It’s very simple. My goal in blogging is to edify the body of Christ worldwide and to expand his kingdom without weakening it through endless factional squabbles at a time when billions of people depend on us working together. This is not to say that I lack personal convictions about God's word or about doctrine. I am vitally concerned about biblical theology, as I know many of you are. My burden here, however, is to develop partnerships that can help bring people to Christ and not to debate the finer points of theology. I have full confidence that once new converts have embraced Christ, they will be properly guided by his Spirit into obedience. An excellent example of this is the explosive growth of the Ethiopian church after the expulsion of the missionaries during the Marxist era.
Technically, I suppose I can be called a non-residential missionary (NRM). A non-residential missionary is someone who is not a long-term resident of their field of ministry but nevertheless has a long-term commitment. For many years I worked as an NRM in Ethiopia and several other nations, residing in the U.S. but traveling internationally 3-4 times a year. I see my job as one of helping foreign nationals to do their work through mentoring and training. I work closely with local church leadership wherever I go and am willing to live in whatever conditions I may find myself with the national believers. In addition, I consider it a major goal of mine to develop mission bands that are highly mobile and strategically equipped to give undivided attention to the specific work at hand with a laser-like focus. I am also seeking to mentor foreign nationals in a way that transforms the individual, contributes to the mission of their local church, and has the potential of impacting the church as a whole in that country.
I believe that every Christian, and that all of us together, need to respond to Jesus' call to follow him into the world with the Good News, taking risks and demonstrating his scandalous love, even if it should cost us our lives. As we travel to the nations, God can open our eyes to the needs of others, make us aware of our own ethnocentricity, and spark a lifelong commitment to global evangelization. In the words of Alistair McGrath, "Evangelism is something intrinsic to the identity of the Church -- not an optional extra, but something part and parcel of its very being" (CT, June 19, 1995, p. 21).
So it's important to understand what I'm trying to do here at DBO -- and also what I'm not trying to do. I'm not trying to debate agrarianism or eschatology or Calvinism. I'm trying to point out to anyone who will listen to me why the new birth and sacrificial love are inextricably bound up with each other, as a growing number of bloggers are proclaiming. They are not interested in the latest fad in scholarship as much as they desperately desire to reclaim the simplicity of the Gospel. It's too bad that we New Testament scholars have made Christianity so complicated. The Hindu leader Gandhi, when asked to define a "Christian," would often reply, "Ask the poor. They will tell you who the Christians are." The greatest work of the church has not been the occasional burst of the miraculous or the fanfare of some great achievement, but the day-to-day testimony of Christians living out their faith in the monotonous grind of life.
I pray that you will join me on this great adventure. As bloggers and readers of blogs, we have the tremendous opportunity to provide an alternative to those who see the American Dream as their only hope. May we invest our blogging energies into making the Jesus way of life attractive to more and more people. Let us, in short, become followers of Jesus again.
May God bless us and help us, for the glory of his name.