Here in our home country New Tribes requires that we have a sending church to affirm our calling and legitimacy before we are ever allowed to board a plane and head overseas.
It makes sense right? If we plan on moving to West Africa as church planters, it would seem necessary that we should have a high regard for the local church. It is the mission on the church (universal) to proclaim the gospel to every tribe tongue and nation. The practical working out is that local churches are committed to the cause in disciplining and sending out ministers to their communities and beyond.
I could go on about how vital I feel the local church is, and how in general we ought to hold it, and its authority in higher regard. That however isn’t the purpose of this blog, so if you are interested I instead recommend these books: Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman, and What Is A Healthy Church? by Mark Dever
What about when we get to Dakar, Senegal? We have local churches stateside supporting us and sending us out to go where the gospel has not yet been preached. But what about the Senegalese church? The Gospel has come to areas of Senegal, namely Dakar. Are they to be bypassed?
It would be a shame.
One of the things Stacy and I look forward to the most in Dakar is being able to develop a relationship with our host church. When we arrive there will be a local body of believers whom we will be a part of. They will be there to help us learn what a West African church looks like, and to help us adjust to an entirely new culture and language. Without them we would be at a distinct disadvantage.
Hopefully you have heard me sing the praises of our local churches before. I love Woodridge, and Waukesha City Church because they constantly point me to the good news of Jesus. Moreover, they help me to worship and teach me practically how to follow Christ within our American cultural context.
I look forward to being pointed to Christ as I worship and learn how to follow Him in a West African context. Together we can rejoice in the unchanging truth of the gospel.