I have enjoyed reconnecting with churches that we haven’t been with since deputation. I was recently in one of those churches and I was greatly encouraged by what one of the men who spoke with me after the service. He remembered well when we were with them back in 2015 and he said to me, “You went and did exactly what you told us you were going to do!” That stuck with me, I have humbly thought about how good God has been, how He has blessed us and given us fruit in the ministry. I know it is God that does the work, and He deserves all of the glory. I cannot take any credit, it is really all about Jesus!
An effective missionary does what he has been sent to do. We are church planting missionaries, so we should plant churches. Other missionaries go out and do other things, and they too should do what they have been sent to do! That is an effective missionary! I can only speak to what God has led us to do. Planting churches means evangelizing, baptizing, discipling, and training men to continue the work, and hopefully help train a man who will one day pastor that church. But there is even more to planting churches. I remember our first months (even years) when we planted Faith Baptist Church. Nothing was set up, we rented a building, decorated it, designed the order of the services, printed tracts and invitations to pass out. Everything done in those months was done by us, every prayer, every invitation given out, every Bible message, every visit, and every discipleship session, all of it was done by us. Before long, the Lord started blessing. We saw a few people saved, and we started discipleship with a couple. People slowly started to respond. Today is a totally different story, Faith Baptist Church continues on. Matías is pastoring the church and doing a phenomenal job. The church now has her own building. There are a few things we need to fix and to improve, but the ministry is progressing. Young men are wanting to plant churches in surrounding cities in the southern zone of Buenos Aires. It is all very exciting! I share all of this to explain that “planting a church” is much more than just “planting a church”.
We need effective missionaries. Do what you have been sent to do! That doesn’t mean things will go smoothly, they probably won’t, but little by little, God will do His work and Jesus will build His church. Lord willing, we will go back to Argentina in January and start our second term. What will we do? We will do exactly what we have been sent to do, we will plant more churches and train more men to advance the Gospel! God will really be doing all the work, and by faith we believe God will use our meager efforts to reach the lost and work in them as He as worked in and through us! Effective missionaries do what they are sent to do.