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I want to become a missionary and I need some advice.

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by John Rivera, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. John Rivera

    John Rivera New Member

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    Since just a few months after I had gotten saved, I have had this desire to become a missionary. I was 16 when I first got saved and several months later when I turned 17, I decided to want to become a missionary. I am now 27 years old. In 2017, I did my first ever missions trip to the Philippine Islands, mainly Luzon and Davao. From there, I developed a burden for the Filipino people when I noticed that they were receptive to the gospel and that the believers there needed a good church. However, I’m not sure now if I want to be a church planter there after what happened to a missionary friend of mine there. I am still praying about it. I am now looking to be trained for the mission field. I do not desire to go to Bible college anymore for missionary training. Instead, I would like to be trained by a local church and it’s Pastor. I believe very strongly that Pastors and missionaries should train young men themselves for the ministry and not the Bible college itself.
    Titus 1:5-9
    King James Version

    5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

    6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

    7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

    8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

    9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    I currently attend a local IFB church in the area, and am planning to approach my Pastor in the future, to see if he can equip me for the ministry. Mind you, he is a former missionary to Trinidad. But for now, my Pastor may not think I am ready for it. What are some steps that I should take before having my Pastor disciple me for the mission field? How do I prepare myself? One thing is for sure, I don’t necessarily have to get married yet and have children, because as far as I know, the Apostle Paul was a missionary and he was not married, nor did he have kids. Let me know your thoughts on this. God bless y’all.
     
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  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Welcome to the BB! I am a retired IFB missionary, having served God in Japan for 33 years, now teaching at a Bible college. However, what you say here is quite different from what I believe and have practiced, so it may be that you will reject what I write. I'll try anyway. :)

    First of all, if you don't want to be a church planter, don't become an IFB missionary. You won't get support, since we IFB types almost always believe that missions = soul winning and church planting. (There are exceptions, such as my relative who is a missionary to the deaf in the Philippines, and has started 100s of deaf ministries in churches there. Also, there are Bible translators who do not plant churches.) You might as well go with the SBC if you don't want to be a church planter. ;) I don't know what happened to your friend who was church planting, but I'm pretty sure I had worse experiences as a church planter in Japan. But church planting is missions. Period. And someone else's bad experience should not be enough to make a missionary abandon the Great Commission in Matthew (the church planting commission), and the Pauline pattern.

    Concerning simply being trained by your pastor and not going to a Bible college, I'm sure your pastor is a good man, and his experience as a missionary and a pastor will certainly be valuable to you. However, you say, "I believe very strongly that Pastors and missionaries should train young men themselves for the ministry and not the Bible college itself." I'm not sure you understand what a Bible college is.

    I taught for years at Bible schools in Japan, and now I teach at a Bible college here in America. If you are trained just under your pastor, that's fine, but our Bible college is taught by many who are trained pastors and missionaries. At the typical IFB Bible college, you will be trained by experienced men with many years in the ministry. How is it that being mentored by one man, a single pastor, is better than being mentored by many experienced pastors and missionaries?? The issue is not one pastor compared to a Bible college, but one pastor compared to many experienced preachers at a Bible college.

    This is a wonderful passage about mentoring elders (pastors), but what you have missed is that (1) Timothy was to train elders for more than one church, since the term "every city" is used. Paul and others planted churches in several cities on Crete.
    (2) Again, I'm pretty sure that Paul did some pastoral training while he was there (Acts 27:12). And don't you think that
    (3) So, this sounds like a Bible school to me. Crete was not just one church, and it was not just one man training the pastors.

    I thank God for my father, who was my pastor for most of my life, and for many other pastors, evangelists, and missionaries who mentored me. I'm sure your pastor is a huge help in your life.

    As to whether or not you should get married, surely that is up to God and His will, not your wishes. When I prepared to go to Japan, my mentors thought I should get married, but that I could succeed in God's work without it, so they sent me on my way on deputation. However, beginning as a senior in high school, I prayed every day, sometimes for long periods of time, about a wife. God brought me to where I prayed, "Lord, please give me a wife in such a way that all will know that you did it." As it turned out, I met my wife while on deputation through the mentoring of some older men.

    We wrote letters back and forth for several months (this was before the Internet), then she met my family and I met hers. When I proposed she said yes, of course. We talked later about our wedding date. She said she wanted a Spring wedding, and when I looked at my deputation calendar, the only date free was May 5. Later she told me that months earlier she had prayed that we would be married on May 5! We have now been married 41 years, and rejoice so much in Jesus that He has allowed us to serve Him together as we have.
     
