Last night I attended our monthly Vision Baptist Missions meeting. This is a time each month during which our missionaries, their wives, and our training center students gather for a meal, fellowship, and a two to three hour Q & A with Pastor Austin Gardner of Vision Baptist Church. I was speaking to my friend Jason Rishel, missionary to Burkina Faso, and training center student Matt Yeager about the possibilities that the next ten years hold. I asked the question, “In the next ten years how many churches can be started out of the men who are sitting in this room?” We counted the fourteen missionary families who were able to be with us last night. In ten years all the missionaries in that room, not counting training center students, will have finished deputation, language school, and probably at least the first term of deputation, possibly in their second term. If we each started just one church a term that would mean at least fourteen churches started in the next ten years. Now please keep in mind this is if we started only one church a term, and this is not counting all the training center students that were there last night. Truth be told there was the potential for twenty to even forty churches being started in the next ten years out of that room, maybe even more.
It is exciting to see the possibilities that are waiting in the future for Vision Baptist Missions. On a personal level in the next ten years my family and I (Lord willing) will be serving in our second term. My heart’s desire is to start more than one church a term. I would love to start a minimum of two churches each term. This can be done, has been done, and is being done by other missionaries. There are a few things that have to happen in order for this to take place, and I would like you to add them in your prayers for me and my family.
- We have to remain faithful. Lots of people quit. Many things happen: sickness, discouragement, burnout, and family problems bring many missionaries home. Pray that God would keep us healthy, safe, balanced, and refreshed so that we might be faithful in the ministry he has called us to.
- We must raise up and train men. There is no reason for me to start two churches if I don’t have men to train to take over as pastors. Please pray that God would be raising up young men for me to train as soon as we arrive on the field.
- We have to raise up the appropriate amount of support. Starting churches and building ministries cost money. Our support is coming in, continue to pray that God would keep working in churches to take us on for support.
Will Jesus come back within the next ten years? I have no clue. He could. I hope He does. The real question is what will He find us doing when He does come? We want to be busy working for Him, and advancing the Gospel.