Bella Vista: The Beautiful View of God’s Work
In a previous era, Christians delegated the development of ministry leaders and missionaries to Bible colleges and other Christian organizations. These institutions serve an essential role in the Christian life and in no way do I want to minimize that. However, I would tell you that Christian leaders are primarily developed in the church and that Bible colleges and seminaries generally supplement that process.
In recent years though, many of these institutions have ceased to exist, and their closure leaves a gaping hole in the recruitment of the next generation. As a missionary where workers are few, this trend concerns me and other missionaries around the world. But what if church leaders reclaimed their role? What if they developed the leaders and missionaries that would fill the hole that now exists? What tremendous joy we would experience when we raise up someone from within our own church, disciple him/her to maturity, and send that individual out to serve.
Here in Argentina, we are facing a crisis of a lack of workers. Retirement and health compelled many to leave the field. Without any replacements, the number of workers to reach this vast population mass significantly dwindled in recent years. The hardness of the ground here has only made that situation worse as some missionaries refuse to serve in an area that is so difficult.
So, what are we doing to confront this new reality? We’re going to the church . . . or rather we’re bringing the church to us. If the primary missionary development center is the church, who better to involve in the missionary recruitment process than pastors and church leaders? While current missionaries could enter any church and plead for workers, those responsible for the body of Christ already know who the Lord is raising up. Churches provide the training, and missionaries offer the opportunity.
We are taking missionary recruitment in a different direction, one that is unfamiliar to many of us. Therefore, this method of missionary recruitment requires a unique and intimate partnership between missionaries and churches. But how can pastors effectively direct potential missionaries if they do not yet understand the mission field?
This is why we are inviting church leaders to join us on the field in Argentina. To provoke dialogue, we are hosting teams for 10-day trips, so that they may see our mission field and see the need in a close and interactive manner.
Named for a city near us, we call this the Bella Vista Experience. Bella Vista literally means beautiful view, and what is a more beautiful view than to watch God at work.
Trips are currently scheduled for November, 2020 and June, 2021, but space is limited. To learn more you can watch a video here and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org. BMW is hosting similar trips in other fields around the world. For more information on those please contact email@example.com.