Disciple-Making

November has been another busy month of traveling, but an encouraging one! At our fifth and final missions conference in Huntsville, Alabama, we heard Pastor Tim Potter speak on becoming a disciple-making church. The two sessions that we heard him were so encouraging that we made plans to attend a full two-day ARCH Ministries conference on the subject. The Lord provided the time and finances for both of us to go, and it was a tremendous blessing. The emphasis on all the members of the church taking ownership of their biblical responsibility to make disciples is precisely the next step of the church planting process in Pilar. Praise the Lord for this biblical wisdom at just the perfect time! Pray for us as we begin to teach this and implement some changes in Pilar in 2017.

Our hearts are overflowing with joy at all the good reports from the folks back in Pilar! Men’s and ladies’ discipleship continues to go strong, five men just went on a construction missions trip to another province, the missionary intern is teach several music classes and there seems to be a good spirit among the people. To God be the glory!

Update from Lauren

“I had an amazing experience in the jungles of Peru, where I learned so much about clinical terms and procedures, medical missions, the power of prayer and, most importantly, about God and His redeeming love and power! On this trip I was given opportunities to work alongside different doctors and nurses who were so patient to teach me. This experience certainly confirmed my call to medical missions and has lit a fire in me to achieve that goal, in God’s strength. In May of next year I am praying to be able to return to Peru, this time to the Cuzco area, with Operation Renewed Hope and participate in another medical missions trip. I was definitely left with a great burden for Peru! I am now more excited than ever about going to Maranatha Baptist University in 2018 to begin my training in the field of nursing so that I may be fully equipped to reach people physically, in order to be able to then reach their more important spiritual need. Please pray that I would stay moldable to His perfect will.” — Lauren Greenwood

Missions Conference Mania

This month we were privileged to participate in missions conferences at Providence Baptist (Riverview, FL), Faith Baptist (Taylors, SC), Tucson Baptist (Tucson, AZ) and our home church, Hillsdale Baptist (Tampa, FL). Missions conferences are an exciting time to set aside our regular activities and focus on world-wide evangelism. As missionaries, we love to have that extra time with friends, old and new, to share what God is doing in and through us in Argentina.

As soon as we finished the conference in Tucson, we hopped on a plane and raced back to Tampa just in time to see off our daughter, Lauren, before she journeyed to Puerto Maldonado, Peru for a missions trip. The Lord miraculously opened doors for her to help translate for a Operation Renewed Hope medical missions team with Buddy and Loren Fitzgerald. Thank you to all those who gave  and are praying for her trip. Please keep praying for safety and for the Lord to work in and through her during her time in Peru. She will give you a report shortly after she returns.

Words cannot express our overflowing joy at the reports we are receiving from the church leaders in Pilar. Attendance is better than ever – they even hit a new record with 117 for a normal Sunday service. The men are sharing the preaching and teaching responsibilities and the church is responding with tender hearts. Our missionary intern has added a new perspective with guitar and piano classes and a renewed burden for the youth group. We are also proud of how they are biblically dealing with difficult counseling situations as they arise. Please pray for protection of God’s flock in Pilar in our absence.

We have one more missions conference in November, and then we are back to Sunday meetings and more time at our home church. We look forward to making visits, canvassing and leading Bible studies while we are back in Tampa.

 

Good News from a Far Country

We are receiving positive reports on the ministry in Pilar. Our Brazilian missionary intern, Adriano, is preaching, leading the music and teaching piano to some of the teens. Benjamin is preaching, teaching and taking care of the administrative duties, as well as working his full-time job. Pray for godly wisdom for the leadership team as they counsel two families who are going through some trials right now.

During the month of September, we will be reporting at Mikado Baptist (Macon, GA), College Park Baptist (Cary, NC), Valleyview Baptist (Northampton, PA) and Bible Baptist (Shickshinny, PA). Please pray for safety and good health while traveling.

Breaking down and building up

A time to break down, and a time to build up

Sixteen teens and six sponsors from Faith Baptist (Taylors, SC) left a remarkable and lasting impression during their ten days in Buenos Aires. They stayed busy tirelessly helping with our teen leadership retreat, passing out over 7,000 tracts and VBS flyers, working our winter VBS and demolishing most of what was left of the old building. While they did some tearing down, they also built up our community, church body and us personally. We thank the Lord for their very encouraging visit. Please come back anytime!

