Evangelism and Discipleship=Reaching and Teaching

Evangelism and discipleship are primary in the work of missions. Our missionaries utilize a wide variety of evangelism strategies and methods, as wide as the cultures and contemporary needs on their fields of service. Personal evangelism is the foundation of missions, using whatever form and function necessary to get to where the sheep are, and to reach them/feed them there. Discipleship is the finishing touch of evangelism, and a necessary part of Jesus' MT 28 command to teach believers to follow their Messiah. Evangelism is the spiritual birthing process, while discipleship is the process of nurturing, feeding, training, and teaching them to feed themselves.

Mentoring and Church Planting=Molding and Strengthening

Mentoring and church-planting are vital to the work of missions. Mentoring is molding by modeling. Authentic, mature, practical Christianity is the essence of mentoring-- where truth is caught, instead of taught. This molding process is actually an integral part of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, Paul instructed. And, Be (ing) an example of the believers is necessary for the teacher, in order to impact the students and inspire them to lead.

The Apostle Paul planted churches, strengthened the local church body, trained the nationals, turned the work over to them, and moved on. And so, if our missionaries would be imitators of the Biblical pattern, they must do the same.

Church leaders are referred to as shepherds in the NT. Shepherding means teaching, nurturing, feeding, sharing resources, facilitating, and building a strong church. All through the NT, the local church is the main vehicle for carrying out the Great Commission. In, through, and coming out of the local church is missions, the only way to fulfill Jesus' Acts 1:8 command to go to Jerusalam, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts.

Without sending-churches, missionaries are operating outside of God's missions template. And they have no Biblical authority watching over them. Their primary accountability is to their sending-church, which is also their main source of prayers, encouragement, blessing, partnership, and involvement.

Without strong local churches being established among the nations, the nationals will not be able to fulfill their obligation to obey the Great Commission according to God's plan. Strong national churches end up being the next level of sending-churches!

Leadership Training and Nationalization=Training and Empowering.

A supporting church once told a missionary, If you're not training your replacement, you're not doing the complete work of missions. And we won't support you. We agree, and see the vital importance of our missionaries training their replacements—equipping nationals to be the leaders. It's not about them being trained to lead during the absence of the American missionary. But, ultimately it's about them being the leaders in their local churches and ministries. The Holy Spirit picks the national leaders, and we do everything possible to empower them for their God-called work. He did that in Antioch, and He'll do it again, everywhere that He has a church.

Then it is the job of our missionaries to work in a support-capacity, as a helper to the national leadership that the Lord raises up. Last, they put themselves under the national leadership, doing whatever is needed to help them, only as long as is needed. Finally, as Paul did, our missionaries move on, to begin the same process somewhere else. And that's what we do.