Missions College at the International Mission Board
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Missions College at the International Mission Board

The week can be summarized in one word: Wow!

Four individuals made the trek to Richmond, VA. Each individual learned about a Spiritual / Rational approach to missions, through which every people group on earth, including the Ayacucho Quechua, have access to the Gospel in a way that is both understandable and culturally relevant to them.

The Gospel is not changed; the message is the same.

What changes is the impetus for action; what makes us feel good is irrelevant. Some of you might remember a Billy Crystal character named Fernando, who used the catch-phrase, “I’d rather look good than feel good, and, Darling, you look marvelous.” Adapting Fernando to Spiritual / Rational missions, “I’d rather do good than feel good”.

If the decision point is now, “What will do good?” let’s define good as long-term Kingdom fruit, with the goal being a healthy indigenous church functioning in the New Testament model.

One old facet of mission work, praise God, wasn’t deleted or omitted. In fact, there was a tremendous emphasis on it. You might guess that that facet is prayer. As with any other endeavor a Christian takes, prayer is essential before, during, and after the work.

Two bits of background to provide context for this testimony. First, one of the tracks at Missions College was Orality, or using storytelling to share the truth of God’s word. Second, remember the axiom that no learning has taken place if behavior is not changed. Now, the testimony.

I picked up a hitchhiker on my way to work. I’ve picked him up before, and have often attempted to share the Gospel, but he is quite adept at changing the subject. I engaged him in conversation, and when I mentioned salvation, he said something to the effect of planning to keep doing good until God restored His paradise on earth. Without thinking, I said, “That reminds me of a story from the Bible, God’s holy word. Do you mind if I share it with you?” I shared the story of the Pharisee and the publican praying, in which the Pharisee thanked God that he was better than others while the publican cried out for mercy. I ended at that point, then asked which one he thought Jesus said went away justified.

Praise God, the man thought for a few seconds, then said we all must acknowledge our faults before God.

I’ve often admitted that I don’t have the gift of evangelism, but affirmed that I still have the responsibility for evangelism. But God gave me a means to shift the issue from me convincing this man of his sin to the Bible confronting him with the reality of his sin.

Thank you, Missions College. Thank you, God.

The International Missions Board offers free online mission training. To view the upcoming training.

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