A while ago MTW created what we now call regional “hubs” in the U.S. These hubs are arms of MTW located within geographical regions (e.g. West Coast or Midwest). The idea is to have MTW personnel closer to where the people are in order to facilitate church involvement in world missions. This is really important given MTW’s goal that the PCA would send out 1% of its membership onto the missions field. When I first heard this goal a couple of years ago I was skeptical. My “glass is half empty” side kicked in: Where would we find these people? How would our denomination fund these new missionaries? How will our home office be able to keep up with the growth?
Though I don’t know how the Lord will work out all the details, I now believe it is certainly a worthy goal because there are so many around the world who have not had the opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the gospel message. There are men, women and children who are perishing apart from Christ. They need to know the Savior. We need more folks to go and share the gospel message.
If I’m not mistaken, it was William Carey (“the father of modern missions”) who said “attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.” While we shouldn’t presume God will answer our every request, we do know that He is both powerful and sovereign and that He is at work expanding His Kingdom. In light of that and because of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), this goal of sending out 1% of the PCA as missionaries doesn’t seem insurmountable. My wife Michele was just sharing with me the other day of how she heard Dr. Lloyd Kim (MTW Coordinator) talking about this goal. He spoke of it in terms of revival and said something to the effect that if we are to realize this goal, then we will need to pray for a great revival work of the Holy Spirit. Amen brother Lloyd. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). If we are to see God raise up more laborers, then we must ask Him to both send them and also uphold them once they are sent. It must be a work of God if we are to see the nations reached with the Good News.
Since our arrival in the U.S. for our current one year HMA (Home Ministry Assignment) I have had the privilege of interacting with two of our MTW hubs: the West Coast and Midwest. The staff in each of these hubs has been doing an excellent job. In January, Mike Pettengill (West Coast Hub Director) invited me to come and speak at a missions class he was teaching at Westminster Seminary in California. My topic was short term missions. I also had the opportunity of speaking to a group of students during the lunch hour about our work in Uruguay and how the Lord has been faithful to grant fruit and blessing.
Soon after arriving in St. Louis for “phase two” of our HMA, I had the opportunity to meet Owen Tarantino (Midwest Hub Director) and his team. I attended a lunch meeting at Covenant Seminary where a speaker presented opportunities with MTW’s BAM (Business as Mission) where people can use their business skills to advance to cause of world evangelization. I also attended a conference put on by the Midwest hub intended to mobilize and equip local churches to begin and develop their involvement and effectiveness in world missions. The conference was hosted at Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church – the church which owns the missions house where we are currently living!
This spring the West Coast hub will be organizing a missions conference in Sacramento, California. Hopefully the Lord will use it to give people a deeper love for Christ and a passion for introducing the nations to our Savior!
Let’s be praying that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into the harvest! I am so glad that we serve a Sovereign God who answers prayer. May the praises of our God and King be on the lips of men, women and children from every nation, tribe and language!