God has a passion to reach the world with the gospel, and the BBFI has always had that passion, too. We are excited to be part of God’s plan to have people from every nation, tribe, people and tongue praising Him in heaven. (Revelation 7:9-10)
As a member of the BBFI Missions Committee for the last 6 years, I have seen that passion at work. We have many churches who give generously to missions, we have hard working missionaries taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, and we have a Mission Office dedicated to helping missionaries and churches accomplish God’s goal of taking the gospel to every person in the world. Now as 1st Vice President (Missions) it is my goal that BBFI Missions continues to thrive in the future.
Here are a few of the ways we can grow our missions program right now.
1. Post information on social media that explains the process of becoming a BBFI missionary.
This information will explain the training potential missionaries will receive in one of our Bible Colleges to be a missionary; the skills, knowledge and ministry experience they will receive as an intern; the relationship they will have with a sending church and pastor; the passion for missions that our fellowship of churches have to partner with a missionary for prayer and financial support; and the help and guidance our Missions Office provides. Result – more missionaries in the pipeline.
2. Prepare pastors for greater involvement in BBFI missions.
The Missions Office is currently planning regional meetings across the United States to encourage and inform pastors about our missions program and how they can be more involved. Pastors can also encourage and help fellow pastors. A pastor who is doing well in his mission program can help a pastor struggling in his program. A pastor who is passionate about fulfilling God’s command to reach the world can encourage a pastor who hasn’t caught that passion yet. Result – more pastors involved and giving to missions.
3. Promote missionary care.
In 2013 we began a new offering called Missionary Care Offering. It is specifically designed to provide care needed to help missionaries in times of crisis. Many pastors are not on board with this offering yet because they do not understand its value. We must communicate to pastors the value of this offering through more thorough explanations and testimonies of missionaries who are benefiting from it. Result – missionaries stay on the field longer.
4. Provide more training for missionaries.
The world is changing. It is more difficult to deal with foreign governments today that ever before. In some countries our missionaries are at higher risk of carjacking, kidnapping for ransom, and capture by extreme groups. Various levels of training are available for missionaries depending on how “safe” or “dangerous” their field is. Some of this training can be done by our Mission Office staff, and some will need done by outside agencies. I would like to see us identify the training available and the missionaries in need of training, and work with their sending pastors to help them get the training they need. Result – missionaries will be more prepared to handle the difficulties of our changing world.
Exciting days are ahead. As we work together, we can train, support, and send the next generation to the world.
- Lewis McClendon, Vice President (Missions)
Lewis is the Senior Pastor at Ventura Baptist in Ventura, California. When he because pastor of Ventura Baptist he had a passion to move missions to a top priority, and the church now gives generously to many missions works around the world.