Often I am asked: "What do you plan to do when you get to the mission field?"
That's a fair question! Many "missionaries" go to foreign countries to spread education, agriculture, art, science, political doctrine, commerce, or architecture. I'm not against any of these things, but my mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here's what I believe my ministry in Russia must include:
1. Learning the language - A leading missions expert says that no missionary can do a truly effective work in any foreign country without taking the time and effort necessary to master the language. Our plan is to enroll in language school as soon as we reach the field.
2. Personal soulwinning - Through person-to-person contact, we will share the plan of salvation everywhere we go.
3. Mass evangelism - The Russian people are hungry for the Gospel. A harvest of souls can be reaped - in tents, on the streets, and in hospitals, jails, public schools, and orphanages. Every city and village has meeting halls, built by the communists. Many of these can now be used for evangelistic meetings.
4. Planting independent Baptist churches - The best "follow up program" in the world is to get a new convert into a Biblical Baptist church. My vision is to plant several churches at one time throughout a region, like the old-time circuit riders used to do. Russia is such a vast, unreached territory - it needs an independent Baptist church in every city, town, and village.
5. Training nationals - The goal should be that Russian churches will be pastored by God-called Russian men. These men will need to be trained in Bible principles of church building.
6. Moving on - When a region has several self-supporting churches planted, I intend, as God leads, to MOVE ON to another unreached region in Russia and start the process again. This is the example of the Apostle Paul. If the Lord permits, I would be glad to spend the rest of my life doing this work.
7. Reporting back - I believe it is proper and scriptural for a missionary to write back to the churches regularly, and to take furloughs. The supporting churches are blessed when missionaries tell what God is doing on the field, and the cause of world missions is advanced.