“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2 – NASB95)
God loves multiplication! He loves it in the local church and He loves it on the mission field. That is why STN is committed to training national pastors to not only plant churches but to equip others who will equip others… For many years, foreign missionaries would go out and do all the work themselves, but at this time in history it is critical that we train nationals to reach their own nations.
Let me give you a few reasons why:
- Language. It is difficult enough to teach a missionary one language so they can minister in a foreign environment. But imagine a nation like India where there are 22 major languages and 780 dialects. It is much better to equip nationals that already know the languages so they can reach their own people.
- Culture & Religion. Beyond the language barrier, there are a myriad of cultural practices and religious beliefs that are different than what we have experienced. STN strives to train people who already understand these beliefs and practices.
- Politics. Currently there are a number of countries (including India) that are beginning to ask missionaries (or foreigners) to leave when their visas expire. Recently I was told by the vice president of a large ministry that his application for a visa was denied. It is imperative that we train permanent residents who can stay and keep the work going.
- Finances. In many countries we can support anywhere from 10 to 60 nationals for the cost of supporting one American missionary. It is our desire to maximize the donations given to STN and get as many church planters out to unreached areas as possible. We still value sending highly trained American missionaries but primarily want them to be sent as national directors or regional trainers. In those positions they can recruit, equip, and deploy hundreds of nationals to reach unreached villages.
- Effectiveness. Because of the reasons listed above we believe our effectiveness is increased exponentially by focusing on training and resourcing nationals in every country. And what joy it brings us to see them going out with a heart to MULTIPLY workers for the harvest fields.
Thank you for participating with us in the vital ministry of STN. Your time spent volunteering and praying is making a profound difference in India, Nepal, Bolivia, and beyond. And your monetary donations are making it possible for the equipping and resourcing of hundreds of workers who will ultimately be involved in planting thousands of churches. Please pray for us that we would be wise and faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us. To God be the glory great things He is doing!