As I have stated in my previous post it is highly important that a Pioneer Sender develop a strong, Biblical philosophy of mission. There are many models out there and many varying strategies that are pulling for your time, attention, and resources. As my friend Justin Gazaway said yesterday, “We must look for the first century for our model being that they are the only century to date to turn the world upside down!”.
Today we look at the first element in the formula proposed by Mr. Carey. I do hope you have or will read the Enquiry. In order of importance the first thing that must be correct in your thinking to have a correct philosophy of mission. A misunderstanding of the Word of God is amplified when you began to multiply and apply it in your methodology.
The starting point of all missiological study should be missionary theology. Seeing that this was not our idea or our plans we are following out it would be absurd not to look to the Bible for the “how to do it” as we try to act on the “what to do”. Missions is systematic theology in action, with overalls on, out in the cultures of the world!
The incarnate God in Christ is the key. God’s called-out, redemptive community, the church, is to be on mission. The nature of God and his church make the “missions” of the churches necessary. P. T. Forsyth expresses it in similar fashion, “The missionless church betrays that it is a crossless church, and it becomes a faithless church” (Myklebust 1957:316).
As Pioneer Senders we must be students of the Word! It is the Word that has a ministry in this world and by God’s grace we just our the the earthly mouth piece. As we look at people and organizations to partner with realize that doctrine is highly important! Do not assume that a difference is a minor doctrine will not effect their decisions in methodology.
We need to be students of the book. Be in the word daily. Sign up for free classes on line. Read commentaries. Get involved in Bible studies. Take notes during church. Ask questions. Do not assume your current knowledge of the Bible is sufficient for your future involvement in missions. Missions needs teachers of God’s Word and not just people who can hike 3 miles and eat weird food.
Pioneer Challenge: I would like for you to study and understand what motivated Jim Elliot to go to the Auca people. I am a fan of Jim Elliot and thank God for his life. It is fascinating and very relevant to this conversation to see how his understanding of mission from the Bible affected his mission philosophy.
If you know the answer please post it in the comment section below for the others who are auditing this class. jk