A recent comment by Justin Long on the “Multiply, don’t add 2” post got me thinking about the obstacles of world evangelization. He mentioned some of the traditional barriers we face as missionaries – geographic, linguistic, and cultural barriers, as well as restricted access in “closed” countries. Although all of these obstacles are real, they can be overcome with God’s grace and adequate preparation.
Preparation is definitely the key! As a college student I heard many differing philosophies about reaching the world with the gospel. Some pleaded with us to give our lives for life-long foreign missionary service, while others said to send money and let the nationals do the work. One theorized that during a 3 week layover in a Latin American city we could plant an indigenous local church. Crusades, radio, internet, local churches, institutes… the options and opinions were limitless!
Here’s the thing that bothers me… Why do we listen to lectures and read books by people who have never done it? So many “experts” have never put their plans to test in the battle field. They write telling others to follow a strategy they have actually never followed! Unbelievable!
You need to find a missionary that is getting it done and ask him a million questions! Learn from the guys who have seen communities changed and dozens of churches planted with strong national leadership. Find those guys and learn from them.
By God’s grace I found a guy like that as a freshman in college. Austin Gardner was a passionate, experienced missionary that spoke of seeing the world reached with the gospel. The next year I spent six months living with him in Peru and learning from his ministry. That’s the kind of training that will change your life!
Today Austin Gardner is my pastor, and he continues to train dozens of young men and women for the ministry through the Our Generation Training Center. If you are serious about being used by God to reach the world with the gospel, check out the training opportunities we provide.