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Winter VBS

Despite the rain and cold at the beginning of the week, the Lord brought more and more kids each day of VBS. One of our ladies brought up to 30 kids all by herself on the city bus! (Praise the Lord, the bus driver only charged her for two fares each time!) Six children made professions of faith during the week. The ladies also had a craft table to encourage the mothers to stay. One of those ladies trusted Christ on Sunday morning!

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Going out with a splash

On the last Sunday of this term, we had the incredible blessing of baptizing 11 new believers and adding 11 new members to the church body! It was a glimpse of what our heavenly reward will be like as we  heard each one’s testimony, how they were saved and discipled through the faithfulness of our church folks.

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But continue thou…

We thank the Lord for the capable leadership God has blessed us with three deacons, as well as missionary intern, Adriano dos Santos Silva, to preach and serve in our absence. Please pray for the spiritual protection of the leadership team and the flock in their charge during our time away.

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A virtual tour

Project Update

Would you like to take a virtual tour of the new church building to see how God has provided for this project? Here is a video so you can do just that! This video also explains the projects that are still left to accomplish before our furlough beginning August 4.

This past week, we presented the following list before our church to ask for folks to sponsor projects. Their commitments and/or donations are reflected in the “Amount Given” column below. At an exchange rate of $14 pesos to US $1, that is a substantial amount!

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If the Lord is leading you or your church to sponsor one of these projects, you may send a check to Baptist World Mission marked “Greenwood Church Land Fund.

Rejoicing

In the short six-year history of the Pilar church, we have had the heartbreaking experience of having to discipline several members at different times for various reasons. Our desire is that those people would repent and seek restoration, but that rarely happens. This past year we asked you to pray for a former deacon who was one of those disciplined. With much tears and rejoicing, he has repented and returned to his family and the church. Praise God! Pray for him and his family as they seek to regain trust and establish new habits in the home.

Furlough 2016

Praise the Lord that He has provided housing near our sending church during furlough! We are also working with a ministry to purchase a mini-van. We will arrive in the States on August 5, yet there is so much to do before then— building projects, a teen missions team from Faith Baptist in Taylors, South Carolina, packing up our house to make room for Brazilian missionaries who will be staying here and all the other details you can imagine if you were to leave the country for six months. Please pray for the Lord to help us accomplish these things and for His continued provision while we are in the States.

Perspective

It all started in 2012 in an awkward storefront, with a vision and a goal of saving for an ample piece of property in a central location. Two years later, the land was purchased and two years after that, the church has a new building with room for growth. God does indeed pay for what He orders! We thank God for His provision and protection, as well as His strength to sustain us during the past four years of this process.

2016 Inauguración #buildingtogether

2016 Inauguración #buildingtogether

Building Inauguration Sunday

See photos of the event here.

See a six-minute video here.

[youtube http://youtu.be/xq8uWZBv5VE]

Thank You

Many of you played an important part in this process, whether it was praying, giving and/or coming down with a work team. Thank you for being an instrument for His glory. Just a few weeks before the inauguration, one more work team came down to help install the dry wall. Six adults from Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, Florida), as well as James’ brother from South Carolina, gave the project that final push toward completion so we could be ready for the big day.

Wednesday, 3/16 - work day #5 - CBC work team #buildingtogether

 

What a difference a year makes

One year ago this month, the church building plans were approved and we began construction. (See photos here.) In that time period, God has provided the funds and volunteer labor to get to this point. He has sent offerings from churches and individuals in the States, as well as from our church family here in Pilar. Three mission teams have joyfully donated their time and labor, with a fourth team arriving next week. Our church people have sacrificially given almost every Saturday and holiday over the past year in order to dig holes, pour concrete, lay block, cook lunch for the workers, clean up construction  debris and whatever else needs to be done. For all these things, we give all the honor and praise to our great God!

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Summer Camp

The Lord gave us a blessed time, as always, participating in summer camp in Uruguay. This is the third year we’ve gone to Archie Perez’s (fellow Baptist World Mission missionary) ministry’s youth camp.

#uruguay2016

#uruguay2016

Besides our family, seven campers and one adult from our church came with us. James directed the games this year, which was a nice break from the usual routine back home. Two teen boys surrendered to full-time ministry while at camp! (See more photos here.)

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Baptist World Mission missionaries represented (from L to R)- Jonathan & Micki Rehfeldt (Colonia, UY), Archie & Ruth Perez (Colonia, UY), James & Amy Greenwood (Buenos Aires, AR) and Paul & Johanna Harmon (Durazno, UY) (plus MKs scattered throughout!)

