This is an article from the September - October 2001 issue: Strategic Giving

Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment

There are some things only missionaries can do best. One of those things is to man a major global center focused on the remaining frontiers of mission.

Sure, we need other people too—and we have them. But we still need people with field experience.

Dear Reader,

What in the world is this Center in Pasadena, California? And why is it one form of “Strategic Giving” to support, staff and run a place like this?

It is 87 organizations and entities huddled together seeking to serve the ends of the earth.

More specifically, it is 56 families who are members of the “Frontier Mission Fellowship.” That’s the corporate title of the mission society which manages the U. S. Center for World Mission and the William Carey International University.

It is the hub of regional offices in many parts of the U.S. and world, all focused specifically on the final, cutting edge of the missionary task.

It is also the hub of a vast network of “professors” who teach in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Study Program, plus 700 specially-trained field coordinators who uphold this program.
The Center’s William Carey Library has been the source and support for the publishing and distribution of hundreds of thousands of specialized mission books annually, representing the mission titles of over 100 other publishers.

Half of our work force lives right in Pasadena in homes adjacent to the campus, in close fellowship—a working and worshiping community.

Here we generate the Mission Frontiers, the Global Prayer Digest and the International Journal of Frontier Missions.

What we have done with only a few missionaries?

  • Our major workforce across the years in setting this place up has been a marvelous group of envisioned young people—who are now older and are the backbone of this humming center!
  • They helped us buy this 33-acre, $40,000,000 campus with its auditoriums, dorms, food service, and conference center, and they now man it with the help of 80­some dedicated employees. That has not required mission field experience.
  • They have helped us edit and send out this Mission Frontiers bulletin (now going to some 80,000 people). Much of that does not require missionary experience.
  • They have edited the Global Prayer Digest, which is used daily by thousands in various languages.

Much of that does not require missionary experience.

  • They have built up the vast network of Perspectives classes across the country, now annually 5,000 students in over 130 locations. While some missionar­ies are among the 800 professors who teach in this network, the program itself has not required missionaries with field experience to operate it.
  • They have developed a spectacu­lar Mission Resource Center here on the grounds with hundreds of titles ranging from children’s materials to missiological texts.
  • That has not required mission field experience.
  • They have tied the entire campus here into a single data network linking 650 phones and far more data jacks. That has not required mission field experience.
  • They have cheerfully provided advice and materials for countless inquiring churches building local mission programs. That has not always required mission field experience.
  • On and on …

Our major workforce here now urgently needs the infusion of a few more missionary families.

We have educational facilities for your children. We now have on campus Judson International School, the 15th of the global “Network of International Christian Schools.”

We have innovative educational programs combining short-term and academic-credit programs which run all the way through college and graduate school.

We have a place for you to live. We own over 100 homes surrounding the campus. This cuts down on cars since this place is the locus of labor, living, and learning (from kindergar­ten through Ph.D.)

Are you, or do you know, a missionary or missionary family who is nearing retirement or already retired, forced to come home for some reason, or on extended educa­tional furlough? Please get in touch with us.
What do we so urgently need missionary staff for?

Only one example is our concern for the urgent “frontier” in mission constituted by the need for effective distance education of the two million functional pastors already on the mission field who have never had any formal theological education.

One problem to be solved: The basic, crucial, and essential knowl­edge these key leaders need to know about the Gospel (the Bible, the Christian church, the meaning of faith in today’s world) is traditionally they live and minister, not at some daytime school even if it is nearby. Our curriculum, already in use in overseas schools, is packaged precisely for individual study.

But, to maintain this curriculum we need five missionary scholars with Ph.D.s (or setting out to get a Ph.D.) who can help us maintain it. Some of the textbooks and articles are going out of print and out of date each week. Vast, ongoing energies, in­formed by mission and missiological experience, are essential to keep this in good shape.

There are many other needs for missionaries here, not the least to help edit this bulletin. Also, institutes for Muslim, Hindu, Chinese studies, etc., here cannot do their work effectively without people from the field. Do get in touch with us.


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