camps of which are maybe more liberal evangelical fundamentalist.

[00:14:18] And then those who say they don't want to be a part of it at all. So you have this structural way that the boards are organized both for strategic purposes and to help you understand what is the worldview and the kind of presupposition of commitments of the boards as they approach and think about missions. That may be more than you want to know, but that is certainly something you should be aware of, because the average person who thinks about frontiers or pioneers or Wickliffe or Siam or any of these groups may not be aware of this larger structure. And there's people who live and die and serve God well, who have never heard of I, if I may or if I may. But you should at least be aware of it because it's something that you'll see pop up from time to time and you'll often find on brochures in small print two different things that are mentioned. One would be that they belong to infamy. Or, if I may, this is like the Good Housekeeping SEAL of Approval. We are a good evangelical board. We pay our dues in this organization. You also see the little emblem is CFA, which would be, of course true for any given seminary belongs to that. That's the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability. Now the CFA is a group that insists on independent auditing of all the financial records of the organization. So Gordon Conwell belongs to that. Our books must be audited by third party independent people. Every so often a lot of reports have to be made and certain things filed and made public. And this is helpful because it creates accountability for finances. So when you have money flowing into a mission board, you don't want to find out down the road that's been skimmed off and supporting, you know, control rebels in Nicaragua.

[00:16:06] You know, you want to find out that it's going for the purpose of promoting church planning. So the CFA is a very helpful thing. And our ministry, though, our finances are run absolutely impeccably. We found it difficult for us financially to afford to belong to CFA because it's actually a lot of commitment financially, so a lot of smaller groups aren't able to belong to it. So you can all assume that it's not solid group, but there's something that you ought to inquire about and if they have that, it is a good thing. And I think it's a good it shows that they're large enough to afford to hire accountants and all of this that can review their books and everything else make reports. So those are things you might just notice on brochures and certainly this book and other things and will help you to understand what that means if that comes up. Questions about the larger constructs Before we get to more of the individual side of this, how a person goes from here to there. Yes. The other would be people who don't belong to any of these groups that don't belong to any umbrella organization. So I said like neutrons mission Wickliffe have decided for their own reasons, not to belong to any umbrella organization. And they operate completely independently and they don't. You know, I necessarily want to participate in these organizational efforts. Yes. Right. The reason I bring this out is for that very reason. No, it wasn't going to be that blunt. But since you ask, I think one of the biggest, most dangerous trends today. Admissions in terms of this question is people doing just that of saying, oh, forget all these missions aside, I'll just go, I'm going to go to Kenya and go to China or whatever on my own.

[00:18:11] In theory, it sounds great, you know, to have a small church saying we're going to bypass the board and just send people directly to wherever. But in practice, on the mission field, it looks very different. Okay. So the person arrives there. They immediately have to learn the language. Who do they turn to? They turn to the logistical support on the field where you have language schools that teach the missionaries languages. So they're relying upon their mission societies to learn the language. Oh, I've got to have a container shipped over with all my stuff in it. Who has the permits to bring the container over? The Mission Society. So you're not talking to them? Would you please help me? I'm the lone person out here. And what happens is, in a thousand ways, we end up finding these independent people that are out there running around, end up coming to us constantly for support because they don't have any support. And so the mission, the church is back home think that somehow you can just send somebody over there without the support and encourage. I think it happens and God blesses it at times. But I think that it's a much better strategy to rely upon the support because the big breakthrough of Hudson Taylor. Was the insight of having field based directors on the field while we give that up. Well, we go back in time to William Carey situation because effectively he's on his own over there because of sheer distances. So when William Carey lost his support, he'd go out and find a job and he was it was just so difficult for him. So the Mission Society's provide that kind of support. Now, what I would say is, if I was a really independent minded person, I didn't want to work where someone said, you know, we have decided that we're going to do this, this and this, and can you fit into those plans and you just can't.