Help Wanted

You may notice from the missionary picture above that there is a dearth of BWM missionaries in Buenos Aires. As a matter of fact, we are the only ones. Yes, it does get lonely! Even more importantly, as we look toward the future, we realize we need help! Over the next two years, our plan is to hand over the Pilar church to a national pastor and plant another church. However, there are no Argentines to help us like there were back when we began the Pilar church with two Christian families. Would you specifically pray that God would send us at least one mature Christian Argentine family and one missionary family?

Reaching Toward the Finish Line

Not meaning to sound trite, but so much has happened since our last prayer letter. That explains why we haven’t sent more updates – because of a demanding and exhausting schedule! (We will try to do better in the future!) Since January, the Lord has provided the funds, labor and health to install the sheet metal on the roof, move the auditorium upstairs, demolish the old building downstairs, install the sub-floor and begin laying the mosaic tile.

God continues to amaze us with how He is working and protecting us even in the smallest details. For example, the weekend that we moved upstairs, scaffolding fell on top of two of our men, someone tried to break into the cars in the parking lot and a tree branch broke, falling on our power lines and landing in the parking area. In all of those things, the Lord protected our people and property.

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Please pray that God would continue to mightily work through the following:

  • March 11-16 – Mission team from Calvary Baptist in Winter Garden, Florida here to install drywall
  • April 1-3 – Special Inauguration services, with our home pastor, Travis Smith, preaching

Demo Day!

A.ma.zing! An awesome work crew showed up and let out all their frustrations with sledge hammers on the old building’s concrete walls! In two days they got all the walls down and a large section of sub-floor leveled and poured. God is good!

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Recycling at its best – We used the material from the walls we demolished as filler for the sub-floor

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Teamwork

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Getting started on the subfloor

First Sunday Upstairs

Our goal was to move upstairs to the finished (or at least usable) part of the new building by the first Sunday in February. Praise the Lord He enabled us to do just that! This is the first Sunday in the history of the church in an auditorium without an awkward layout or obstructions. Praising God for His faithfulness, provision and protection.

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What God Orders, He Provides

In our last update, we asked prayer for God to provide the $10,000 needed for the roof. In the month of December, about half of those funds trickled in. Then, just this week, one of our supporting churches pledged the remaining amount. Praise the Lord!

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As of today, the upstairs floor is poured, upstairs walls are almost finished and the steel structure for the roof is up. We will stay busy on other projects while waiting for bids for the sheet metal. The goal is to move the church upstairs by the end of January. Lord willing, in February we will demolish the old building and prepare the downstairs floor. In March, we are anticipating two possible work teams to help with sheet rock work. Please pray that the Lord works out those details.

A Gift with Eternal Rewards

Credit cards may offer you cash back or reward points on all your purchases, but God has an even better offer – fruit that abounds to your heavenly account (Phil. 4:17)!

x-mas-gift

Thank you for the generous gifts toward the building fund many of you have already given this year! 100% of those funds have been spent on building supplies. By God’s grace, all the labor has been given voluntarily either from work teams from supporting churches or from our church people themselves.

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Typical Saturday lunchtime with volunteer work force

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As of today, we are almost ready to pour the floor for the second floor and then it will be ready for the metal roof. We need to go ahead and purchase all the materials for the roof this month so that it will be ready to install in January. That will cost about $10,000 to complete.  Would you pray about giving toward this need this Christmas, whether as an individual, family, Sunday School class or church?

Gifts can be sent to our mission board at:

Baptist World Mission

PO Box 2149

Decatur, Alabama  35602

Paypal-logo-20141 Or you can send your gift directly to our PayPal account here: paypal.me/GreenwoodFamily.

 

Thank you for prayerfully considering giving toward this need to help the project move forward!

 

Project: Building Together – November update

The men of the church met last week to discuss the feasibility of finishing the building by our April inauguration date. We believe it is possible, but we need your prayers for God’s provision of labor and funds. We need block masons to help raise the walls on the second floor and those who have experience with drywall to install the partitions for the classrooms. Would you pray about these needs?

We have the windows, doors, stairs and the sub-floor already paid for! Praise God! By mid-December, we need to purchase all the materials for the metal roof on the second floor. That will cost about $10,000 to complete.

Looking Ahead

  • November – 2nd floor block walls & columns
  • December – pour slabs on 1st & 2nd floors
  • January – install metal roof
  • February – drywall installation
  • March – tile & paint
  • April 2016 – inaugurate new building!

