Church Planting and Subsidiary Ministries

In The Nick of Time
by Kevin T. Bauder

The work of missions is the work of planting churches. This assertion is supported by the uniform pattern of the New Testament. When the churches of the New Testament commissioned and sent out a member, it was invariably either to plant churches or to assist someone who was planting churches.

Properly speaking, a missionary is a church planter. The missionary’s responsibility is to preach the gospel, baptize those who profess the gospel, train believers in the faith, and organize them into New Testament churches. The missionary’s responsibility is not complete until the churches are fully ordered and self-perpetuating.

In the Bible, the task of the missionary is to plant churches. This responsibility leads to a question: should churches ever send missionaries whose main ministry is something other than church planting? Specifically, should churches ever send missionaries who could not qualify for the office of bishop (for example, female missionaries)?
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Culture Shock or Bathing in Self-Pity

by Jason Stover

It’s the little things on a foreign field that begin to eat away at your psyche. In our area of Poland, all meat is bought and sold over the counter from the butcher, so grabbing a package from the freezer section is out of the question. Therefore, every two or three days, my wife and I are reminded of our status in the language as we struggle to communicate what stover_fuel.jpgkind of meat we would like and how much we want.

Simple trips to the gas station feel like that long walk to the principal’s office—you know, back when principals were feared for the massive paddle hanging on their wall. Most of the time, I rely on a mix of low guttural sounds and complex hand signals to explain what kind of gas and how much to the person filling my tank. When that hurdle is crossed, I walk into the station only to begin the entire process over again, hoping to point out which pump is mine.

We drop our kids off at school each day and choke through a few Polish words with their teacher, but if we’re honest we have no idea what’s going on at their school. The other day each of our boys came home from school with a brand-new toy tractor, and we had no idea why. Did they win a contest we didn’t know about? Did they find buried treasure? Worse, did they knock off a local convenience store?
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Book Review—Sunday

Reviewed by Todd Wood.

Harline, Craig. Sunday: A History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Super Bowl. New York: Doubleday, 2007. Hardcover, 450 pages. $26.00.

Purchase: Random House | CBD | Amazon

Special Features: Biographical Notes, pp. 383-436, Acknowledgments, Index
Read an excerpt.

ISBN: 9780385510394

LCCN: BV111.3.H37

DCN: 263.3

Subjects: Sunday, U.S. Social Life & Customs
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God's Amazing Grace

One Woman’s Journey from the Bondage of Abortion to Freedom in Christ

by Colleen Tronson

Entering the abortion clinic’s waiting room for the first time, I found it filled with people sitting on colorful plastic chairs and filling out medical forms. As I crossed the room, not one person made eye contact with me.
tronson_baby.jpgWhen it was time for an abortion, a nurse appeared and called the first name of the next patient. As their names were called, women passed through the windowless double doors alone, leaving behind the friend or loved one who waited to drive them home after the abortion.

After many women were called, it was finally my turn. I went through those doors to a small room where I undressed and sat on the examination table. I was afraid of having the abortion but even more afraid of leaving without having the “procedure” done. I lay back on the table and allowed the abortionist to remove the baby from my womb.

The abortionist used a vacuum suction machine attached to a glass collection bottle located under the table. I cried as the nurse told me to relax, that the abortion would be over soon. My baby died that day. A part of me died, too. It went away through the suction tubing that removed the child from my womb.
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Missions as Church Planting

In The Nick of Time
by Kevin T. Bauder

Historic Baptists agree that the work of missions is the work of planting churches. They derive this conviction from the uniform pattern of the New Testament. When the churches of the New Testament commissioned and sent out a member, it was invariably either to plant churches or to assist someone who was planting churches.

If the New Testament pattern holds, then a missionary’s work is not primarily to educate the ignorant, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to seek justice for the oppressed, or to engage in other works of mercy. These works are incidental to missions. While such works may be useful in facilitating church planting, and while they may be performed as fruits of the individual missionary’s Christian compassion, they are not properly the work of missions, and they should never be allowed to displace the work of missions.

Who, then, is a missionary? Properly speaking, a missionary is a church planter. The missionary’s responsibility is to preach the gospel, baptize those who profess the gospel, train believers in the faith, and organize them into New Testament churches. If Timothy and Titus may be used as examples (there are some differences), the missionary’s responsibility is not complete until the churches are fully ordered and self-perpetuating.
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When the Roof Caves in, the Floor Falls Out, and the Walls Are on Fire

by Joshua Goodling

On a cold, wintry day in January 1986, I was standing behind the counter of a popular fast-food restaurant, flipping hamburgers for the many hungry customers who would soon be cramming their way up to the order line. While we were expecting our mass of hungry customers, my father walked in and came to the counter. He wasn’t there to order food. Fire“Joshua, I hope you like your Wendy’s uniform,” he said, “because right now that is all the clothing you own. Our house just burned to the ground!” Not exactly something you want to hear every day.

I am the second oldest in a large family of seven children. For the past two years, we had been living in a handmade log cabin in central Georgia. Our cabin had been built using a chainsaw, some nails, and a few hundred feet of plastic wrap to keep the wind from blowing between the stacked logs. We had no electricity or indoor plumbing. Our only “running” water was when we “ran” to the corner store to fill our five-gallon water jugs. We had been using a potbellied stove for heating and cooking and an ice chest to store our food. It wasn’t exactly the most luxurious living quarters, but it was all we could afford at the time, and it was our home.
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