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‘Train the Trainer’ conference aids churches’ missions outreach

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–At a “Train the Trainer” missions conference, 40 pastors and laypeople from 30-plus churches gathered at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to gain a vision and strategic plan for short-term mission trips, as well as to be equipped to train others for missions.

IMB representatives Bob McEachern and David Campbell led the group in a presentation that covered such aspects of the missions process as pre-trip planning, on-the-field training and debriefing a group upon return to the United States.

The Oct. 3-4 weekend, cosponsored by the seminary and the International Mission Board, included videoconferencing sessions conducted with IMB personnel based in Turkey and East Asia.

Conference coordinator Rob Satterfield, of Southeastern’s Center for Great Commission Studies, appreciated the opportunity to conduct the videoconference.

“We got to hear about their strategy and how they are trying to reach these areas for the Gospel,” he said. “This was a great opportunity for over 30 churches to hear how they can be plugged into already-existing ministries to unreached peoples.”

Southeastern’s Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center, the newest building on the seminary’s Wake Forest, N.C., campus, boasts a state-of-the-art multimedia auditorium with the capability to conduct videoconferences in real-time, from anywhere in the world, thanks to built-in Internet satellite technology.

In their presentation, McEachern and Campbell addressed the need for and the importance of good team leaders in the missions experience.

Because many of the world’s 6.5 billion inhabitants have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, McEachern said, worldwide missions efforts are of paramount importance for the local church.

“We will never have enough missionaries to win the world,” he said, but there are “enough Southern Baptists in churches” to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

One of the primary goals of the Center for Great Commission Studies, founded at Southeastern in 1991, is to equip local churches to have a world impact for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

“Our desire is to see the unreached hear the Gospel,” Satterfield said. “This task is too big for just missionaries. Churches must join in, and the Great Commission can be radically achieved through this beautiful partnership of churches and missionaries.”

Overall, Satterfield said he was very pleased with the outcome of the conference that prepared churches to train others just as the conference had trained them.

“It was great to see how many churches wanted to be training centers,” he said. “God is faithful, and He is working all over the world. Our call is to mobilize others, to get involved and to train them to be as effective as possible. It is exciting to be a part of that.”

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  • Kyle Smith