First Missionaries

Our church had the privilege of holding its third missions conference this past weekend. Of course, it was a special time for us personally as missions is obviously near and dear to our hearts! Even more special, our speaker was Adriano Silva, Brazilian missionary on deputation to Argentina. At the end of the conference, the church voted to take on 5% of their support. How exciting to think that this young church plant, even in the middle of a building project, is taking on their first missionary!

Conferencia Misionera 2015 @ibi_pilar

Conferencia Misionera 2015 @ibi_pilar

The Lord has blessed Adriano and his wife Josi with 64% of their support in the past nine months. Lord willing, this sweet couple will come and work with us their first term. We are all praying they would have 100% of their support in order to arrive next March.

10 Years on the Field!

September 11, 2005 – We said “see you later” to our precious friends and family in the States! Two days later we began a beautiful new chapter in our lives labeled, “Argentina”!

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On September 13, 2005 we arrived in our new home, Buenos Aires, Argentina! There have been many ups and downs during the past 10 years, but I would not trade them for any other life! God is so good to us, more than we deserve. God is faithful to stretch us and give us His grace in the trials. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

September 2005

September 2005

As we have gone through trials, moments of uncertainty and seen many other missionaries come and go, only by God’s grace are we still here! This is not just a story of God’s faithfulness in our lives; it is the story of God’s hand at work in many lives, during many years prior to arriving on the field – our sending pastor, Travis Smith, who was (and still is) our #1 cheerleader, our supporting churches who help us financially and in prayer, as well as our family and friends who respect and even admire God’s calling on our lives to serve Him in a far-away place. Thank you to each one who has had a a part in not just our getting to the field, but also to remain faithful to our calling.

2015

2015

Project: Building Together update

Praise the Lord the roof is installed!

We thank the Lord for how He continues to provide for the building project so we can move forward. Below are the next projects we hope to complete as God provides:

Exterior Sign  $ 500
Stairs to second floor  $2000
First floor subfloor  $2500
Ceiling Materials for 1st Floor  $1750
Bathroom Tile  $1800
1st Floor Lighting  $3000
Bathroom Partitions $ 900
Stairs to second floor  $2000
Exterior front doors  $2500

What time is it?

“It’s Bible Time!” shouted all the kids in response to the Neighborhood Bible Time evangelist’s question.

For five days, between 33 and 46 children, along with many of their parents, heard a clear presentation of the Gospel at our Bible Time rallies. Seven of those children responded by making a salvation decision. While in the evening, between 15 and 25 teens heard solid preaching, and four of them trusted Christ as Savior.

Since the church is under construction, we held the rallies at an events center in a shopping complex nearby and saw many visitors.   Please pray as we follow-up with these new contacts.

Building Progress

2015-05-20 Wed 011Who would have ever thought that in only one week a work team composed of four men and six ladies would be able to:

  • fill four 15″ x 15″ columns in only three hours?
  • raise one-and-a-half exterior block walls?
  • demolish 15″ thick brick walls?
  • eat 100 pounds of steak?

This wonderful group of folks that God obviously brought together from Faith Baptist Church did all that and more! They made a positive impact on our church people as they interacted throughout the week on the job site, at church and in their homes. We are very thankful for their hard work and sweet spirits.

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Faith Baptist Church Building Together team

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/jgreenwood/faith2015]

Now that three exterior walls are raised, the next step is to pour the five remaining columns, and then begin the huge task of pouring 23 cubic yards of concrete for the support beam on top of the three walls. Lord willing, all that will be done by the first of August so we’ll be ready to raise the roof! The quote for the roof is $31,000. Pray we could get a tax exemption to reduce the total by $6,000. (Yes, sales tax is 21% here!)

Beyond that, we will need $3,500 for the windows. Pray God will continue to supply the funds and labor necessary to complete these tasks. Also, pray for wisdom in balancing pastoral ministry and construction.

5th Anniversary

In the midst of the busyness of construction chaos, the Lord blessed our special anniversary weekend with several visitors in each of the three services and one salvation decision. Here are some pictures from the weekend:

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Here’s a throwback video from our inauguration in 2010. It’s amazing to reflect on all God has done these past 5 years in this church plant!

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/10336505]

Project: Building Together

On December 17, 2014 we submitted the church building plans to the municipality for approval. On March 13, 2015, they were returned—approved!

