It’s easy to feel the world around us is growing more and more complex.
With so many issues and challenges demanding our attention, it can be hard to focus on the right things. In all the chaos, clarity and purpose can be tough to find. And yet, Paul reminds us that we must not be led away from “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). When we keep the glory of Christ our primary goal, we will find the focus that we need to lead us forward.
It’s clear that God has led TMAI into a time of increased international opportunities.
Last year, we tallied approximately 55 doors that the Lord opened for future ministry. Though exciting, the complexity of it all is sinking in. As our schools continue to expand and indigenize across cultures, we are seeing an increasing need to resource more languages. And yet, the opportunities keep coming, and when we stop to consider what’s before us, it’s not hard to feel the weight of it all.
On every front, the opportunities are significant. When we keep the glory of Christ our primary goal, we will find the focus that we need to lead us forward
In restricted-access countries, pastors are asking us to train them while they shepherd their people through persecution and political chaos. In other parts of the world, we’re being invited to help train large groups of existing seminary students, and serve churches near strongholds of the prosperity gospel. Even among our existing schools, most of them have told me that enrollment has grown exponentially after COVID. At every turn, God is introducing us to more and more national pastors with a desire to be trained to preach expositionally. We resonate with Paul when he asks, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor 2:16).
We rejoice in the answer that Paul gives—Christ is sufficient for these things (2 Cor 3:4–6). “In Him all things hold together” (Col 1:17), and in Him even an expanding Christian ministry can grow in a way that serves His people with excellence (cf. Eph 4:15–16). Because of who Christ is for us, we can trust Him to make our path straight as we go to train on new frontiers (cf. Prov 3:5–6).
Looking at the opportunities in front of us, we remember that the goal of Christ is simple: to build His Church among the nations (Matt 16:18; 28:18–20). And in order to bring this about, He establishes gifted local pastors to faithfully proclaim His word for the benefit of His people (Col 1:28–29; Eph 4:11–16). Because of who Christ is for us, we can trust Him to make our path straight as we go to train on new frontiers (cf. Prov 3:5–6).
Simply put, mature churches require mature church leaders (Eph 4:11–16; 2 Tim 3:16–4:1). And it’s for this reason that TMAI trains church leaders worldwide.
Investing in church leaders is nothing new. Paul did it (2 Tim 3:10–11; Acts 14:19–23) and he told his followers to do the same (2 Tim 2:2; Titus 1:5). So when we follow their example in new countries and contexts, we do so with time-tested principles firm in hand.
In the pages that follow, you’ll see how TMAI is working towards its goal of establishing mature churches in various contexts. Our students, graduates, and faculty are working in unreached places, among persecuted communities, and amid the crosscurrents of war. In each of these theaters, you’ll see how the simple goal of training indigenous pastors is key to the health of the global church.
God has made all this possible through your support, and on behalf of all our schools, thank you for partnering with us to bring pastoral training to new frontiers.
Until they all hear,
Mark Tatlock, President
New Frontiers for Gospel Training
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