Given that our goals as missionaries are to make disciples, plant healthy, gospel-centered churches, and raise up and train national leaders, we have certain biblical convictions that dictate the way we go about accomplishing our goals. These convictions, which constitute our ministry philosophy, are:
1. Word-centered ministry.
We believe God’s Word is sufficient to create and build up the people of God. (Isaiah 55:10-11; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 Peter 1:23 —2:3; James 1:18, 21) That is why the greatest bulk of our ministry is focused on the proclamation of the Word of God. From our evangelism to our discipling; from our preaching to our music; from our spending to our planning; all of these activities have Word ministry at their center. We deny that Scripture spells out our mission, but leaves the methods up to us. All we need and all we depend on for gospel fruit is the Word of God, empowered by the Spirit of God. (Colossians 1:5-7)
2. Healthy churches.
The goal of planting healthy churches impacts our exit strategy as pioneer, church-planting missionaries. We don’t consider that our work is done as soon as we have established indigenous churches. Our ultimate goal is healthy churches. (Acts 2:41-47) A church can be self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating and not be healthy. But a healthy church will most likely be truly indigenous or heading in that direction. If building healthy churches is our ultimate goal, then our focus will be on developing, through the ministry of the Word, the biblical characteristics of a healthy church in each local assembly that is planted. This strategy takes more time, but the rewards are great.
3. Life-on-life discipling.
Discipling is an activity that takes place organically, within the context of the local church, as believers help each other follow Jesus. It isn’t a program that we take new believers through and graduate them from. It’s a lifelong process that has as its end for every believer full conformity to Christ. (Ephesians 4:13) It involves time and intentionality. It involves inviting others along to join us as we follow Christ. It involves “togetherness” or “withness”. Christ is the supreme example. He chose twelve disciples to be “with him”. (Mark 3:14) We believe that life-on-life discipling is the best way to raise up and train pastors and leaders. (2 Timothy 2:2)