Prospective Missionaries - Please Read
February 16, 2016
Letter to Prospective Missionaries
Thank you so much for your sacrifice and willingness to go the field for Our Lord! While it is a blessing to be called of God to serve Him in any capacity, and in a sense, all Christians can rightly be said to be in full-time service, yet to surrender to the full time work of helping to fulfill the Great Commission is a high honor indeed.
Our desire is to help missionaries on the field, both financially and prayerfully. While we would love to support every missionary family who comes through, this simply is not possible. Having said that, we want to focus our efforts on those missionaries who are sympathetic to our philosophy of missions. While we do not claim to be infallible or have a premium on the truth, there are some issues the Bible addresses, and these form the basis for our missions philosophy. Here are some of our guidelines we follow:
- We preach conviction. The Bible teaches us that sinners must be convicted and drawn of the Father unto Christ (John 6:44). The Holy Spirit deals with people individually, and though each individual’s experience of conviction may differ from someone else’s, a person must be convicted before being converted. It is the great responsibility of the soul winner to follow the leading of the Holy Ghost and not to press for a decision if there is no genuine interest on the part of the sinner.
- Presentations of the gospel which involve the pressing for a quick “decision” on the part of the sinner (commonly referred to as “Easy Believism”) leave the sinner with a false hope and are, thus, incorrect and dangerous presentations of Gospel truth.
- We preach repentance. The Bible teaches us that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Many men have attempted to redefine the nature of repentance, as they see it, to defend against works salvation. Repentance is not a work but a change of mind that leads to a change in lifestyle. Any gospel presentation without a call to repentance is insufficient, unbiblical and dangerous.
- We preach the Lordship of Christ. Those who have trusted Christ are not perfect but rather grow in grace over time. Some grow faster than others. However, a life of continual disobedience is a mark of the unsaved (Ephesians 2:2-3) and displays a lack of submission to the One they profess to have believed.
- We preach discipleship. The NT knows no difference between salvation and discipleship. To tell sinners they can trust Christ now yet decide to follow Him later is an idea that is not found in the pages of the New Testament. People who have trusted Christ will follow him, or they have not been truly converted.
- We preach holy living and expect church leaders to live holy lives, both in church and in the market place. Living / Dressing one way at church and another in the home or market place sends a mixed message.
- We preach. The Bible teaches us that God’s method to reach sinners is the preaching of the gospel. We reject the pragmatic use of drama teams and puppets, which are not Biblical means of evangelism.
- We adhere to Biblical qualifications for the ministry. The Bible teaches that missions is primarily church planting, and thus missionaries must meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. This is not to say that helps ministries and works of mercy are not efforts worthy of support; however, the focus of the Apostle Paul’s work in the book of Acts was the establishment and edification of local churches.
- We reject Ruckmanism and do not support missionaries who hold those views.
- In addition, at this time we do not support single, female missionaries (unless they are working alongside a church planting missionary and his family). These are determined on a case by case basis.
In addition to the above, we would like to receive a detailed prayer letter, preferably monthly but at least bimonthly. We read these letters before our Wednesday night prayer time, and the more detail we have the better we can pray for your needs. Detailed bimonthly or even quarterly prayer letters are better than vague monthly ones.
Again, we do not want to come across as belligerent or having a superior attitude. However, it is our stance that missionaries with whom we partner ought to have the same general beliefs as outlined above. There are areas of Christian liberty where we might differ, and these are to be granted in grace. If you are in agreement with the above, it may be the Lord would have us partner with you. Also if you have any questions or need further clarification on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor John Nichols