July has been mostly a month of learning for the Reed family. During the third week of July we went up to Baltimore for two days where ABWE was holding their Missionary Enrichment Conference. They offered seminars that were useful for Muslim evangelism. The following week we went up to ABWE headquarters in Harrisburg, PA for an intensive weeklong class called EMC (Essential Mission Components).
EMC is a mandatory class for all ABWE long-term missionaries. It is offered once a year and your support level must be at 50% or higher to be invited. To summarize what we learned in EMC, you must know the vision of ABWE: “Fulfilling the Great Commission by multiplying leaders, churches, and missions movements among every people.” If you stop and think about that statement you start to realize the enormity of the task.
There are close to 1,000 ABWE missionaries. Imagine if every one of them planted a new church during their career. Many people would see 1,000 new churches as a wonderful success, but would that even make a dent in carrying out the above vision? The vision is much larger than what ABWE missionaries can accomplish on their own.
The EMC class is designed to help missionaries see the bigger picture so they can design their strategies with that in mind. Church planting movements are a major factor when we think about fulfilling the Great Commission. This is when there is “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group (from the EMC manual).” We know that God is ultimately the one at work in these movements, but our actions can hamper or encourage these movements.
If our goal is to only plant one or two churches among the Wolof people in The Gambia, then we may never see one of these movements. On the other hand, if we intentionally concentrate on factors that encourage these movements then God may reward our faithfulness. It is still in God’s hands, but our goals should be God size goals, and not only what can be done through our own efforts. What about your local church here in America? Is your church planting churches? Thousands of churches close in America each year. Did you know that only 4% of people in New England go to an Evangelical church? That’s almost the definition of an unreached people group right here in America. What role does God have for you?
Danielle singing a song she learned at STAMP. The children had their own missionary kid training.
Pray for new ministry partners to bring us over 85% before this October to attend FPS class at ABWE.
Pray for the Wolof people and that God would soften their hearts towards the gospel.
Patrick, Michele, Alyssa, Danielle, Luke