Each team member’s home church is his primary support team.
ABT is structured to include the team member’s home church in the overall work of translation and church planting. The sending church becomes involved and takes ownership of these tasks in several ways, which can be divided into four general categories.
When a church-planting team goes to the field, one sending congregation will provide direct oversight to the new church that will be planted, while ABT will function as the support and coordinator for the Bible translation.
We suggest that the sending church form a committee of qualified brothers to serve as a connection link between a home church and the team on the field. These brothers will form a local mission board to provide informed input, logistical assistance, and thoughtful oversight of the church planting work on the field. They will need to prepare to serve together as an active recruitment team. This will primarily include assisting in the development of prayer support, logistical support, and financial support.
All successful mission endeavors have been made possible by intercessory prayer.
One example is the story of Saint Patrick.
After receiving an unmistakable call from God to go to Ireland, Patrick spent nearly 25 years in prayerful preparation before he received the release and blessing from his church in England to go. When Patrick and his dedicated team finally reached Ireland, it took only one short decade for vibrant churches to be established throughout the country.
Each ABT team should understand the power of prayer and also find committed people who will pray their work forward.
Prayer support partners will be vital to the success of their ministry.
ABT’s goal is to send teams with a minimum of three to five people. This includes one individual (or couple) working primarily on translating the New Testament and one working on the Old Testament. A third individual (or couple) should be trained in medical and other community development skills. These positions are filled by the long-term team members--the core church-planting team.
However, many opportunities exist for short-term volunteers, including school teachers, construction workers, computer technicians, literacy assistants, and other kinds of logistical support.
The home sending church will have the first opportunity to provide these short-term team members.
By the time a team heads to the field, they will already have spent a minimum of two to four years in preparation.
The home sending church should be the first avenue of support for those in training, but for a wider and deeper foundation, team members will also develop a support base of friends and family outside their local congregation.
In addition to coordinating the training and translation, ABT compensates 1/3 of each member’s training expenses and living expenses on the field.
These support streams flow together to provide the total amount needed for team members on the field.
"Foreign Servants: EXTENSIONS of your local church!"
Preached by Joe Root to a sending church in Kansas
Consider the Scriptural call to establish indigenous churches, and the sending church's role in this work. 46 minutes.
The Church That Sends
Or click the link below for a shorter version. This includes the second half of the above message. 23 minutes.
12 Points of Encouragement for Sending Churches