What’s the point?
The need of this world is enormous. People all around the world are dying daily without the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The harvest is ripe. The call is urgent. The laborers are few.
Why take time to go through Bible training at all? Can’t you study the Bible on your own, anywhere or at anytime, instead of taking so much precious time away from pursuing missions to do your own personal study? What is the point of Bible college before missionary training?
Although the rushed feeling of wanting to get to the field as fast as possible is understandable, we at New Tribes Mission believe that the individual Bible training of a missionary before they head to the field is of vital importance for a number of reasons:
A missionary who is adequately trained in the Word will more effectively communicate that Word.
Planting churches that are strong in their knowledge of the Word is one of the most important parts of missions. A missionary who has been trained in the Word will have much more ability to communicate truth when he himself has a deep understanding of it.
A missionary who has a deep understanding of how the truths of the Bible affect him as an individual will be able to function more effectively in ministry.
Missionary work is no easy task. Often the road to reaching a people group is long, arduous, and full of obstacles. If a missionary finds his identity in Christ and lives in the truth of the Word rather than how things seem to be going at any particular moment, he will be much more likely to persevere and flourish in the midst of trials and difficulties.
A missionary who comprehends the grand scheme of God’s plan for mankind through the Word will be more equipped to minister to lost people.
The idea of missions is, after all, God’s idea, and it is in His Word that He lays out His vision of redemption for all to see. Simply knowing the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is one thing, but grasping the big picture behind it is another. Seeing God’s heart from the beginning of the story to the end will greatly affect the missionary’s view of ministry and people. God’s heart for
mankind is the reason missions exists, and a missionary who knows God’s heart well will be ready to reach out in love to the people He seeks to redeem.
The need of this world is enormous. People are dying every day without the gospel of Jesus Christ. And what they need is the Word. In it, God has communicated everything they need to have true life – real, eternal, liberating life. If the missionary desires to tell unbelievers about this abundant life that Jesus promised, then being trained in the Word will be key to his preparation for the task.
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.