We immediately commenced construction, digging ten six-foot holes for the pillars. As always, the church people have enthusiastically joined in on Saturdays, holidays and in the evenings after work.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/jgreenwood/buildingtogether]

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In the midst of the busyness of construction chaos, the Lord blessed our special anniversary weekend with several visitors in each of the three services and one salvation decision!

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New Church Plant and Folk Saints in Argentina

2015.1.11 boyEvery other Sunday evening, we continue to travel one hour north to Duggan to hold church services. There have been new visitors at every meeting, but no salvation decisions. In a provincial (rural) town such as this one, where the people are steeped in satanic worship, the results are slow. The adults and children alike are biblically illiterate. Instead of allowing that to be a discouragement, we can see even more reason for us to preach the Gospel there. Please pray for fruit for our labor.

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Our gracious hosts for the church meetings, Raul and Lydia.

gauchito gil

Nationals worshipping the folk saint “Gauchito Gil” near Duggan

Here is an interesting article on Fox News about this idol worship:

Folk saints gain popularity in Pope Francis’ native Argentina

Gauchito Gil and San La Muerte are just two of many folk saints not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church but which are flourishing in Argentina, the homeland of the current pope.

Planting Biblically Separated, Culturally Sensitive Churches

by Dr. Kevin L. Brosnan

churchplantgraphic3Baptist World Mission’s emphasis on “planting churches worldwide” is more than a slogan; it encapsulates our understanding of mission theology and praxis in the New Testament. It is the outworking of the Great Commission, as demonstrated by the Apostle Paul’s tireless efforts to plant and mature churches on the mission field. But how can the missionary church planter establish churches cross-culturally that are both doctrinally sound and culturally appropriate? And are these two goals necessarily at odds with each other?

Just as pastors in America must vigilantly counter the eroding effects of moral decline in their culture, so missionaries must distinguish between moral and amoral aspects of culture if they hope to plant indigenous churches that will remain faithful to their founding principles. This distinction is the difference between pragmatic capitulation and legitimate acculturation. While missionaries justifiably fear culture as a potential pathway to syncretism, they must also understand the necessity of acculturation. Adapting in matters of dress, food, language and customs is an external starting point, not an ultimate goal. The most effective missionaries understand how the people of their culture think. They study their worldview, religious concepts, lifestyle, traditions, language, values, manners and customs and are able to interact with the indigenous people on these levels.

Failure to plant culturally appropriate churches violates the principle of indigenity by ignoring legitimate cultural norms. At the other end of the spectrum is compromise under the banner of cultural relevance, which ultimately results in syncretistic churches that no longer hold to the “faith once delivered” (Jude 3). Additionally, failure to plant self-sustaining churches violates the principle of autonomy. Failure to plant churches which are both indigenous and autonomous will result in short-lived ministries.

The tension of this dichotomy between cultural compromise and cultural assimilation relates to the outworking of what missiologists have long called the “indigenous principle.” By the later nineteenth century, men on both sides of the Atlantic were alarmed by the long-term dependency (paternalism) of foreign churches on missionary personnel and funds and by the erosion of doctrinal fidelity in nationalized works. They took a fresh look at Scripture, and men such as Henry Venn of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in England and Rufus Anderson of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) independently began promoting indigenous principles, which Melvin Hodges later formulated into the well-known “indigenous principle.” Hodges’ three-fold expression of the indigenous principle states that the mission church should be self-supporting, self-propagating and self-governing.

That expression focuses on three aspects of the function of the mission church. While function is a vital emphasis, the concept of indigenity must also relate to the form of the mission church. Although missionaries often use the two terms synonymously, the concepts of indigenity and autonomy relate more directly to form and function respectively. A mission church may function autonomously, but not be culturally indigenous in form. The missionary cause benefited greatly from the contributions of the aforementioned men and from the resultant corrective measures, which missionaries took with respect to the function of the mission church.

Perhaps we could suggest that our generation of independent Baptist missionaries would also benefit from a greater focus on the form of the mission church, because the establishment of an autonomous church is not the only essential goal of the church-planting missionary. It is entirely possible and in many cases, probable, that the self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating church will apostatize. What has the missionary accomplished in such cases?

While doctrinal drift may result from any number of root causes, failure to plant culturally-appropriate churches is a major cause of failure among mission churches. This oftentimes is because of issues that confront the national pastor after the missionary leaves. On the one hand, the national pastor may be left with a “foreign” or “Americanized” church. While the church may have appeared healthy under the missionary’s leadership, its non-indigenous form presages its decline under national leadership.

