There are many challenges facing pastors and leaders in churches throughout the world. It is very easy for church leaders to focus on the problems that arise within their churches; the burdens of ministering in a hostile environment, the lack of material resources, and financial support. It is very easy to focus on people, problems, and programs which can cause us to neglect to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit Led
By Christ’s ascension and the Holy Spirit’s descent, Christ exchanged His bodily presence with His disciples in Jerusalem for His spiritual omnipresence with His disciples everywhere. The Holy Spirit became His representative on earth. World-wide missions is a divine movement directed not merely from heaven, but by the Holy Spirit who was sent down to earth for that very purpose. The role of the Holy Spirit in Christian missions involves empowering the individual worker spiritually, as well as directing the entire missionary movement. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the great missionary campaign.
In writing to the Colossians, Paul said in 2:6-7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” There is no hope for being “established in the faith” without instruction from God’s Word. FBC missions is not about spreading the opinions or ideas of FBC but about sharing the life-transforming truths of God’s Word. God continues, therefore, to grow the Bible study literature ministry of our mission’s ministry.
FBC missions is about “people” – real people with real needs and the privilege God gives us to come alongside these real people and partner with them for the sake of the gospel. The reality is that Christian leaders are faced with all kinds of problems and are in need of help to work through the problems of life. Many desire someone to draw alongside them so we see a need to spend longer periods of quality time with these leaders. In order for us to understand the problems that these Christian leaders are facing, it is necessary to familiarize ourselves with the country, the people, the culture, the ministry, and other important background information. Many of these leaders have not been raised in a church, therefore they have no Biblical model to follow. Over the past number of years, we have seen the value of bringing key leaders to FBC for the purpose of exposing them to a well organized, grace based church.
Strong leaders make for strong churches. This was true not only in the 1st century church but the 21st century church as well. As God continues to open the doors for FBC to be involved in many local churches around the world, our desire is to come alongside key local church pastors and leaders and encourage them. We want to help strengthen them in their walk with God and their leadership skills. Just like in Acts 14:21-22 where Paul and Barnabas went about strengthening and encouraging the disciples, and appointing elders in the early churches, so too God has graciously allowed us to go to various parts of the world to help develop leaders through life-long relationships.
The Local Church
From I Timothy 3:15, we can see that the local church is the “pillar and the foundation of truth.” Ephesians 4:11-13 makes clear that the purpose of the local church is to prepare God’s people to do the work of ministry so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. We wish to instill this vision of the value of a mature church in the lives of indigenous pastors and church leaders wherever we go.