[00:19:52] You have your own idea of vision. Maybe God's given you a particular vision that's different. There are so many societies that are with are almost or they are this lose their say. Listen, our commitment is to the Muslim world. Whatever you feel called to do with that is great. We're here to support you. If you continue to have faith, then we want to encourage you. And we're just there to help you negotiate so people can give tactical checks to you. People can put money into a pension plan for you if that's something important to you, whatever, they can provide that support for you. And essentially, you're on your own. I mean, it's almost that. I mean, I think why we many ways is that way. Do you believe the diversity that they allow in their ministry? That's youth with the mission. So there's so many very flexible organizations out there. I don't think too many people could say that this has been a huge cramping on the kind of individual initiative and visionary kind of thinking out of the box, thinking. I think that's really allowed, but I think the structure is very helpful. So I don't encourage people to go out on their own or churches to send out without being seconded through some supporting agency. Okay, let's put yourself in the shoes of somebody who wants to go and be a missionary. And this would be. Again, not necessarily saying this is your situation, but maybe some young person will come to you five years from now and say, come into your office and say, God called me to be a missionary or God is speaking to me, Be a missionary. What do I do? Well, what do you say? How do you get somebody from the pew to the mission field? How do you get from where you are now to the mission field? Let me give you the general why that happens and how that's typically done.

[00:21:44] There are variations of this, but the typical way the first point of entry would be either an agency or a local church. This goes back to these two choices we've talked about. Either you're in a situation where your church has a robust mission program, either individually because it's a large church with kind of some kind of structural arrangements or a denominational group that has missions that you can connect with me excited about. Or you'll need to discover an agency that does share your vision. Now, that is really the first step that can be done in a number of ways. If, of course, it's your church, that's fair enough. They all have literature and they have all the information about what they're doing around the world. Every denomination has that available. The agency you to do a little bit of homework, That's where books like this come in handy because you can actually see if you had a particular burden, particular place, you could at least go and look at that place. Or if you had a kind of a general feel for Muslims or Hindus or maybe just certain kinds of people groups, then all this could be very helpful and you begin to narrow it down. I've had dozens of students who've taken this book, have gone through it and come down with like ten or 12 agencies, go on their websites, looked them over, got the literature, narrowed it down to four or five, and then begin to have conversations. I mean, this is a very normal process. Every year on campus, we have the advantage of bringing the mission reps here onto our campus, and we bring about 30 that we think are particularly compatible with Gordon Cornwell graduate type people. And so, you know, we have people who come you can meet in my on this campus every fall.

[00:23:35] Some students go to Urbana and Urbana. You'll find thousands of groups there showing you what they do. And all this is now available. So that would be the beginning of the process. If it's a church or an agency, in either case, at some point there is an application process just like applying to seminary. You have to apply and that involve all the things that application process involves. You would give your basic information, you would give references and what your vision is, your testimony stating the faith will require different things, but there's some application process. I don't know of any board that or denomination that does not have some application process, so that would be very much expected that would go through a period of evaluation and references. Where they would evaluate you. That often involves a personal interview. Again, this would be true with mission boards, independent faith or denominational boards. So, for example, the Christian Missionary Alliance, I taught at Taco Paul's College, which was an independent school, but we trained more Christian Missionary Alliance missionaries than all of the their own schools combined is the largest undergraduate missions program in the country. So we had a huge number of Christmas reliant students in our program, and every year Karl McGarvie at that time was the head of that. He would come down to our school maybe actually twice a year, and he would have interviews with potential people that would be part of their denominational effort. So that interview process happens. I've been through several of these interviews. They will often, if you're married, want to interview both spouses because they found that just because one person really wants to go and the husband or wife has cold feet and has problems. So they they often will interview as a couple if you're married.

[00:25:41] So that kind of thing happens. It's usually a very good experience and that helps you to ask questions, find out they really understand where you're coming from. One of the dividing lines often in missions today is this question of charismatic gifts and speaking in tongues. Some boards know they're in a nomination. They like to mix people who are like adamantly opposed to charismatic gifts and those who are operating in charismatic gifts. So they'll be questioned at some theological things, and that helps you determine where they're coming from and the kind of people that you're working with. If you say, well, you know, I only want to work with people that, you know, believe this, this, this and this, and it may be a problem if it's one of the broader boards where you can have a wide variety of people, all evangelical, but people working together like like this room so that your personality and that begins just like a marriage, it's like going through a dating process. You know, you're you get to know them. You talk to them that e you know, and go to a movie, you know, eventually you decide, okay, we're going to get serious. It's that kind of process. I couldn't use that analogy in India, so I have to use it here. Oh, so they check out your references and all that. Oh, by the way, in case you maybe this is going too fast for you if you're in the first part of this and we'll say you just have no idea where to begin. And this book seems to be daunting for you. One of the organizations that's out there is organization called Inter Cristo. Which is one of the groups in this organization, that all their whole purpose in life is to connect people with the right mission.

