“The goal of our ministry is to glorify God and bring the greatest possible good to humankind through the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of biblical churches throughout the world by means of equipping and mobilizing indigenous churches and missionaries.”
The HeartCry Missionary Society functions as a partner with and facilitator between autonomous churches and individual donors in the West and indigenous churches in some of the most unevangelized areas of the world, that the gospel might be preached to every creature; the elect might be gathered from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation; and strong local churches might be established among them. Our specific calling is to partner with indigenous churches of like faith and practice in the training and sending of missionaries for the establishment of mature, autonomous, local churches.
In the following content, we will expound on each significant phrase in the HeartCry mission statement. Scriptural texts have also been provided for your benefit.
To Glorify God…
This is the summum bonum (Latin: great good or ultimate purpose) of man’s existence and of every endeavor in heaven and on earth. The Apostle Paul sets forth this profound theological truth in Romans 11:36: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Then, in 1 Corinthians 10:31, he applies this high theology to every aspect of life: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” If we are commanded to glorify God even in the most insignificant matters, how much more in the greatest commission He has given to the Church!
We must go into all the world and preach the gospel out of sincere love and genuine concern for fallen humanity (Matthew 9:35-38). But there is an even greater motivation—our love for God (Matthew 22:36-38) and our desire to see Him glorified in “every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Revelation 5:9; 7:9)! As the Moravian missionaries often exclaimed, “Shall not the Lamb receive the full reward for His sufferings?”
To Bring the Greatest Possible Good to Humankind…
Those who desire to glorify God will also seek to do all that is in their power to benefit those who have been created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9). A lawyer once asked Jesus which of the commandments in the Law is the greatest. Jesus’ response was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”; then He named the second greatest: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Finally, He concluded with the following declaration: “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
From Christ’s words, we learn that those who truly love God will love those whom He has made in His own image (regardless of how distorted that image has become) and will seek their greatest good. This truth is also set forth in the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:10: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
The Scriptures clearly teach that we as Christians must seek the greatest possible good for all mankind; but how is this to be achieved? Although works of charity and benevolence have their place, the “greatest good” that we can accomplish for humanity is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. It was through the incarnation and redemptive work of Christ that “the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared” (Titus 3:4; John 3:16). And it is through our proclamation of this event that our kindness for mankind is manifested. When people are reconciled to God, they become reconciled to one another. When their minds are illuminated to understand the will of God and their hearts are submissive to His commands, they prosper as individuals and as communities. The Scriptures declare, “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 1:1-3) and “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). Finally, the purpose of our preaching is not merely or primarily to help men have the best possible lives in this world, but to prepare them for the life to come!
Through the Preaching of the Gospel…
The gospel is the message through which people are reconciled to God, and it is the means by which they grow in godliness. Individuals are not changed by culture; rather, culture is changed by individuals who have been transformed by the power of the gospel. The Apostle Paul is very clear that the gospel alone “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16); and Peter agrees when he declares, “There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus]; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The gospel is not only preeminent in the conversion of the sinner, but it also takes “first place” in the sanctification of the saint. In I Timothy 3:16, the Apostle Paul writes, “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness.” Then Paul goes on to define the gospel which he preached: “He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” The great truth communicated through this text is that the gospel is not only the power of God for salvation, but it is also the means through which God’s people grow to maturity and are conformed to the image of Christ. The more the converted heart understands what God has done for His people in Christ, the more fortified, invigorated, Christ-like, and useful it will be.
Finally, if we truly believe that the gospel is the power of God to save and to sanctify, then it will be at the heart and center of all our preaching. The believer needs the full counsel of God revealed through all the Scriptures (II Timothy 3:15-17; Romans 15:4); but the gospel is the center and apex of it all! Paul wrote, “For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness” (I Corinthians 1:22-23). Then the Paul demonstrated that what he believed he also practiced: “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1-5).
And the Establishment of Biblical Churches…
A biblically mature church is a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, in a specific geographic location, who are of like faith in the Scriptures, committed to one another’s edification, under the teaching and authority of qualified elders and deacons, obedient to the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), practicing church discipline, and evangelizing the world through the preaching of the gospel.
Such a church was the goal of the apostolic ministry (Ephesians 3:10-11, 21; 4:11-13), and it continues to be the goal of all true mission work today.
A biblical church is that which seeks to conform its faith and practice to the Scriptures, especially in the following areas: expository preaching, theology, the gospel, evangelism and conversion, membership, church discipline, discipleship, leadership, prayer, and missions.
A biblical church is the result of costly and arduous labor. Apart from some unusual work of the Spirit, it may take years of a missionary’s life to establish one biblical work. While we recognize the need for the rapid advance of the gospel, we cannot find any biblical methodology for missions other than evangelizing the nations through the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of local churches.
A biblical church is foundational to a self-sustaining, ever-multiplying missions effort. The missionary endeavor is most advanced, not through an ever-increasing number of mission agencies, but through an ever-increasing number of strong local churches that are devoted to the Great Commission.
A biblical church is the evidence of a genuine work of God. The goal and true litmus test of all our missionary endeavors is the planting of biblical local churches that are training elder-qualified men (II Timothy 2:2) and sending them out to establish other local churches of like faith and practice. Evangelistic decisions and even baptisms are not accurate measures for determining the effectiveness of a missionary or a ministry.
A biblical church is the “pillar and support” of the truth. The church is to be the guardian, messenger, and example of truth; and the great and enduring bulwark against error (I Timothy 3:15). It is also the “salt of the earth” and the only entity that can preserve a nation or people from self-deceit, moral decay, and self-destruction (Matthew 5:13). Therefore, biblical doctrine and practice must prevail over pragmatism and cultural sensitivity. The church exists under the headship of Christ (Ephesians 1:22) and must be governed by His Word. The Scriptures are the inspired and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice for the church (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Throughout the World…
The gospel is to be preached to every creature in every nation of the earth. The Great Commission is not a ministry option to be debated by the church; it is a direct command from the Lord Himself (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). Thus, each generation of churches and individual believers should see itself as accountable to God for using its talents, time, and resources for the advancement of the gospel into “every nation and tribe and tongue and people” (Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 14:6). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:16). Although we must recognize that Paul’s calling was unique, even among the other apostles, the burden he carried and the compulsion which drove him may be applied in varying degrees to every believer and every church. We are all “servants of Christ” and “stewards of the mysteries of God” (I Corinthians 4:1), and “it is required of stewards that one be found faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2). After we have done all that we have been commanded, we “have nothing to boast of” (I Corinthians 9:16); but are to say, “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10).
By means of equipping and mobilizing indigenous churches and missionaries.
The adjective “indigenous” [from the Latin word indigena = native] denotes a person or thing that originates or is identified with a specific geographic location, people group, or culture. For example, the Lozi Tribe is indigenous to Western Zambia. A person born and raised in Paris, France, is “native” or “indigenous” to Paris. Likewise, an indigenous missionary is a person who has been called by God to preach the gospel and plant a church among his own people.
Although HeartCry recognizes the great importance of sending missionaries from the West to the unevangelized peoples throughout the world, we believe that we are led of the Lord to support indigenous or native missionaries so that they might evangelize their own peoples. Therefore, we seek to work with indigenous congregations, elders, and missionaries of faith and integrity in the unreached world to help them evangelize, disciple, and establish churches among their peoples. This strategy will be set forth with greater thoroughness and clarity in the pages to come.