Thursday, May 28, 2009

Resource: FirstBible International

Dedicated Mission resources are rarely provided by Independent Fundamental Baptists. Instead, an IFB must wade through faulty views of the church, missions, and Scripture to benefit from the available resources. There are several reasons why this is our situation, but it ought not to be so.

Thankfully, I can report at least one IFB local church-based organization that is attempting to reverse this dilemma. It is FirstBible International.

Charles Keen is the former pastor of 1st Baptist Church of Milford, OH and co-founder of Bearing Precious Seed, a Scripture printing ministry. His growing vision for the unreached combined with his background in Scripture printing eventually birthed FirstBible International, a ministry of Franklin Road Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN

FirstBible exists to promote the training of nationals and church planting among unreached people groups by translating the Bible into their languages. This is an impressive endeavor for IFB's, as anyone with a knowledge of Bible translation history knows. While I differ with a few of their teachings (e.g. - the idea of 'closure', and of diversity of the saved taking priority over numbers saved in the Mission of God and the churches), I am in hearty agreement with the bulk of what they teach and do.

There are several resources provided by FirstBible that I would like to draw your attention to.
  1. The Unpublished Word Journal - "A quarterly publication designed to inform, inspire and revive the church for missions." The journal is only printed in bulk for churches and colleges. However, any individual can view it for free online in pdf format. This is a great resource for Mission minded IFB's (as I hope all are). I would recommend starting with the journal on unreached people groups.
  2. Videos - On their multimedia page I would recommend watching all three videos. "What is First Bible" and "Emergency" are short videos that give a 'feel' for their ministry and the state of the Gospel in the world. "The Mongolia Project" is a 30 min video which provides a 'close-up' of what FirstBible does.
  3. Resource Page - This page has a good number of valuable downloadable resources. There are a few that I would especially suggest you take a look at:
  • Missionary Statistics - This is a large table representing where various Independent Baptist mission agencies had missionaries in 2004 (does not include workers not affiliated with any agency). Not all of the agencies are TR-Only. Some also accept a Universal Church view, though usually having a very local church philosophy of missions. Take special notice of page 2 and of the last column of the tables which indicates how many millions of people a nation had for every Independent Baptist missionary. The situation in some of the most unreached nations has only gotten worse since 2004.
  • Missionary or World Christian - This is a thought-provoking, and perhaps convicting, comparison between missionaries and world Christians (all of us are supposed to be at least one of them).
I hope that you will utilize this Independent Fundamental Baptist Mission resource, because they are scarce. Learn of missions to unreached people groups, of Bible translation, and of becoming a World Christian. Get involved in the Mission!

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