[00:27:20] And so Inner Christo has this wonderful form. In fact, when I taught the course here 25 years ago, we were required to fill this out as a class. Everyone had to fill it out and you got this form and you felt, you know, are you willing, would like to go and what your interests are? And, you know, do you have you want to be on faith or you had to be salary or whatever you had that you could fill all the things out that were your parameters, You mail it in and you get a computer printout of all jobs available all over the world. And so I put Article nine out. I said, you know, I'm willing to go anywhere in the world. I prepared to raise my own support, but I want to teach, do theological training. And I kind of put that I had a pretty broad net at this huge stack of organizations that wanted me to go to, you know, Kenya to, you know, everywhere. Asmat Unbelievable. And so you can follow up on that. If you have very restricted, you say, Well, I only want to work in Canada, I only want to work among, you know, national indigenous peoples of Canada. Like any reservations, we have one of our graduates now working with Indian reservations in Canada. So very important ministry. They felt that was their calling. And so they okay, you can have only one page printout of organizations that really have a heart for indigenous First Nations people in Canada, whatever. So, you know, you can have a broader wide. But Inter Cristo is an organization that specializes in this ministry. And since I'm here with the book in my hand. Their Web site is Jobs in a flash, dawg.

[00:29:00] It's a little a little cheesy. But you can't forget it. Jobs in a flash, dawg. And as some of you are saying to me, you know, hey, I'm in my last semester, my third year, and what am I going to do? Jobs in a flash forward, I can put you in Rwanda before the week is out. You'll be teaching in a school. You'll be using Dr. Stewart's Old Testament notes within a month. Teaching the class. Just come to me. Jobs in a flash. So this is going organized. This is in Seattle, Washington. And they have, you know, information and all that. And you can contact them. In fact, the number is one 800. 251774. If you fill out the form, I think it cost about $40 to have them process the information because what they do is not only do they go through the computer and match your certificate, it's quite a lengthy thing you fill out with organizations that are looking for that, but they send you updates for the next year. And if you elect, they will put your name out to organizations who go to them saying, We're looking for this person. So I actually when I was a pastor, I was thinking about applying what we're doing to India, to Nigeria. So I thought, well, you know what? If we could do a similar type of work of training in Nigeria? So I filled out the intercostal form, filled it out. Mauldin Got back to stuff, eventually went through the whole thing, didn't feel any connection with this, you know, those gave me. So I just kind of put it my draw there about a month later. The International Institute Christian Studies contacted me and said, We got your name from Inner Kristo because we said we're looking for people that have this, this interest, these qualifications, etc., etc..

[00:30:59] Do you have anybody? And I said, Well, yes, we had someone who applied a few months ago that would fit your profile. So they contact me directly and I ended up in Nigeria. So in a Christo actually helped me in that way through the other side of it. So organizations will also discover you as well as you discover organizations. It's like a the mission's version of a marriage, our dating service, you know, it's like Made in Heaven icon. You know, they're out there, you're out there. How do you get them together? They you meet and it's beautiful. Yes. This United States area job as well. Yes, they do. You can just say United States if you want. And you know, there might be a little My wife, for example, went on a mission. They called it a mission. They was really wasn't actually mission is more evangelism, but it was a call, a mission outreach to North Pole, Alaska. Yes, North Pole, Alaska. There's a brand new church plant by the Presbyterians and Methodists back when they used to do those kind of things. And my wife went to Alaska and she lived the North Pole. And she was a part of this this church plant, brand new church in North Pole, Alaska. So you can work on here in the US. By the way, I had a few years ago. I put the United States on the map on the exam, math exam. I elected the United States as one of the 40 that I asked you to know as a student. Missed it. And I inquired, and he just said, Well, I just didn't think was possible that you really meant USA. And so he put Canada and I was like, We can't possibly conceive of the United States as a missed theological moment of reflection.

