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A LOVE FOR MISSIONS
I met in 2004 through Adventure Racing. He started working for an organization that sought to take the gospel into remote, hard-to-reach areas. In 2010, I began serving on short-term mission trips with him through Extreme Missionary Adventures. The groups that went on these trips were usually people from one, or more churches. I led some trips, but mostly was blessed to be able to tag along with an existing group. As God, in His providence, led me and Justin to begin to serve together on multiple, short-term missions trips to Honduras, Slovenia and Zimbabwe, we saw God doing great things in the hearts of his people. One of the most exciting aspects of these trips was the openness to the gospel that the people had.
THE NEED OF THE GOSPEL
The most common need we saw in all of these mission trips was a need for the true gospel (for a more specific understanding of this point, please see a previous blog post The Wrong Gospel Kills the Church). The short-term missionaries had come from various churches and their understanding and ability to present the gospel varied greatly. We began to recognize a need to help short-term missionaries understand the gospel and present it in a biblical manner. Without a clear understanding of the gospel, the resulting churches planted would only serve to produce more people who do not understand the gospel. Some of the problems we noticed were:
There are other issues, but they all boil down to a lack of sound, gospel-centered, biblical teaching. The people we send to foreign lands to make disciples of Christ, must first understand the gospel and what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Second, the churches established must be gospel-centered and gospel-saturated if they are going to produce visible and lasting fruit.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Effects of Grace Ministries, Inc. was founded near the end of 2013. Our goal is simple. To help local churches Know Jesus Christ, Grow in grace and knowledge and Do good works. We plan to do this by:
While we have much more to do, we have already begun working on these two goals. First, we developed the Matthew 28 Project to help equip those going on short-term mission trips. For the second goal of training pastors and other lay people in foreign countries, we have entered into a formal partnership with churches in the Philippines. We are also in the planning stages for more locations around the globe.