Preach Evangelistic Ministries is an independent, fundamental, Baptist missions outreach ministry focusing on the world’s Portuguese speaking people.
After a renewed study of the missionary methods of the Apostle Paul, we (PREACH Evangelistic Ministries) were challenged to return to a scriptural based method and strategy of church planting. The statistics say that only 27% of the missionaries on the field today are actually involved in church planting. In the scriptures, however, those sent in Acts were ‘ordained and sent’ for the single purpose of planting churches. I would like to explain further by breaking down this method in four categories.
It has been said that a vision should be so clear and well defined it should fit on the front of a T-shirt, or told in just two words. Well, those two words are “Portuguese People.” Every tool, resource and opportunity God gives us, we wish to utilize, that the gospel might be preached among the Portuguese nations of the world.
PREACH Evangelistic Ministries was born out of a vision to reach not just one country, but a people.
It was phenomenal how God called the Apostle Paul and within 25 years of ministry, he had both directly and indirectly started around 48-50 churches. Pioneering into 17 or 18 geographical locations, much of Paul’s success was accredited to his ability to work on a team. An entire network of helps and dozens of men were mentored thus quickly and effectively spreading the Gospel all over the world in Paul’s day.
Both Christ and the Apostle Paul spent their earthly ministries training, discipling, and preparing men, native to the land, where they would later become leaders and church planters. This biblical example is what we intend to replicate. We wish to train local national preachers instead of just seeing converts and moving on.
Paul’s indigenous principles of church planting was accomplished only by the vision to leave small nucleus type churches, to “confirm” disciples in the faith and to “commend,” (or lean up against) the Holy Spirit. Even dozens more of principles like these are revealed throughout scripture. Our minds are thus set on following as close as possible the biblical New Testament methods as used and modeled in the Word of God. We hope that with these methods to continue to see the elimination of the “missionary welfare system” that seems to erode away at our endeavors overseas.
In short, we support the missionaries, not the churches.
After having been brought up on the mission field through most of my teenage life and having served two terms as a missionary with my wife and children, our family began to sense that God was trying to teach us some things about the biblical methods and principals for missions, things that we had all seemed to have long gotten away from.
The general concept of a missionary on the field today is one of a man trying to build the work that God has given him into a church that he can turn over to a national pastor. Unfortunately, this usually ends up with the missionary becoming a pastor instead of a church planter. This was exactly the condition I found our ministry in. God began to show us that while the church we established was being supported by the churches in the States, it was still responsible to God as a local New Testament church. The funding by churches back home, which were sometimes struggling themselves, created a missionary welfare system that deprived our new converts of what they needed most to please God – FAITH! God then challenged our hearts to enhance our outreach not just to one suburb, one town, or one country, but to one people.
The great missionary, Paul the Apostle, was called and sent by God to the Gentile nations. In some twenty-five years of ministry he traveled to 18 different geographical locations directly and indirectly starting 48 to 50 churches. This was accomplished with the vision of establishing small, nucleus-type churches rather than by building spiritual empires everywhere he went. Grasping the vision of this Pauline ministry, we established PREACH Evangelistic Ministries in the full confidence that God would be pleased with a return to the primitive roots of missionary evangelism that He blessed so mightily in the first century.
There are presently 240 million Portuguese-speaking people in the world. Statistics say that we have 8 Spanish-speaking missionaries to every 1 Portuguese-speaking missionary. Spread across three different continents, nearly a dozen islands, and in eight countries, these people have suffered under civil wars, communism, political controversies and religious confusion. With these facts in mind, God has led us to focus our efforts toward helping the national pastors, laymen, and workers in developing a biblical foundation for their ministries. We have tried to imitate Christ by training leaders and assisting them to plant churches among their own people in their own culture. It is our hope that these methods will enhance the work of missions and also eliminate the financial dependency that so often is found to erode away the foundation of our missionary endeavors.
Intention is the design, purpose, end or aim of the mind. Our minds are thus set on following, as closely as possible, the New Testament methods and pattern illustrated to us through the life and devotion of the Apostle Paul. I believe that by courageously putting aside those practices and policies that have diverted our churches and our mission programs from the New Testament methods and pattern, we could truly begin to see the work of the church get back on track.
PAUL E. PRITCHARD Jr.