[00:32:55] It's all about somewhere else. So I don't believe that. So then after that, you'll go through training and further evaluation. And this is true for all boards. Even if you have a missions degree from Gordon Conwell. Or if you have nothing at all that does not exempt you from going through their own training process. This helps you understand kind of the overall perspective on the mission. One big example where this would be different would be some mission boards that work with Muslims, adopt certain strategies of what they do to reach Muslims, and they say, this is how we were. This the studies we're following. We want everyone who comes to us to understand our philosophy and what we're doing and how we're doing it and in bringing on board with it. All others allow for various strategies. So whether or not you use the Koran or don't use the Koran, whether you plant these Jesus mosque or not, all of that is something that would be different based on these mission boards. So the training brings you into that. And so you begin to go through orientation and training, and this can go on. Most of them have it for several weeks, maybe three or three week program prior to your being fully accepted into the board. They want you to go through it, understand what they're about and who they are, and make sure that you understand their their work. Some people it's shorter than that or on of weekends or whatever, but eventually you enter into candidacy process where you become a candidate for the mission. Now that means that they believe they're saying basically, we want to get married. And you're saying, I want to get married. You know, it's like that agreement is like the engagement.

[00:34:51] You've made a commitment to one another. And that can be followed based on the different boards by a letter of appointment where you are officially appointed to the board. Now, some boards will let the candidacy process continue. While you they may give you candidacy before you go through the training. They may give you a chance to see you after the train's over when they evaluate and find out how you feel about it. Some people say, we want to wait until you've raised certain support. It all depends if it's a nomination board. They may give you candidacy appointment immediately together because the finances is not the issue or whatever. That depends on what you're with, but usually of some distinction between a candidacy level and when you're actually given the appointment that we're going to send you to this people group or whatever, this particular ministry. If it's a regular, full support church like the Christian Missionary Alliance, then you could be sent out at the very next commissioning that the church has. They would lay hands on you and send you out. If it's a faith board, you'll go through a process of support raising. This is normally almost always today done within a one year period. This is not something that goes on for a long time. It can be shorter than that, but generally it is most effective is done quickly and then you are sent on to the field. Organizations have various kinds of requirements as to how much support you must raise before you can go out. Some will say unless you get 90% of your support up, you cannot go. Others say if you want to be over 60%, you can go as long as you agree within your first term to see that support level continue to go up.

[00:36:46] Some will say the actual cost of you being in the country is will say 60% of your support. But there are other 10% as like your pension plan or whatever. And those things you can be willing to forego temporarily if you elect to or you can say, no, I want to stick it out and get full support. There's different ways that's negotiated based on the mission board and their practices, but there is the support raising process. This is actually a wonderful, wonderful opportunity. It may seem daunting because you think, gosh, I'm out there, you know, raising my own salary. It can be a bit intimidating, but actually it's not that way for those who actually do it and reflect back on it. What you're actually doing is you're building a team of people who are holding the ropes, to use Kerry's analogy. You're building prayer partners, and some people actually do all their support raising without ever talking about money. Others are much more explicit about the financial side of it. It depends on your own conception. A lot of times you can have the organization will organize meals where you will gather together your church leadership or your friends or whatever, and you have a meal and you you share your vision. Some organizations give you all kinds of support, you know, videos and all kinds of things to show people or of literature. And they even get pictures of you, you know, and a little card and all this. There's all kinds of ways they can support you magnets to go to the refrigerator, whatever, bookmarks, there's all kinds of like that kind of support. But basically, in some way, you have to communicate to people your vision. Now, this is actually a very good thing to ask someone to do.

