We at Missio Nexus have recently gone through a process of identifying the values behind the multi-faceted services we continually and carefully provide to the broader mission community of North America. Four operational values stand out as the underpinning to the programs, products and services that we deliver. Beginning with this blog, and continuing through the next three, I will pinpoint and articulate those values.
These operational values have been forcefully demonstrated through the years in the lives of noteworthy missionaries, missionary statesmen, and biblical leaders. We highly regard those who have gone before us, and esteem them as heroes and heroines whom we desire to emulate. Therefore, after defining the value in our unique way, that value will be presented in biographical form, as a way of lending historicity to its validity.
Value: Shared Learning
The process of inculcating information and knowledge into a group that has a common affinity, to achieve a mutual objective
A.B. Simpson (1843 – 1919)
Born on Prince Albert Island, and baptized by the first Canadian missionary to the South Seas, Albert Benjamin Simpson was immersed in a “missionary atmosphere” in his home from childhood that impacted his entire life. He became the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, but another noteworthy achievement was the founding of his missionary training school located in Nyack, NY. This legacy in the area of Christian education extended far beyond this one institution. His missionary training concept launched the Bible institute movement that spread across North America and became the primary recruiting grounds for independent faith mission agencies of thousands of missionaries over the next century.
“The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all
in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world.”
– A.B. Simpson
Ann Hasseltine Judson (1789 – 1826)
Ann Judson was one of the first female foreign missionaries from North American, who along with her husband Adoniram, ministered in the country of Burma. She models the value of shared learning through her many accomplishments that provided learning tools and opportunities to the people among whom she worked, as well as those she influenced from afar. Learning the Burmese language was difficult enough, but she went beyond that. She wrote a catechism in Burmese (first of its kind), translated the books of Daniel and Jonah into Burmese, and was the first Protestant to translate any Scripture into Thai when in 1819 she translated the Book of Matthew. Additionally, her letters to home were published in periodicals and read by a fascinated public, influencing many into missions. Her work and writings made the role of the missionary wife as a “calling” legitimate for 19th century Americans. Her influence is felt today through Judson College (Marion, Alabama) named in her honor and the fifth oldest women’s college in the United States.
“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more.
I would not choose my position of work, or place of labour.
Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
– Ann Hasseltine Judson
Solomon – King of Israel
King Solomon, “the wisest man who ever lived,” shared his learning and wisdom with the masses. God told him, “Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12). Solomon put that wisdom to good use in establishing the “golden age” of Israel’s history. But he did not keep all that he knew and learned to himself. He willingly shared it with his kingdom subjects, knowing that an educated populace would make for a prosperous populace. Three books of Solomon’s wisdom that became canonical are Proverbs (a collection of sayings of wisdom on life); Ecclesiastes (a book on contemplation and his self-reflection); and Song of Solomon (poetry based around a love story). They were meant to be read, shared and applied to everyday life. Other writings have been attributed to him as well.
Luke – Apostolic Historian
By word count, Luke the historian wrote more of the New Testament than any other writer. Both his extensive history of the life of Christ (the Gospel of Luke) and selective history of the early church (Acts of the Apostles), were addressed to an individual named Theophilus, but obviously intended for a general and wider audience. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Luke used investigative means to accurately preserve the essential events in the life of Christ and important events in the life of the early church. He wanted the church of his day and the years to follow, to have an accurate record of the amazing times in which he lived. Both books are missionary in nature through and through. Both provide the historical backbone for the missionary movement today. Both share vital information that informs the global missionary movement.