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  3. John Rivera

    John Rivera New Member

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    Hello brother, I am all for soul winning and church planting for sure. Yes you are right, just because my missionary friend was persecuted in the Philippines does not mean that I should back down from going. However, I am burdened about China now but I must first pray and fast to see if that’s where God wants me to go. I must also consider learning mandarin and Cantonese if that’s God’s will. How was it like in Japan? Did many people get saved there? I heard it’s very hard to reach people in Japan but my mentality is that everyone should hear the gospel of Jesus Christ even if they are not receptive.
     
  4. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Start by getting to know the Chinese community in your backyard. If your town has a "Chinese Restaurant" that means that there are "Chinese" immigrants living right next door. Just get to know them. Find out if they are Chinese or Korean or Japanese or Vietnamese.
     
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  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    God is doing some awesome things in China, and He can certainly use you there. Revival is happening there in spite of the persecution. I've known several missionaries there who are being used of God.

    Yes, Japan is considered to be a "Gospel-resistant field," since after 150 years less than 1% of the population are Christians of any kind. But God can work there and does. My grandfather (Evangelist John R. Rice) used to say, "You can't win everyone to Christ, but you can win someone." I found that to be true even in Japan. Among many others, we saw saved: the two junior high boys saved after my first official sermon; Mr. Abe Moritoshi who then started a church on the other side of Tokyo; neighborhood children who played with our son; Miss Nakajima who wished to be married but learned that salvation is much more important than marriage; Mr. Togo who was a drug addict; Mr. Ueno Tomiro whose Christian wife had recently died; Mr. Ueno Unomatsu, his 92-year-old father who had been a machine gunner in World War 2; Mr. Habazaki Mitsuru, who became my soul-winning partner and baseball friend; Mr. Usuki who was the leader of a drug-pushing yakuza gangster sub-gang, his gang members Mr. Ushiro and Mr. Ishikawa, and many others
     
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  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Go to it! If God is calling you, He will make it 100% sure in your heart. God called me through a missionary conference at the governing church where I was in Bible college. A missionary from there spoke on Japan, and God said in my heart, "Would you go to Tokyo if I asked you to?" I rebelled at first, but was able to turn over my future to Him. Then, God led Jim Norton, a wonderful soul winning missionary to Japan, to sit behind my parents at my graduation. He asked me afterwards to pray about working with him in Japan.

    After that, one day when I was having personal devotions while I was in seminary (just went one year at that time, then went to work for my grandfather for a year), He confirmed the call through Rom. 15:20-21, "Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand." So we went to work with Dr. Norton.

    Personally, I don't think you need to pray about that one! :Thumbsup If God calls you there He wants you to learn the language, because how can they know you love them and God loves them unless you can communicate that?

    I knew a little Japanese before going there through the martial arts, but did not really learn the Japanese language until going there. I then spent two years in the program of the Tokyo School of the Japanese Language. Absolutely loved it! Sat in class with Chinese from all over Asia. Learned to be better at ping pong from them!
     
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  7. Just_Ahead

    Just_Ahead Active Member

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    This thread is so much better than anything about the U.S. Presidential Debate.

    John of Japan -- Thank you taking a personal interest in John Rivera.
     
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  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I love missionaries and future missionaries. :)
     
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  9. John Rivera

    John Rivera New Member

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    Amen
     
  10. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    I have a minisrry where I reach out to basically everyone, but especially Asians. My dream was Japan China or Brazil

    God said no, so I am a missionary for them here in the US

    I have small evanelism books and Bibles in several Languages Chinese, Tagalog Spanish Portuguese etc

    Motto: wherever you are, be a missionary there
     
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  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Amen and amen!
     
  12. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    John, I was just curious - you said at first you rebelled (in a nice way:rolleyes:)
    Could that have been because you thought you had a responsibility to continue in your
    Grandfathers ministry - which may of - or even probably you would have taken over for Grandpa?

    We have seen other Evangelicals do so. ie Bob Jones & BJ Jr and the III, Robert & Bobby Schuller
    Billy Graham & Franklin- among others.

    (AND PLEASE for other posters - do NOT make this about weather a Father/Son are Evangelical or not!)
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    You make an interesting point, and I'll tell why. But at that time in my life I had no idea of taking over for Grandpa. I rebelled because having been called to preach, my idea was to pastor a little country church somewhere and have a big library and read and study a lot. However, the missionary God used to call me described Japan as a very crowded place, and I rebelled at that idea.
    About whether or not I would have taken over for Granddad had I remained in the States, I'll let you ask him about that when you get to Heaven. ;) I will say, though, that I worked for him for about a year after college, and he wanted me to continue to work there permanently.

    Grandma worked up a plan for me where I would travel with him and carry his suitcase and minister to him. But I was still called to Japan. Wait for my book on John R. Rice, The Last Revivalist of the 21st Century, which should come out in the next few months--I discuss it in one chapter.
    Yes, please, what he said!
     
  14. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    John, is that the 21st century or the 20th Century?
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Oops, 20th century. Had a "senior moment." :confused:
     
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