"The Future of Missions, a brand new Barna report conducted in partnership with International Mission Board, takes a closer look at what’s keeping young Christians from wholeheartedly engaging with global ministry.... One-third of young adult Christians (34%) agrees that 'in the past, missions work has been unethical,' compared to one in four adults 35 and older (23%). Two in five (42%) agree that 'Christian mission is tainted by its association with colonialism' (vs. 29% older adults 35+, 31% teens)." - Barna
It was the Summer of 1969, and I found myself in Memphis, Tennessee, pursuing some practical aspects of training for ministry. For two years, I had served as week-end Youth Pastor and Music Director for Faith Baptist church in Chester, South Carolina. I traveled the eighty miles from Greenville to Chester on Saturday afternoons, conducted a Teen meeting Saturday Evening, and slept on a pull-out bed in the church office Saturday night.
Sunday mornings found me sponge bathing in the church bathroom, teaching a Teen Sunday School class, leading congregational singing and directing the choir for morning worship. Afternoons involved choir rehearsal, another Teen meeting, and music for evening worship. Exhausted, I would drive home Sunday night, tumble into bed, and arise at 5:00 a.m., to deliver newspapers before my first university class at eight.
I cherished the opportunities in Chester, as they taught me much about pastoral ministry. But I also sensed a need for additional experiences, so I accepted an invitation to Interstate Baptist Church in Memphis to serve during the summer. My primary work was door to door visitation. Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., I knocked on doors of homes within reasonable distance from the church. Memphis is hot and humid in the summer, but the experience I gained talking to hundreds of people about the gospel was more than worth the uncomfortable weather. In addition, I worked with the Teens and supplied the pulpit for the three or four Sundays that the pastor was on vacation.
Kent Brandenburg: When my wife and I came to California in 1987, I started as an evangelist and became a pastor. I'm becoming an evangelist again in 2020. I am a missionary again. The church I started in 1987 in the San Francisco Bay Area is sending my wife and I to Jackson County, Oregon to evangelize. We want to reproduce our church.
"Odle is currently pastor of First Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio, where he has served since 2011, and a member of the GARBC Council of Eighteen. He was previously assistant pastor of Ankeny (Iowa) Baptist Church (1991–1999); pastor of Holmes Baptist Church, Clarion, Iowa (1999–2008); and vice president of enrollment and student life at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary (2008–2011)." - GARBC
"While I cannot Biblically prohibit the practice of individual supporters, I have encouraged anyone who asks to channel their financial support for missions through the church instead of apart from it....Our approach of emphasizing that missionary financial support should come through the local church has several advantages" - Matt Postiff
In preparation for representing the seminary at a conference in Iowa, I have been reflecting on the ‘why’ of going to seminary. Why should a future pastor pursue a seminary education? On occasion, I’ll come across a college graduate who suggests that seminary is not for him. When I inquire as to why, he tells me that he has to get into ministry now because people are lost and dying. The implication is that the urgency of seeking after lost souls is more important than slowing down to get a seminary education. It is true that people are lost and dying, and that we should be urgent about pursuing the lost, but skipping seminary in order to rush into ministry would be like performing a surgery without any schooling.
If going into pastoral ministry were like working at a fast food restaurant, we should encourage as many young people as possible to skip seminary to go into ministry. But pastoral ministry is a high calling of God — less like flipping burgers and more like performing surgery. Working at a fast food restaurant requires minimal training and has few serious implications if the training is shortcut. Performing surgery is the opposite.