LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The missions field needs people who are passionate about changing their world for Christ, said Wade Akins, an International Mission Board missionary to Brazil.
“Jesus is not a theology,” Akins told students at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Oct. 7 in Louisville, Ky. “Jesus is not a doctrine. Jesus is not a religion. Jesus Christ is a real, live, resurrected person that lives in our heart by the person of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus Christ has changed your life, you are qualified to go out of this seminary and change the whole world for Jesus.”
Akins serves as field strategy associate for eastern South America and has been responsible for more than 700 church starts in Brazil and other South American countries. He began a ministry of training lay church planters in 1984, now called Pioneer Evangelism, and has trained more than 20,000 Brazilians. The ministry is also being used in other countries, such as South Africa, Cuba, Mozambique and Venezuela.
Preaching from Acts 17:6, Akins used the Apostle Paul as an example of what a missionary should be.
“Everywhere the Apostle Paul went, he either had a revival or he had a riot,” Akins said. “Sometimes he had revival and a riot. That’s what I want to be said of me.”
Akins said an effective missionary requires being the right kind of person, preaching the right kind of message and using the right kinds of methods.
The right kind of person is one who is saved, called by the Holy Spirit and committed to the task, Akins said, pointing to Paul’s example. Paul was passionate about planting churches, Akins said, and was willing to do whatever necessary to preach the gospel.
“Are you a soul-winner today?” Akins asked. “Do you eat it, drink it, sleep it, breathe it? Do you wake up in the morning thinking about a lost world?
“It’s going to take passionate, soul-winning church planters to go out of this seminary and literally conquer the whole world for Jesus Christ.”
The message Paul preached, Akins said, was simply Christ crucified. As for the right methods, Akins cited three types of evangelism which are needed to reach the lost: personal evangelism, small-group evangelism and mass evangelism. A missionary should be willing and able to utilize all three, he said, in an effort to reach lost people.
Prior to Akins’ sermon, his wife, Barbara, gave a testimony about their mission work in Brazil and encouraged students to be involved in ministry all the time.
“Maybe you’re waiting til you get a little more education,” she said. “Maybe you’re waiting till you get that perfect job. What are you waiting for? God is calling you to minister now — not to wait until you think it’s perfect.”
She also encouraged students to be willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ. Through faithfulness and sacrifice, “God will use your life to impact the world, to impact lostness and to bring others to know Jesus Christ so that he can make a difference in their lives,” she said.

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