Good morning, all.
It’s time for another update on Ariel and I and our journey towards Budapest! Another important piece of the puzzle was placed yesterday, as we were accepted into candidacy as missionaries with United World Mission! We have been invited to their “Starting Point” orientation week taking place during the first week of March, at their headquarters in Charlotte, NC. This will be a very important week as we learn about the work and ministry of United World Mission, as well as gain practical wisdom and information for our support raising process. Please be praying that God would begin a blessed and fruitful relationship with our mission board, so that He will be most glorified while we raise our support, as well when we minister in Hungary.
I’ve received many questions from others whom I have talked with personally about this step, and I want to take the time to answer a few of the more frequent ones.
Q: Why a Mission Board?
A: Because it enhances, strengthens, and protects the Great Commission.
I was just recently asked this question by a good friend. Why do we need a mission board? Can’t we just raise the money on our own to go? While I could write pages on this subject, I’ll keep it short and simple. A mission board is not required of God for true and effective ministry, but it is indeed incredibly useful. A mission board does many things, but there are three main reasons for its existence.
1) It assists the mission by keeping them financially organized and accountable. Instead of the missionary having to collect and manage hundreds of monthly checks and other monetary support, the mission board keeps track of all that comes in and monitors their financial situation throughout the term.
2) It strengthens the mission by providing the missionary with spiritual encouragement and fellowship both at home and in the country in which they serve, through the home office and other missionaries. Already Ariel and I have begun communicating through Skype and email with 4 other United World Mission missionaries and staff that are involved with the ministry in Budapest.
3) It protects the mission by evaluating and approving those Christians who are fit for ministry and evangelism. Over the years, the church has determined which questions to ask and what is required by God of those who spread his Word. Instead of letting anyone take the Word anywhere under “in Jesus name” regardless of what they actually teach, a mission board uses the application process to assure that the missionary takes the Bible and the kingdom of God seriously, and that they will be an accurate representation of Christ wherever they go.
Q: Why United World Mission?
A: It is just one strong, biblical mission board in a large body of strong, biblical mission boards.
To clarify, we could have gone with many different mission boards. Ariel and I do not want to have an elitist attitude in regards to our mission board… we did not pick UWM because we thought it was better or more biblically sound. There are, however, several reasons (not necessarily unique to UWM) that we chose United World Mission. First, it has a strong missionary base in Hungary, and a number of teachers at ICSB are UWN missionaries. Second, we appreciate the attitude towards evangelism that is evident in their very name. They hold that the mission of God is worldwide, so therefore their missionaries are located all throughout the world. They also hold that the mission of God is united, and while their missionaries’ work varies throughout each region, they are all united in purpose. Third, and perhaps most importantly, their statement of faith and philosophy of missions reflects a strong adherence to God’s word while still allowing for many different denominations to take part. Just as their worldwide missionaries are united in purpose, so are the many denominations of God’s church. For example, while a Baptist mission board may be strongly united in Baptist teaching, they might miss the opportunity to work alongside a Presbyterian who shares the very same faith and passion for ministry. There are strengths in each situation, for sure, and neither one is the right one, but we would prefer to work with the broad scope of the church.
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I was going to mention some additional questions, but I don’t think I want to draw this out any longer for now. Please pray for Ariel and I as we prepare for our orientation week, and as we begin to discover the support that God has already promised for us! Have a blessed day, and may God work in and through you today. 🙂