Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
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The Great Commission Cycle

Training Nationals

Our Philosophy

Paul’s example of personally selecting Timothy, training him in real-life experience, and exhorting him to train other faithful men sets the standard for the successful accomplishment of missionary endeavor (2 Timothy 2:2). Missions begins with the Gospel and ends with the Gospel, as the responsibility for propagating its message changes hands from the missionary to the national. Our understanding of the Scriptures is that missions is only fully accomplished when the nationals on any field are completing the mandate of the Great Commission. From the very beginning of his ministry, the missionary must prayerfully seek spiritually-qualified leaders. He targets those who have the zeal, gifts, and calling to lead, and takes the time to teach them the nature, philosophy and practice of the ministry. He “passes the baton” to these nationals, rejoicing in God’s working and equipping them to repeat the missions process themselves. 

Our Practice

GFA's most visible results in the area of church planting are from the nationals who were prepared in some organized training program (such as a seminary, Bible college, or Bible institute). Numerous churches have been planted around the world by nationals instructed by our missionaries. We encourage all of our missionaries to train nationals through organized efforts. Regardless of whether the training is formal or informal, the goal is to train faithful men who are capable and dedicated to training others. Our missionaries do this through:

  • Organized Training Programs: This refers to training programs which provide some type of formal classroom instruction for nationals. This includes seminaries, Bible institutes, and organized programs within a local church. In some cases our missionaries are offering training that is on the level of seminary training in the States. In other cases, the missionaries are teaching on a more rudimentary level, focusing on core Bible doctrines.
  • In-Depth Mentoring: In addition to organized training programs, our missionaries are also mentoring men privately with the goal of preparing them for the ministry.