SEAMIST Missions Perspective
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 we do.
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 parts.
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 welcome here…..