We believe that as a part of God’s universal church, BVC is commanded to join in the effort to proclaim the Gospel among every people (ethne), gathering disciples into indigenous, reproducing (baptizing and teaching) churches, so that God will be glorified and people will be blessed (Mt 28:18-20; Hab. 2:14; Rev 7:9-12; Gen 12:1-3).
The place of the local church in missions
One point deserves to be stated here as a foundational principle, since it guides our approach to all of missions: Christ gave the Great Commission to the church (universal), and this commission is rightly accepted and carried out by, faithful local churches (Mt 28:18-20; Mt 16:18-20). Indeed, the church is at the heart of God’s redemptive work in the world (Eph. 1:20-23; 3:9-11).
The local church, then, has the privilege and responsibility of identifying missionary candidates, confirming God’s leading of individuals into missions, evaluating a missionary’s efforts, supporting missionaries, etc. (Acts 13:1-3; 2 Tim. 1:6; 1 Tim. 3:1-13). As is indicated below, this does not mean that we dislike or resist the involvement of mission agencies. Quite the opposite: we value such partnership. But we affirm and retain, for the church, the authority and the responsibility for missions.
Our mission efforts demonstrate the following qualities
- Gospel-focused – Does this effort uphold the centrality of the Gospel to the advancement of God’s kingdom (Ro 1:16; Lk 24:44-49)?
- Local church-centered – Does this effort affirm the importance of working with and through the local church (both on the mission field, if a church is present, and at BVC) to accomplish God’s mission (Acts 13:1-3; 14:23; 15:41; 20:17-35)?
- Partnership/collaboration – Will this effort support a mutual, back-and-forth relationship between the mission field (and the people there), and BVC (our people) (Phil 1:3-5; 4:16; 2 Co 9:10-15; Ro 1:11-12)?
- How is the ministry of the mission/missionary strategic? How is this determined and evaluated?
- Who has the authority (right?) to ask questions and guide decisions about the missionary’s life and ministry?