Reflections and resources for lifelong learning for missionaries

Category: Missionary Roles Page 1 of 2

Timothy and Titus as Models

In  a previous post we looked at how Paul identified himself as a preacher, apostle, and teacher of the gospel in the Pastoral Epistles. I suggested that today’s missionary identifies with Paul as preacher and teacher of the apostolic gospel. We are not apostles but preach and teach the message of the apostles recorded in Scripture. Timothy and Titus likewise were not apostles but served as coworkers with Paul and in the Pastoral Epistles were delegates of Paul. So we share an affinity with Timothy and Titus as ministers under the authority of the apostles.

THE ROLE OF TIMOTHY AND TITUS

In writing about the role of Timothy and Titus, Andreas Köstenberger notes:

Timothy and Titus are often viewed as pastors of local congregations. However, as mentioned, their role is not actually that of permanent, resident pastor of a church. Rather, these men serve as Paul’s apostolic delegates who are temporarily assigned to their present location in order to deal with particular problems that have arisen in their respective churches and require special attention.

Andreas J. Köstenberger, 2017, Commentary on 1-2 Timothy and Titus, p 8

Missionary Identity according to Paul

The letters to Timothy and Titus are important for understanding Paul’s perspective on missions and his own identity as a missionary. Chaio Ek Ho concludes his article on the Pastoral Epistles:

From our examination of the letters in the PE [Pastoral Epistles], we have seen how these letters articulate an underlying missionary outlook and a theology of mission à la Paul. (Chaio Ek Ho, “Mission in the Pastoral Epistles,” Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles, ed. by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Terry L. Wilder, 2010, p267.

Fulfilling Marketplace Ministry

In my previous post I sketched out the significance of work from a Christian perspective:

  1. Work is part of God’s original design for humanity.
  2.  The Fall brought toil and frustration to work but did not diminish the significance of work.
  3.  Understanding work in the light of our primary and secondary calling enables us to engage in all types of work for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors.

Effective Discipling in Muslim Communities – a review

In the last number of years, many books have been published about how to engage and do evangelism among Muslim peoples. But few books address the specifics of how to help new believers from Muslim contexts grow in their faith while remaining in their Muslim communities and families. Given that some claim that up to 90% of converts from Muslim backgrounds reconvert back to Islam, discipleship and support of these converts is clearly a critical need in mission work among Muslim peoples.

A few months ago, in this blog, I posted a review of Evelyn and Richard Hibberts’ “Walking Together on the Jesus Road: Intercultural Discipling.” Now, I would like to highlight another book in this same vein, speaking even more specifically to the challenges of disciple-making among Muslim peoples – Effective Discipling in Muslim Communities: Scripture, History and Seasoned Practices by Don Little. This book is one of those recommended on our SEND U pre-field reading list for those preparing to serve in Islamic contexts.

Seeking balance or seeking the kingdom

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28

I am quick to “count the cost” when I am asked to do something on top of what is expected of me in my job descriptions.  Can I add this to my workload?  Do I have the capacity at this time to take on this assignment?  I wonder if maybe those are the wrong questions.  At least, those are not the first questions I should be asking.

Wearing multiple hats

Today, one of my students wrote a note on their assignment about job descriptions, “I think I have too many jobs.”

I can identify. I have two mission job descriptions. Both of them are leadership roles. One of them is supposed to take up about 60% of my time and the other the remaining 40%. I have wondered at times whether they are not in actuality two full-time positions that have somehow both found their way on to my plate. Following that analogy, pieces of both do fall off the edge and slop on to the floor every once in a while.  Maybe more often that I admit.

Three Missionary Church Planters

This blog post is contributed by Ted Szymczak.  Ted is a SEND missionary who has served in Poland for several terms, and now champions training for church planters within SEND.

What role should expatriate missionaries play in the process of planting churches among the unreached? Recently I took part in training which opened up a whole new vista in my personal view of this critical issue. Having served in three church plants in the USA and three others in Poland, I thought I knew a fair amount about church planting. But as is often the case, I had more to learn.

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