The Big Event
Friday, April 28, 2017 marked the long-awaited day that all the members, staff, and students affiliated with New Tribes Mission USA would find out our organization’s new name.
New Tribes Mission Headquarters in Sanford, Florida held an event to announce the new name, and provided an online live feed so that all of our members and other training centers could watch and be a part of the big event.
All of us here at the New Tribes Bible Institute Michigan campus celebrated the night with a pig roast, where staff and students came together to enjoy each other and anticipate the big reveal.
Our Prayer During This Time of Transition
Our staff and students filled the auditorium with shouts and cheers when one of our favorite professors, Mike Sullivan was introduced on the live feed. But an air of solemnity fell on us as Mike began to pray. Our eyes were directed to Christ as he prayed through Scripture after Scripture. He asked the Lord to remind us that there is “no other name under heaven by which men may be saved”. He asked that God would be glorified in us, “whether by life or by death”. He restated that “for us to live is Christ”, and that we can only boast in the cross of Christ. He thanked God for our deep heritage and acknowledged that changing our name does not erase all the work and sacrifice of those who have gone before us to the unreached of the world. He asked the Lord to never allow us to cease praying for more laborers to go to the fields of harvest. We were reminded as he prayed that change comes, but God is the same. His name brings great joy to all people, no matter how difficult our journey. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and His is not just some ordinary name, but the name above all names.
The Vision of New Tribes Mission
Next came George Walker, a professor at the Missionary Training Center in Missouri. George reminded us all of the foundation and vision of our organization.
The Lord Jesus Christ and His glory among all the peoples has always been and remains our focus. He said this, “The founders of New Tribes Mission were captured and driven by the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
And to this day, we want to be captured and driven by that love of the Lord Jesus Christ, to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation with the gospel of His grace.
Our founders believed through childlike faith that God was able to use them to do the impossible. George encouraged us, “Let’s keep embracing the truth that the Lord Jesus will continue to use the likes of us to do the impossible – reaching the unreached.”
With this in mind, although we are changing the name of our organization, we are still on the same pathway. We remain just as committed to the mission here in the spring of 2017 as our founders were in 1942. Until the Lord returns or calls us home, let each member of this organization seek to do all they can to bring the gospel to those who have never heard.
The Philosophy Behind Ethnos 360
After George’s inspiring charge, the president of New Tribes Mission USA, Larry Brown, approached the podium to announce the new name. He thanked each one of the centers, including our retired missionaries and our current on-field missionaries. He read Psalm 107:23-24 to us: “Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas.”
Larry reminded us, “God has always called us to the deep, to the rough and lonely places where we have nothing to trust but Him. And He has never failed us.”
He explained that our organization is willing to make changes that we need to in accordance with what God has taught us over the past 75 years of service. It is because we want to better serve God’s purposes that this change is being made. And then, without fanfare, he announced that we would now be known as Ethnos 360, with the tagline of “A Thriving Church For Every People”.
Our New Name
The word “ethnos” is the Greek word that Jesus used for “nations” when He gave the Great Commission. Every nation is near to the heart of God.
“360” reflects the whole world. We will go as far as God lets us, to anyone, anywhere.
This is Ethnos 360, founded in 1942 as New Tribes Mission. We believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ for every nation. We believe the Lord must be glorified in all the earth. We believe in a thriving church for every people.
Anna Wishart is a graduate of Ethnos360 Bible Institute, and continues to seek ways to be involved with missions through writing. She currently lives in Winchester, Virginia, and enjoys biking, art, friends, the mountain views, and serving at Fellowship Bible Church.