Kevin DeYoung once wrote a little book called, “Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will.” But, it was his subtitle that was so catchy to me. It reads, “Or, how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.” I remember picking this up and really enjoying it several years ago. I remember thinking, “I have made almost every big decision in life already. This will be handy as a pastor in counseling, but I think I am pretty set.” Well, I was wrong. I have thought much about the wisdom of this book over the past several months. It has been a friend and a constant companion as I have had to do some soul searching and discerning over a possible new ministry opportunity that would move me out of vocational pastoral ministry and into another field of ministry.
This brings me to today. The Lord has given me a new assignment. I want to let those of you who read this know how the Lord providentially brought me here, what it is that I will be doing, and why I will be working with this wonderful organization.
The Providence of God
Over the past several years I have been working as a volunteer with a missions organization by the name of International Church Planters (ICP). During my time as one of the pastors at Pray’s Mill Baptist Church I had the privilege of going on three trips with ICP to see the work up close. Their mission is to train pastors/planters in areas of the world where the church is growing, but opportunities for sound biblical training are scarce. Their primary focus currently is in Ecuador, Kenya, and soon-to-be Uganda. Each time that I went on one of these trips I was blown away by what the Lord was doing with this organization. The Lord also used these trips to foster a deep friendship between myself and the president of ICP. But on top of all of this, my heart was burdened for the work and for the indigenous men who were being trained for pastoral ministry. Little did I know that the Lord was providentially working his will and his way through it all to have me become a part of this ministry as more than a once-a-year volunteer. The Lord in His providence is moving me from being a pastor to training pastors.
The Mission of God
As I just mentioned, the work of ICP is to train pastors. When we think about the Great Commission we might think that it is primarily about evangelism. And while evangelism is certainly part of the process it is just that . . . part of the process. We find that we are to make disciples, mark disciples, and mature disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). This is what the church is called to do. We also find commands to train qualified men to teach from the pen of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also . . .” This is what ICP is all about. They are all about making disciples, but more specifically about making faithful disciples who are also called to the office of a pastor. ICP makes this training available to men who would otherwise have no real opportunity for formal theological training yet richly desire it. What a joy it will be to be able to help train such men who are thirsty for the truths of God’s word, humble in heart, and have a teachable spirit.
The Glory of God
I long to see the words of the prophet, Habakkuk, come to fruition. In Habakkuk 2:14 he wrote, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” While for the past 13 years I have been seeking to do this as a vocational pastor (and in all realms of life), I am now going to be seeking to do it as a missionary of sorts. As I get the opportunity to train these men (both on site and via technology from the states) would you be willing to pray for me and my family that the Lord would be glorified with my efforts and those of ICP? Would you be willing to pray for these men who we are training to be faithful in their studies and faithful in their pastorate as well?
Finally, I am now stepping into a new world; a world that is filled with a long line of many missionaries who have gone before. I am stepping into the world of faith fundraising. We are always looking for people who want to partner with us in this important work. You or your church can become a prayer partner with us, which we desperately need, or if the Lord would so move you to partner with us financially, we would be honored by that as well. For more information on how to partner with us, please check out Burrellsonmission.us. If you would like to find out more about the work, please feel free to reach out and we can set up a time to talk.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell