REACHING THE LOST
Our purpose and vision for international missions flows out of Scripture. The Lord promised to Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him (Gen 12:3). God tells his people to declare his glory among the nations (Ps 96:3). The risen Lord Jesus commands his followers to go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19-20). And the worship of heaven pictures those redeemed by Jesus from every tribe, tongue, and nation exalting and praising the Lamb (Rev 5:9). God has highly exalted Christ the King, so that every knee should bow before Him, and every tongue confess him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:9-11).
Our mission at TRB involves making disciples globally. To that end, we have defined a specific set of purpose, vision, and core value statements.
Our purpose for missions is to glorify God in obedience to Jesus Christ and to complete the Great Commission by strategically crossing cultural barriers with the Gospel in order to establish the Church among all peoples.
To increase our awareness of the current state of world evangelization and our participation in completing the Great Commission such that every member of Three Rivers Baptist Church will have an active role in fulfilling the missions purpose of the church, either as sender or one who is sent,
that the church as a whole will take an active role in selecting, training, sending, and supporting members of our body for cross-cultural ministry, particularly to unreached peoples.
the sovereignty of God
God is absolutely in control of time, creation, and redemption. He is Eternal and the Creator and Sustainer of all that is, and this means that He works all things after the counsel of His will, that He does as He pleases and is subject to no one, that He does all things well, that He is building His church worldwide, and that there is nothing too difficult for Him.
supremacy of Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is preeminent over all creation and head over the church. His redemptive work, the Atonement, is both sufficient and efficient for redemption in the believers' lives. All humanity is spiritually dead as a result of sin and faces a judgment of eternal torment unless saved by God. Christ's atonement is thus essential for eternal life. This life is offered to all of humanity who, by the grace of God, repent of sin and believe solely in the person and work of Christ. Therefore, His excellencies, character, work, and lordship must be the hallmark of all preaching, teaching, and discipleship by TRB's missionaries.
authority of God's word
The very existence of Christian missions is founded upon God's character as revealed in His Word, thus the Bible is the central and primary authority for all missions endeavors, acting as the foundation for the development of core values, vision, policies, strategies, and practices.
the glory of God & missions
The ultimate goal of God and therefore also of missions is the glory and worship of God through the Church among all peoples. Because God's Word assures us that this purpose will be accomplished, and that "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world", God is especially glorified when the fullness of His elect is manifested in the ethnic diversity of the church; specifically, that there be representatives from every tongue, tribe and nation (people group) as His worshiping elect.
the unfinished task
TRB is committed to raising up and sending out missionaries to do church planting among the unreached peoples of the world in an effort to concentrate on the unfinished task of world evangelization. Recognizing that most mission endeavors are to places and peoples where the church is already established, we strive to allot much of our sending and supporting efforts toward those people groups where either the gospel has not been preached or its preaching has not resulted in the establishment of an indigenous church.
the centrality of the church
All missions endeavors should have as their goal to glorify God through evangelism and discipleship, with the intent of establishing self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing churches. These churches must not be carbon copies of the sending church (unless of the same culture) but should be indigenous and culturally sensitive. All missions endeavors supported by TRB will have this as their ultimate goal.
the local church as the sending agent
The local church should be the primary sending agent of each individual missionary, and the relationship between church and missionary is of vital importance for ongoing spiritual growth, accountability, counsel, and support. The local church should be proactive in identifying, equipping, and sending missionaries, not reactive and complacent in its sending responsibilities. As well, the local church bears the responsibility of being the earthly authority over those it sends out as missionaries.
sending out the proven
Sending someone out to minister on behalf of a church is a serious matter. Therefore, keeping with the model of Acts 13:1-3, TRB will send out only those who have proven themselves in godly character and ministry effectiveness, who are sound doctrinally and equipped for ministry, who consistently manifest the fruit of the Spirit, and who have remained steadfast under trial.
spiritual maturity, growth, & accountability
The missionary's spiritual maturity, growth, and accountability, both on and off the field, are matters of primary importance to both his life and ministry, and should therefore remain an essential element of concern not only to family and immediate authority, but to his sending church, as well. The missionary and the local church are responsible to monitor and address maturity, growth, and accountability issues.
maximum support to minimum numbers
Believing that the primary responsibility for the support of full-time Christian workers belongs to the church (1 Tim 5:17-18), the TRB Missions Team believes that it is better stewardship of the church's and missionaries' resources to support fewer missionaries to a greater extent, thereby encouraging stronger relationships between missionaries and supporting churches and freeing missionaries from excessive campaigning in their home country to pursue ministry on the field.