When I pastored, I was always a bit unnerved when I received calls or letters from missionaries who were not with a missions board that I was familiar with. I would expect nothing less from you. Unfortunately, there are far too many shady characters milking our Baptist churches of valuable resources. I would like to take this opportunity to explain why Global Gospel Initiatives, Inc. exists, and why your church should pray about supporting our ministry—even though you’ve almost certainly never heard of us.
As God began burdening me (John Grasty, by the way) and my wife with taking the Gospel around the world and specifically to Slovenia, I realized that I had very little in-depth knowledge of mission boards. Despite being in full-time ministry for five years and Christian college for four before that, I really only had passing knowledge of the various boards. And to be perfectly honest, I was (and still am) a little hesitant about spending the next twenty or thirty years hitched to a ministry that I really don’t know that much about. Many of you will probably respond with: Find out more information! We pursued that, and there are many fine organizations serving the Lord in foreign missions. But one thing that I have learned in ministry is that it takes time and lots of it before one really knows a ministry. Pastors, how long did it take you before you really began to understand the church you’re currently pastoring? That was my concern as I began to consider choosing a organization to partner with.
The other consideration was that we wanted to maintain a close relationship with our home church. I don’t have a theological (or more correctly, ecclesiological) problem with para-church mission boards. I do, however, have firm convictions that the focus of God’s plan is in the local church. Our desire is to be an extension of Old Pathway Baptist Church. We are going under their authority and supervision, with their blessing and commission, and maintaining relationships with them. We have no desire to be a lone ranger missionary with no accountability and connections.
By forming Global Gospel Initiatives, we have been able to resolve both of these considerations. We are taking great pains to establish accountability in every aspect of the ministry, and we operate with an open book philosophy. If you have questions or want information, just ask. There is more information about this on our Accountability page.
This arrangement has allowed us not only to be an extension of our sending church but to be a literal ministry of it. We are governed by a board of directors that is composed mainly of members of Old Pathway Baptist Church. We have included some other pastors and Christian workers to provide additional wisdom. Our pastor will be my primary source of accountability and contact. As we prepare to go to the field, GGI will establish a board of reference to provide additional oversight. These men (all pastors, missionaries, or well experienced in Christian ministry) will have no decision making power (that is retained by the board of directors), but they will have full and complete access to the ministry and will advise our board of directors in decision making and also in evaluating our performance.