All SEAMIST workers, staff, and
associated members subscribe not only to our
doctrinal statement, but also to some
basic principles what have been accepted over the years as our
foundational philosophy. Over time, these perspectives on
our methods and our work have been evaluated and modified as
needed so that we can enjoy stability and direction in all that
These Mission Perspectives are
not meant to limit our work or our workers, but to set them free
to fulfill the call of God on their lives. Listed below
are some of the most important of these.
1. We Plant Churches!
Far too often
ministries adopt a "McDonald's Mentality" and can truly hang out
signs that say "thousands saved". Okay, but the big
questions ought to be "how many were discipled and churched?"
"How many were trained to lead?" "How many ministries were
developed and are at work today?"
There is only one scriptural plan for continuing discipleship
and leadership development since the time of Jesus Christ, and
that is the local church. When it is firmly planted and thriving
locally, the kingdom of God grows and the missionary can go
home. Until then, the job is just not done.
SEAMIST church planting teams and workers plan from day one to
complete the job and to leave behind a local church or churches
that are self supporting, self governing, and self propagating.
The form that church may take will vary from culture to culture,
but it will always be complete in these three aspects. We
plant indigenous churches!
2. We focus on the eleven countries of South East Asia!
The world is a big place full of people, more than 6.85 billion
of them! No person or organization short of the whole Church of
Jesus Christ can reach them all. We humbly accept that we are
just a small part of the whole.
SEAMIST leadership has long been
convinced that South East Asia is the part of the world God is
sending us to. With almost 600 million people and almost 700
unreached people groups, South East Asia is enough, already!
SEAMIST knows who we are and what we are called to do.
SEAMIST gladly blesses what God
is doing with all kinds of other ministries throughout the
world, but we keep our energy and resources focused on
South East Asia. By doing this we expect, by His power
and in His time, to continue planting reproducing churches not
only out live us, but that develop many workers who go on to
fulfill the great commission themselves.
3. We focus on the
least-reached people groups!. Keith Green was
often quoted as saying that, "It is just not fair that anyone on
this earth should hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard
it once." SEAMIST shares the Apostle Paul's ambition to
preach the gospel where it has not been heard! We are not
afraid to go where no one has gone before or to work where no
one has yet been successful. It may not be easy, but we know it
pleases God when we obey his command to reach to the uttermost
In South East Asia there are nearly 600 million people in more
than 1800 people groups. About 675 of these groups are
still not touched by the gospel. God willing, SEAMIST will
do its part and spend our energy and resources in this area
where the needs are among the greatest on earth. We have
or are currently working in more than a dozen of these groups,
and churches have been planted that are penetrating their
cultures and transforming their areas.
4. We work in
teams as much as possible. Jesus sent them
out two by two. Why? Could it be that the work was hard,
the fields unfriendly, and the temptations too big for one man?
Teams often survive and thrive in the most difficult
circumstances. Teamwork brings relational stresses that
produce unity and spiritual growth in all the members.
Unity brings not only His Presence but His Power. No one
has all the gifts, all the ideas, or all the answers.
While we believe every team will have just one leader, we
recognize that "one hand can't clap"! A powerful team develops
when each person's gifts and callings are maximized to
accomplish the team's vision. When each member owns the team's
vision and does his or her part, the job will get done and all
will be satisfied and successful. The team will accomplish what
was impossible for anyone to accomplish alone.
5. We follow
"indigenous" principles! SEAMIST does not
mean native or primitive or tribal by the word "indigenous".
We use "indigenous" to mean what is natural and appropriate in
an environment or culture. Jesus Christ and Christianity
has been rejected as "foreign" for centuries because it was
culturally and socially western. SEAMIST hopes to always
plant New Testament churches that are governed, supported, and
multiplied by the national believers themselves.
Our workers are trained to honor social and cultural norms in
any place. They learn the local language. They focus
on reaching the segments of a society that have the right to
make decisions about religion, usually the husbands and fathers.
SEAMIST workers use the best methods of communication,
especially story-telling. We want the people we are trying
to reach to be able to understand the message in a way that he
or she can respond to.
SEAMIST trains our workers to plant churches where the new
believers are equipped to do the work of the ministry, where
natural leaders are recognized, trained, and released to lead,
and where everyone in the church takes responsibility for the
work of the Lord.
6. We practice
"simple church"! No need for pews or
pulpit! No need for a building! Electric Guitar,
senior pastor, Sunday School, youth ministry? While these
and many other things are usually a part of "church" in many
parts of the world, they are not "the church". The church
of Jesus Christ is people loving God and one another in unity,
who meet regularly for worship and teaching, and who give and do
the work of the ministry for the glory of God.
SEAMIST trains our workers to plant churches that are simple.
While things like buildings and Bible Schools are perfectly
fine, they are optional. We use the New Testament as the
pattern, keeping church as simple as it possibly can be.
As a church grows, it is up to the local believers whether they
want to meet in a building or under a tree. The decide
whether to meet on Sunday or Friday noon or whenever. They
decide the standards of membership. Of course, basic
doctrine is taught but even that is kept simple so that even a
child can reproduce it. Elders are given authority to
govern, local people do it all "their way".
These perspectives are the main things that SEAMIST trains to do
and that we try to reproduce in the lives of those who believe
and in the churches we plant. Our ways are not the only
ways, but they are our ways. What do you think? Want
to get involved? You are MOST