Our current Digital Age has brought us to the point of information overload in nearly every aspect of life. In 2024, with more knowledge and resources available to us than in any time in human history, the blessing of abundant information has become a burden on the clarity of many aspects of church life and ministry—perhaps none more so than global missions. Influenced by the world around us to discard once foundational practices in favor of what is new, clever, and convenient, Christians find themselves tempted to favor a ministry philosophy of missions that prioritizes efficiency, novelty, and utility rather than one that is biblically grounded.
Thus, Christians who desire to obey Christ’s call to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18–20) are confronted by an array of voices and methodologies. Understandably, it is difficult to know who to listen to or where to start. Churches have begun turning to algorithms, statistics, and “growth” strategies in an effort to develop successful missions programs, often at the expense of reverence and truth. This manner of thinking would suggest to us that psychology, programs, podcasts, or a myriad of other sources have something to offer that Scripture lacks. Large conferences that include popular speakers and a dominating social media presence in turn espouse and expand these ideas to the farthest reaches of global missions.
In light of this, it is vital for Christians who desire that all the nations would hear and proclaim the name of Jesus to remember that Scripture is the only essential tool a missionary needs. Its relevance, sufficiency, and authority will never be surpassed. The Word of God was breathed out by the Spirit through His servants—it satisfies every need and answers every question. Indeed, we cannot take an approach to the God-honoring work of missions that isn’t itself directly derived from the Bible.
Faithful saints who have gone before us are instructive in their example. Missionaries like William Carey, Adoniram Judson, and Elisabeth Elliot dedicated their lives to translating the Bible into the native languages of the people they served and evangelized to. They recognized that the Bible is central to all missions work, and their commitment to Scripture is seen in the salvation of whole people groups and in millions of people who still proclaim Christ to this day. As Martin Luther aptly wrote, “The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man’s reason.”
This is why TMAI’s 2024 International Symposium is focused on the theme, “The Bible and Missions.” Our desire is to help you recognize the unlimited, sufficient resource that the Bible is for missionaries, supporting missions, and all of life. Join us on March 5 as we grow together in being more Bible-focused and missions-minded.