On the other end of the spectrum, the missionary may have unwisely welcomed cultural elements into the church under the banner of indigenity, which are either inherently unscriptural or dangerously suggestive of a path to compromise. In this context, doctrine is not only creedal, but also the practical living of those beliefs, including a willingness to live biblically separated lives that embrace the necessary alienation from aspects of popular culture. In such a case, it is unlikely the national pastor will recognize the danger or have the power to change course. Thus, the importance of indigenous policy, the missionary’s approach to culture, can hardly be overemphasized.

This question not only relates to distinctions between ministry in one’s own culture and cross-cultural church planting, but it also correlates to how servants of God conduct ministry within their own cultures. This is because all culture, whether native or foreign, contains many unbiblical values and practices from which an obedient Christian must separate. This is exactly Paul’s point in Romans 12:2, “and be not conformed to this world.”

This brings us back to our second question. Are the two goals of doctrinal fidelity and cultural appropriateness necessarily at odds with each other? Yes! Every honest missionary who has carefully considered the implications of indigenous policy will admit that he sometimes struggles to distinguish between his own culturally shaped preferences as to the form the church should take and his identification of genuine collision points between culture and Scripture. Not only is the missionary obligated to be faithful to God’s Word, but he also needs to understand that doctrinal compromise, for the sake of cultural acceptability, will ultimately result in a syncretistic church—one which blends non-Christian tenets with biblical truth.

Neither can the missionary afford the luxury of rejecting culture “out of hand” for the sake of protecting the church against doctrinal compromise, because doing so violates indigenous policy, which is essential to successful church planting. A good biblical definition of syncretism is found in 2 Kings 17:33, “They feared the Lord [Jehovah], and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations.” Idolatry is the Old Testament word for syncretism, when it includes the blending of rites associated with other gods with the worship of Jehovah.  Jehovah’s condemnation of Israel’s syncretistic idolatry provides a theological answer to today’s syncretism. Insulating mission churches against syncretism is a challenge because syncretism is sometimes difficult to distinguish from mere cultural expressions.

Identifying syncretism is a theological, cultural and academic exercise that the missionary must master and mentor because seemingly innocuous “seeds” will grow into truth-choking “weeds.” If the ultimate goal of New Testament missions is the multiplication of indigenous churches to the glory of Christ, then the successful development of national church leadership must be of paramount importance. The New Testament bears this out with much emphasis on the development of God-called pastors. It is not the establishment of a church, but the grounding of it that occupies the most attention in the New Testament.

Study of New Testament methods should not distract one’s attention from the product of missions, which is enduring, biblically orthodox churches. That leadership development is the key is almost a moot point. Whether it is couched in academic terms, such as pastoral training or leadership development, or in more personal terms such as mentoring or discipleship, the development and equipping of national leaders is the single most important factor relating to the successful indigenization of any church-planting ministry. Solutions must lie with issues that address this process. National pastors have often waned in their commitment to the theological convictions upon which the missionaries founded their churches. Viable solutions must ultimately redress this shortcoming by emphasizing both function and form when mentoring national leadership. Churches will not replicate until missionaries replicate themselves in God-called national preachers who, among other things, are committed to biblical separatism. Perhaps an anecdote from my ancient college days can best drive home this capstone truth. I commented, in a paper presented in a missions class, that producing indigenous churches in fulfillment of the Great Commission is “simply a matter of training nationals to carry on the work.” When I examined the graded paper, I noticed that my veteran missionary instructor had circled the word simply several times in red ink and had remarked, “Is this really such a simple matter?” The wisdom of that comment became increasingly evident over seventeen years of ministry in South Africa. Producing successful national leadership has always been a key, if not the paramount challenge of the Great Commission mandate. It takes biblically separated, culturally sensitive missionaries to mentor biblically separated, culturally sensitive national preachers to plant biblically separated, culturally sensitive churches.

Reprinted with permission. This article originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of the BWM Messenger

http://www.baptistworldmission.org/

This is the LORD’S doing…

“This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

2014-12-07 bautismo 115 With more joy than words can describe, James had the privilege of baptizing ten believers this Sunday! I believe all of the adults were saved just this year, while most of the children were practically raised at this church, trusting Christ at home with their parents or in a children’s class.

 [youtube http://youtu.be/rUxIwLGZamg]

While many more have made salvation decisions in 2014, a total of 15 have followed Christ in believer’s baptism.