[00:38:32] If I go into a church and I can't get up and have the courage to preach the gospel, then I won't get paid to be a pastor. So many ways. This actually is part of the accountability. Can you stand up, have the courage to tell a church I need your support and your prayers to go and work in Guinea? I can't do it without you. That creates interdependency in the right since the word it creates partnership, it creates pressure, it creates all kinds of possibilities. And you're asked to articulate that vision and build support for your ministry. And that's that's a very valuable thing to do. Nowadays, churches are more and more going to much larger kind of chunks of support. So like Park Street Church, for example, they give full support to their missionaries. So once you're accepted into there, there is a missionary, then they become your full supporting team. So there are people in the church you're building up prayer support in the church Grace Chapel will have generally they'll support you 50, 60% and the other is raised through the connections that you have. More and more. There's like major, you have a single sending church like the Church of Antioch, and then you have people that will stand with you and support you that you've dealt with. In my experience, if somebody does not have church or individuals who know them that are willing to stand with them, then it's really a question where they should be going. So it's actually a good way to see God's people affirm you that yes, we want to be a part of it. And I know when I go to India, I have no financial support for going to India ever. To this day, I raise my own support for all the work I do in India.

[00:40:24] So I feel years ago Grace Chapel said to me to and I praise the Lord for them. We want to be your sending church. We want to be you. We want to be one of our missionaries to India. So I said, Oh, that's wonderful, because I was in writing letters to all these little churches to pastor and kind of building a support base. Christ, help became my sending church. Well, the next year or so, I was down in Georgia and I went to visit one of my parishioners from a church I pastored back in 1984. And every year they had sent me a check for like $500 to help me go to India. Well, once I had this support from this church, I no longer I didn't need the support. So he was out there in the corn field working. I saw him out in the field in front of us. This is a rural part of Georgia. I saw my car went out in the field and we had this meeting in the cornfield. Who is Al Gurley and Al Gurley turn to me. And he said to me, We hugged each other. He had no idea I was coming down. He says, I'm offended with you. Just like that. I'm offended at you. And I said, Why are you offended at me? Because you've cut us out. I said, What do you mean? You didn't ask us for support for your work in India? And we we are a part of that work. Why would you rob us of the opportunity of helping you? And he says, I have a check right now waiting up in my house for $500. But you never ask for it. And I said, Well, by all means, let's go up to the house.

[00:41:58] So cleared the house and he said, please don't you know, we've had parties from the beginning and, you know, don't rob us of the opportunity to help you. And so every year I write them in science what I'm doing and please help me. And it's enabled my wife to come more. And my both my children have been a number of times. So that's been a blessing. So you have to view it that way. It's not like someone saying, Oh, come on, you know, you're going to hit me up for money. No, this is building partnerships. And it's a it's a really exciting thing. It's danger and. And it's a poor raising where in fact, instead of a church setting people. It's just really like a face on the wall that they really don't know. 100 different. 200 different people scattered around the world. So when they're on furlough or they are like the guest speaker. A couple of times a year. Hmm. I think that's a very valid observation. And I think that there has been a lot of moves to address that. One is what larger churches have been doing. As mentioned, Park Street and Grace Chapel were they become really your dominant church and there are a number of missionaries in decreasing, but their support is really growing dramatically. The other thing that's been done is been with smaller churches. The movement to develop Mission Consortium's Mission consortiums was actually pioneered in New England by a well-known church down in Connecticut. It was a church, had a strong missionary vision, but did not feel like they could support their missionaries completely, but said, as you said, we don't like the idea of Michigan Furlow And they dragged their kids all over the country because they have to speak in 50 different churches.

[00:43:41] So we want to create a situation where even if our church cannot support them individually, we can partner with other evangelical churches in the immediate area who will agree with us. So they started out with six churches that said together we will take on one new missionary every year. And each would take 20% of the budget. And there was another part for some other larger kind of organizational issues in the consortium. And then every year, one of the churches could pass. Which is why you have this extra church. You needed to do it because you only need five churches to do it. But they would have every year one of the churches could pass, but you couldn't pass. For more than two out of six years, only one every six years. So what happens is if you are going to a building program. So right now, our budget can't sustain the growth of another missionary. You wouldn't lose the missionary support you already were giving, but just expanding it. So they create a consortium of churches that together support. I growing our missionaries every year, so when the missionary comes on furlough, they can live in that town. And they stay there. They are all in that same area. It's wonderful. And it's helped empower the smaller churches to also feel like they own a missionary. And it's not just I mean, obviously this is not a proper domination of missions as much, but for the evangelical independent churches, it's been a big, big help. So that's been a big help. Structural change. But part of the change is also has to happen in the pastors, which is why we're having this class. Pastors especially are bad about this of relegating missions to some missions committee and disconnecting with it emotionally.

