Global missions week shows students ways to GO
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is always asking students, “Where are you going?” This year’s Global Missions Week, helped students explore answers to that question through events, missionary guests and special chapel speakers Miguel Núñez, pastor of International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Nik Ripken, author of “The Insanity of God” and “The Insanity of Obedience.”
One of the week’s major themes was sending out students to the mission fields of North America and around the world. In Tuesday’s chapel, Southeastern’s Board of Trustees and Southeastern Society members joined in with faculty, staff and students to pray over 2+2 students, graduates going to the mission field and students participating in summer missions.
Núñez spoke on the issue of biblical inerrancy, a subject he said is heavily debated in South America. “Some have declared that inerrancy is a [North] American construct or idea that is not needed in the global south, and that’s why I’m confronting it,” he said. “We need to remember that inerrancy is about truth, truth is about God and truth and God are irreversible and so is the Great Commission.”
Leading into a time of commissioning, Núñez charged listeners, “Let us stand together for the sake of God’s Word and the glory of God’s name and the glory of God’s people. Let us go forward preaching the inerrant, infallible Word of God to the lost world.”
Thursday’s chapel service also included the commissioning of 40 Southeastern students who will serve with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) this summer as part of GenSend in the United States and Canada.
Ripken spoke about how easy it is for Christians to become sheep among sheep, pointing out that Southeastern’s focus on the Great Commission is a game changer. “I noticed a tremendous change [that] happened here when every classroom was declared a Great Commission classroom,” Ripken said. “And what that means is you don’t get away with [being a sheep among sheep] anymore. The greater the fight, the richer the victory.”
Christians in areas of religious freedom allow functions of the church to become secularized, according to Ripken. In contrast, the longer a church is under persecution, the more the body of Christ captures the biblical meaning and creativity of functions like baptism and wedding ceremonies.
Ripken challenged listeners to remember the significance of these church functions as they go into the world to do ministry. “In my Baptist college, I was given all the reasons why we do baptism the way we do, and I think maybe we are missing the point,” Ripken said. “Baptism determines two things: who you will die for and whom you will die with.”
Global Missions Week also featured several events where students and guests had face time with missionaries and mission agency representatives. NAMB church planters and students had dinner together where students could ask questions and hear stories from the field. A “Mugs and Missions” event provided students the opportunity to hear “GO Talks,” ten-minute briefings from organizations including the International Mission Board, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism and Empower One. Students and faculty also had a special night of worship outside on the steps of Binkley Chapel.
Southeastern Women’s Life held a special commissioning event for all women who are graduating or are wives of upcoming graduates planning to go to the mission field. They also hosted a “Henna and Prayer” event where women learned how to tell Bible stories using henna while praying for people groups around the world.
As usual, no mission week at Southeastern would be complete without the Taste of the Nations event, giving students opportunities to taste new foods and talk to missionaries from around the world.
Southeastern’s Center for Great Commission Studies hosts Global Missions Week each spring semester to encourage students to get involved in missions both locally and globally. The CGCS aims to expose students to missionaries, providing opportunities to pray for their mission, encourage their ministry and learn how they can go themselves. For more about the CGCS, visit www.thecgcs.org.
View photos of Global Missions Week here.