You Must Want It to Happen!
I am a new contributor to apoLuo but not new to the principle it espouses which is a Biblical mandate! I was asked to share our story and will do so, desiring that it helps others who desire to send out their own. We are a church of around 100 people in rural southern Michigan. I am a former missionary with BMW for 19 years and have served at Mottville Bible Church for over 15 years.
Here is what God has amazingly done! Since 2006, six couples from our congregation have entered vocational ministry. One of these has temporally left vocational ministry and another was not mentored by us. Presently we have four couples serving in vocational ministry that were mentored and ordained by us. Of these 8 people 5 were from our church, the other 3 are spouses who spent time with us. Two of these couples we sent to Japan and to Canada. So how did this happen?
We wanted it to happen!
This is key, we wanted it to happen. Our Mission, Philosophy and Vision statements all bare that out as well as our Core Values. We see it as our God-given responsibility. Training our own to be leaders in our church and to serve elsewhere, we believe, is what we are commissioned to do and should be a part of every pastor’s job description.
We established Core Values, which included leadership training and sending out some of our own. We formed our Mission Statement which included world evangelism and maturing believers to committed ministry. Then we developed our strategy, and “training and sending forth preachers into the world” is one of those strategy statements. Upon those established principles we formed our first 5 year vision, which included these two objectives.
- 5 men in leadership serving as Biblical deacons and elders – achieved
- 5 adults preparing or released for ministry with at least one missionary from our congregation supported no less than 50%
We created an environment for it to happen.
- We wanted it! Emphasized it!
- We published our vision and talked about it a lot!
- We offered personal one on one discipleship
- We provide ministry opportunities
- We have fun
- We provide mentoring relationships
We share ministry to make it happen.
1. When we had an associate pastor, he was treated like an equal and contributed greatly to these objectives.
2. Interns (These all came back to MBC following graduation and served either official or unofficial internships)
- They Taught/preached series for several weeks on Sunday nights and or Wednesdays & were evaluated
- They Took ownership of ministries
- They observed and gave input at board meetings
- They observed and gave input at our annual planning meeting where we evaluated the previous year and set goals for the new year.
- They in every way were treated as elders, even though they were not officially
We planned for it to happen.
We developed a document called “MBC World Missions” which contains our Philosophy, Principles, Policies, and Plan.
No, we did not achieve the goal of 50% support for our first sent missionary. We support them at 10% as well as our second sent couple. Our other missionaries we support between 4-5%. Our next step is to get them to 5%, then we will go from there! This is all we did and this is what happened, it is what God is doing, praise His Name! If it can be done in little ole Mottville, economically depressed, it can happen anywhere! But first you must passionately want this to happen, then pursue it!
Guest blogger: Michael Bender, Mottville Bible Church