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Missions 101

Dear Brothers, Disciple the Nations

Oct. 29, 2014By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Dear Pastor-

I know you are busy, but I am want to plead with you - disciple the nations.

There is one formally trained pastors for every 450,000 people outside of the United States.  That does not mean that all of them are not trained.  There are plenty of people who have been trained without going to school. 

I have met many good men around the world who have a significant portion of Scripture memorized and have very little understanding of what it means.  I have heard sermons that do not resemble anything Christian (of course, this happens in the United States!).  I know a pastor of 20 years who asked a friend, "When was Jesus converted?"  I have seen churches who act as if the OT was written after the NT.  When a church does not have a pastor that can rightly handle Scripture, that church is in peril.

Consider the beast of the earth and sea in Revelation - a terrible picture of how Satan attacks the church.  The first beast kills the saints.  This seems clear enough and there are large Christian organizations that focus on relieving our brothers and sisters in hard places.  The other beast deceives the saints, looking like a lamb but speaking like a dragon.  You only know it is a beast by what it says, not what it looks like.  

Now, which attack is harder to deal with?  It seems pretty clear when Satan is attacking the church by sending saints to heaven.  We can see it happening with our own eyes and mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters.  But when it comes to false teaching/teachers, we can hardly agree!  

So brothers, let's get people overseas who will disciple the nations.  Pastors - free up your week of meetings and go teach people how to preach.  Turn off your blog and Google reader to teach our brothers biblical theology and give them the tools to understand the Scriptures.  If you are reading this you have probably read more books on theology this month than most pastors I train in their lifetime. They need our help.  

I know being missional is important, but you can not ignore the explosion of Christian faith (however shallow) in the global south.  I know that some of you are reasoning that their are different nationalities right in your neighborhood and that is your way of reaching the nations.  But honestly, these people who live in the US have access to solid training.  You have lay elders who are more equipped theologically for ministry than most pastors overseas.  I think you can pass off some duties and take 2-3 weeks a year to impact entire congregations.

Just one last thing.  Don't go big.  Huge conferences won't help that much.  Who is taught preaching by a weekend conference with 5000 pastors?  Only those who already have a solid foundation to work from. Instead, take 10-15 guys and commit to them for a few years and help them understand their Bibles.  The impact will be felt in ways much greater than if you went to paint a house or dig a well. You have other church members that can do those things.  Go and teach.

Darren

Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International.  As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter

Tags:  theological education
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