BIMI
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have used this with a sense of accomplishment. The word missionary has been redefined to include the concept of witness as in the Book of Acts. But as one missionary in Africa says, “We seem to be saying that because baby boomers are different, missions should be different. However, the cost of discipleship has not changed.” One thing is certain, short-termers are most effective as they work with process missionaries. II. Long-term or Process Missionaries These people see missions as an ongoing process of evangelism, church plant- ing and training national leadership for these churches. They focus on fulfilling the Great Commission in every country until Jesus comes. Missions is seen as a con- tinuing process rather than a project. Process missionaries learn the language and culture. They live among the people and identify with them. Such people accept struggle and long-term investment of life and talent. III. Defining Missions Biblically (Matthew 28:18–20) The main verb of this great passage on missions is to make disciples. This is the basic meaning of the first teach in verse 19. The other actions of going, baptizing and teaching are participles that must lean on the main verb of making disciples. Since the going to unreached areas must be seen in the light of its illustration in Acts 13:1–4, baptizing is the ministry of the local church and is the first step of disciple- ship. And teaching all things Jesus commanded is the matter of teaching the content of faith. This also is the ministry of the local church. Then disciples are made in the context of local churches. So, establishing churches is the goal of missions. Short-term missions does have a place in missions. However, it must augment process missionaries in organizing churches. Short-term missions cannot supplant the process missionary in planting churches nor in the budget of the sending church. To do so is to exchange a substitute for biblical missions. Short-term missions effort is most effective when it is led by an experienced missionary. This can be constructive and brings the short-termer into direct contact with missionaries in action to challenge them as to the essence and importance of missions. What percentage of a local church's mission budget should be invested in short-term missions? Only that local church can decide. But the overall goal must be kept in focus. Any mission endeavor should be constructive and not simply a sightseeing tour. BIMI WORLD – Number 3, 2010 23