[00:45:29] And so you don't really know who your missionaries are either. And there's no prayer letters. There's no way of connecting that to the church. There's no real sense of ownership. I've had tons of missionaries have come off the field to church and they arrive at the church and people think they're a visitor and they give them a visitor's card and they're actually supported by the church as a missionary. There's no sense of, you know, Oh, you're back, praise God. How are things in Morocco? You know, and so I think that is a pastoral problem, not a missionary problem, because the missionaries come home and they obviously want and deserve that. And the church is like I say, Robin Davis is here in the back. I mean, her church has been really, really great. The person church in Ipswich of really connecting the missionaries well and honoring them when they come back and giving them more than just a testimonial five minute missions moment. And churches that do that should be commended and pastors should be in some churches have in their budget. Not just big churches either. Even some saying some smaller churches are having their budget, that they are rotating basis where they fly their missionaries home, certain numbers of them for a conference, or they're all brought together to show the church. Many churches will assign if you have a missions committee of six people, each committee member is assigned a missionary. Your responsibility is to stay in email contact with our missionary that's working in in, you know, in China. And if there are issues or problems or prayer requests, you should immediately let the church know in the kinds of part of the church's prayer life. So when the pastor gets up in the morning, he or she can read the request and say, this is what's going on.

[00:47:10] The pastor in the North Shore, 20 Baptist Church, where I attend. He will stand up and read letters from the missionaries from the pulpit. And we'll go into prayer for the for the missionary. That's wonderful. And they even have letter writing nights where they'll give you all together and write letters, missionaries or send care packages. Now, night set aside every few months just to do that. And so we'll get together and they'll have care packages or whatever. So really, some very creative things are being done to address that problem. But that is an issue that I think is worth noting. Okay. Yes, right. How well connected? Well, I was there. I was there in Rome, so I had a rush there at that point. But as far as I would say, most churches work with people that come to their doors. The real question is how long do they need to be there? And so someone comes to Gordon Conwell and really joins Park Street Church and is here for a couple of years. Can they then be sent up by Park Street? The answer is yes. Happens all the time here. But I think that obviously churches wouldn't need to know. I think it depends on the coming of the church. GRACE For example, in the old days under Paul Borthwick, they had a priority in their policy. We first will send out our own homegrown missionaries first, their first priority. And if someone says, I feel called to go to Costa Rica and they grew up in Grace Chapel, then they're going to be supportive of Costa Rica. God's called him to that. And that was kind of their commitment. Structurally, that was first. Then we go to other strategic things that we're thinking about doing.

[00:48:49] The new policy at Grace Chapel. I should be speaking for Grace Chapel officially, but as I understand, their policy is that they say we have established certain strategic commitments that we're making and we want to plant churches in these particular strategic areas. And if they do not have someone in their church that has a burden for that. And you you know, Greg, much comes in the door and says to their missions director David BURNETT and the Sri Lankan brother, I really feel called to connect with that vision. And they would send you they could very well send you even though they have no prior issue with you. So I think it depends on the church's policy statement and it will be very, very different based on churches and how they what they think is important. Once you go out and missions generally. It's established in terms of what is called terms. A term is a period of time that a mission, board or church will establish as how long you should go out prior to returning for accountability, for reporting and so forth, and maybe furlough raising money or whatever. A term used to be. Well, it used to be the William Kerry's term was 42 years. They didn't really have a concept of terms because the idea of going out and coming back was not possible. Then when my great aunt was a missionary to India in a methodist church, it was generally five or six years before you come back because people needed to see their loved ones. And if you want to see their families, their brothers and sisters, I mean, these are all natural familial kind of considerations that were important in developing missions maturely. So people would want to come back every few years and visit with their families and have some time of reflection.

