In this series on Missionary Principles, I will be expanding on each of them in separate posts. Let’s get started on the first one.
What is the meaning of evangelical?
Evangelical simply refers to following the teaching of the Gospel or Christianity.
This is crucial as theology will affect what is being taught to the locals. And their teaching will determine how they live their lives.
When locals become believers, you teach them based on your theology.
There lies the danger. You reproduce what you are. Your brand of theology will be passed on consciously and subconsciously to others.
Wrong theology will be passed on and the gospel loses its effectiveness and power.
My suggestions flow from Paul’s letter to Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Therefore, I believe that:
1. Missionaries should have a basic theology training in a reputable Bible school
Your theology must be sound, not liberal or even worse, against the basic teachings of the Bible. Especially dangerous are Bible schools that only focus on spiritual giftings such as prophecy and healing. That is imbalanced.
You must be at least grounded in systematic theology found in the Bible. Basic courses would be Old Testament and New Testament surveys, Doctrines and Pastoral theology. All other courses are icing on the cake.
2. Missionaries must be vetted by sending organisation
The theology of missionaries must be tested to make sure they adhere to the sound tenets of Christianity. It would be a shame if wrong doctrines are taught to the locals far away from the sending organisation or church. The effects rippling out would be seen only years later as the local church crumbles under shaky foundations.
3. Missionaries must teach the local believers right doctrine
After going for several mission trips, I’ve come to realise many pastors have never had a proper systematic Bible education. This is where mission teams can step in to train them. That’s the idea of equipping them for good works. It all starts with the right theology.
May this be your prayer.
2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.