Follow this link for an important message on missions that summarizes many of our convictions:
We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer to man’s great need. For that reason, we want the message of the cross to be central in every facet of church life — when we gather for worship, in our homes, in our ministry to Knoxville or around the world. J.I. Packer says,
“The gospel does bring us solutions to [man’s] problems, but it does so by first solving the deepest of all human problems, the problem of man’s relation with his Maker; and unless we make it plain that the solution of these former problems depends on the settling of this latter one, we are misrepresenting the message and becoming false witnesses of God.”
The gospel is the good news that, though we are sinners by nature and by choice, we may be reconciled to Father on the basis of Christ’s blameless life and sacrificial death. As the repenting sinner, having been awakened to his need of Christ and desiring deliverance from his sin, abandons his own “righteousness” and submits to God’s just authority, a righteousness outside himself is credited to him by grace.
We believe that the same miracle (rebirth) is required for a child reared by Christian parents to be redeemed as for an irreligious tribesman. Likewise, it is the same message that is preached in either instance.
There are several practical expressions of this conviction.
First, we encourage every home to be a gospel outpost, both to our families and to our guests. Our display of the gospel will never be more real to those outside our home than it is to those inside. If God has placed a person in the context of a family, that is their first and most important mission field. God can use hospitality as an effective tool to sharing the gospel.
The home, however, is only the beginning. The joy and duty of evangelism extends far beyond the wall of our homes and the walls of our church. We are called to carry this message “to the ends of the earth”. John Piper has said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
We believe that, for the sake of His great name, God is saving for Himself a people from every tribe and tongue. God’s Word is clear that missions is a divine enterprise in which God both calls forth the faith of His children and uses the preaching of the Gospel as instrumental in the process of saving them. The task of global missions matters because God is worthy of worship from every people group.
To that end, Basswood Church has been called to far greater task than an annual giving campaign. We believe local churches should be at the very center of mission work. This, we believe, is the regulative norm that is given to us in the New Testament. That doesn’t prevent churches from banding together, but it does compel us to do more than just a short-term trip and a giving drive. Our heart is to send missionaries from our families supported in large part by our congregation, being equipped, and accountable to the elders of our church. Practically, this means we invest heavier in the ministries of fewer missionaries.
As we develop real relationships with missionaries, we believe that the adventure of world evangelization will become something more than “thumbtacks on a map”. Rather, we trust that it will be the full church, joyfully, sacrificially laboring together toward the great day when we will join the “great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’!”
For more information on the Blazes, follow their blog, The Reforming Traveler.