[00:50:39] So that's happened today. The terms are much more variable. And I would say most of the time they're more like three years, three or four years and then or five or six. So coming back home is more regular than it used to be. Some mission boards have in addition to kind of a term, they come back, there'll be periods of time, like a month here, a month there. In the intervening years we can come back just to visit with family or whatever kind of provisions to go come back home and whatever. So there's a lot more back and forth than there used to be. This is mainly to come back and to share your vision. If you had support, people in your support group need to see you face to face and to hear how things are going and to hear report, they deserve that. And so it's meant to be a kind of building. This is what raised the problems that were raised earlier. If you have a family that's worked hard on the field for five or six years, they come back home. They need rest. They need some time to regroup. And if they're traveling everywhere can be stressful on the family. So this new pattern of missions has been much more family friendly. It's been been very helpful in that regard. So I think things are getting much, much better in terms of making that furlough a positive experience. And many times they like to Grace Chapel and Park Street. But if the missionary comes back on furlough and serves on staff for the church. So you you become a staff member. You are a staff member. Even in China, they call you a staff member. You're just part of their staff that works abroad.

[00:52:16] But when you come home, then you have a role, a teaching role in the church that sends you to talk about missions, teach. And so classes, I mean, it becomes a very different kind of role. So you become a mobilizer of missions as well as a missionary. And that's a very nice break. It's a nice thing to do and gives you time to think. And I've had so many missionaries on furlough who've come back to do their demand program or come back to just to do a it or come back just to have time to think. And they'll come into my office and they'll say, you know, these are two or three issues that I've really been wrestling with on the field and I haven't had anybody to talk to about it. Can we get together and just talk about it? And so I've seen in that situation, a I learned a lot about what their issues are. Maybe they can learn about how to reflect on it theologically, mythologically, and then go back all excited and hopefully charged up for another term. So it's a very positive thing. The first term is generally very different in subsequent terms. As a rule, again, based on where you're going, if you're going to an English speaking area, it's not a problem if you speak English, but or if you already know the national language. But normally the first term is dedicated to language learning. So most boards and the ones I would recommend, though some don't do this, they try to put it in the cracks. But those that really have foresight will say to you, We do not want you to have any responsibility the first time for doing anything except for language learning. You're learning about the team, you're learning about what's going on, and your main job is to focus on language learning.

[00:53:56] So you'll spend 4 hours a day on language learning. You may spend 2 hours with a tutor in 2 hours on your own, but you'll spend easily half the day every day, Monday to Friday on language learning, because that's actually the best way in the law. Even though you lose three years of activity, your task is much better. Rather than try to create task early on to take the time to invest in language learning which can be done one year, two years and we done longer. But and then they're much more productive in the long run. And that language learning enables relationships to be built among the nationals. Otherwise, you always rely upon your expatriate relationships and you don't really bond with or understand the culture. And so this language learning is typically a big part of the first term, and that wouldn't be what you would obviously spend time doing in subsequent terms. Once you get in your second term, usually anything below one term is called a short term missionary. So it isn't until you get back on the field from your first furlough that you're generally considered to be a seasoned missionary out there working. Because you've gone through the initial testing stage, you've learned the language, and now you're ready to get to work. My questions are comments about the process of how people get from here to there. It really depends. I would say that in most cases, this process takes about 18 months to get to when you leave for your first term. If you're an English language teacher, going to China can be quite quicker. Sometimes it's longer. The deputation period, which is the fund raiser, is the longest part of the process, and generally that goes from six months to a year.

[00:55:49] We have a number of our graduates who have gone through the process in the last few years, and I would say it's very normal. And Gordon Conwell has a wonderful program, by the way, that we are wanting to help and support people that commit themselves to full time cross-cultural work that may have encountered indebtedness. The Gordon kind of loans. So what we've found is if someone encounters a lot of indebtedness at Gordon Conwell, most mission boards will allow you, by way, to raise money to also pay off your debts. But if that creates an added burden or difficult to do, some mission boards will not let you apply if you have more than $5,000 of debt. So there are some students who have 15, $20,000 of debt, some more $30,000 of debt, and they want to go and serve in Turkey. But their mission board says if you owe more than $5,000, you cannot even apply. So what happens is they go into some job where they don't feel at all fulfilled or whatever, trying to make enough money to pay off their loans. They can really fulfill their calling, which is to go into missions. Well, during that period they have children and they get new problems and issues and they end up not that children are problems or issues, but, you know, it does change your life dramatically. So what happens is they lose their vision or they end up not going. So there's a window of opportunity. But from the time you graduate from Gordon Conwell and about five years after where you need to make that transition and if you get this pick, it's drawn out forever. It's generally unsuccessful. So the program is called the Loan Indebtedness Repayment Program. Very fancy name.

[00:57:29] Basically, what we do is we have an application process and we award these at the awards chapel end of the year and students that are approved and we approve two or three every year. We will pay off your Gordon Connell indebtedness. If you're under appointment from an organization. So a person before they left, Gordon Conwell, will be in their appointment and they would get, you know, the candidacy status at least, and then we could pay off their loans. We have given away over $100,000. In the last few years, two students of Gordon Conwell who are going into missionary service as full time missionaries. So that's a support that I think is unique in seminaries to support our graduates in that way, because we have recognized that indebtedness has discouraged some people because Gordon Conwell is an expensive education. I don't need to tell you that. You know that. And that's for some of you, a big a big challenge. So if you're interested in that, you can apply at the Wilson Center. There's an application form there and you can fill it out. And we have been very successful awarding multiple grant into that each year and every year when they announce it, you don't realize how much money is involved because they have the announcement and they give away the you know, the person gets a copy of a book, a Baker book or something, and they're kind of lifting off all these awards. And I think the parish pulpit is the last when they give out and ours the next to last one. But many times that award has been given has been up to $30,000 award. I mean, it's really substantial when you actually look at the payment plan. It's only for education on debt, by the way, not for consumer debt, but we have paid off educational debt for graduate and undergraduate degrees.

[00:59:20] We paid off the debt illness some spouses. They also were hindering a family from going mission field. So we have really been very proactive and including as much as possible within the category of educational debt. And we raise the money to where the money comes from. It does not come from Gordon Conwell. We raise money ourselves through tracking good empirical data. Again, the value of this where we track Gordon Connell graduates who do not go into the ministry. Now there is a huge group of you, probably 30% of you in this room, who ten years from now will not be in full time ministry. And you'll be doctors, lawyers, businessmen, business women, and you'll be happy with your degree. And you won't. You won't know what to do with it. Well, we know what you can do with it. In part, you can help fuel those who work hard because you come here not because of call. Have you come here to search out a call? If that call doesn't come, they often end up in the business world, and so they have the resources to help. And a dentist is the one that has particularly been very generous to us and help us. And this is a Gordon Hall graduates a dentist. So when he's filling teeth, he's also helping to send missionaries. But he's not going to that place. He's not in north India. He's felling teeth in Chicago, but God is using him to pay off your debts and others, Praise the Lord. Okay. Any other questions or comments? I didn't mention actually the last few parts of this. I should follow up. I just have you get in there. But everything involves follow up. Once you're there on the field, usually the people on the field will also be involved in training.

[01:01:11] And more and more today, you'll find less and less of kind of the individual Lone Ranger out there working. Most mission boards today operate in team context, where you're working in a team that has various skiffs. And so you're actually working in a much more of a cooperative team environment than by yourself. And so you'll have a church planning team working with the Shan in northern Thailand and Myanmar. You have a turf planning team working in Cairo or Istanbul or wherever it might be among whatever people that are targeted. So that is part of that first term, especially being part of the team. Some teams or even have acceptance processes where you'll say, okay, you've been approved to be with Frontiers in Turkey, but we have six teams in Turkey. So go to Turkey and visit the teams and find out what they're doing and see if there's one that you've actually bond with. And so you go around and you visit the teams and there'll be a one in particular bond where this is how we saw this with our graduates who are now in Turkey, Mike and Joe in Cheltenham, they felt called to go to Turkey and they went around and visit the various teams that are working in Turkey with frontiers. And then they felt really bonded to a particular team in southern Turkey and so they're working with now. So it's a very exciting kind of foreign ministry. It's very, very different than Mike. My situation as a pastor, when I was sent out to the middle of nowhere as a solo pastor of a church and I didn't know anybody in there, you know, you just plop down alone. This is a much different kind of situation and it's good.

[01:02:53] The Deputation vision sharing team. But when I talk about that, where you come back in the deputation, then ultimately the goal was long obedience in the field.