Columbia International University President Dr. Bill Jones is a contributor to a new study Bible that encourages believers to live their daily lives as if they are on a mission - the mission of God.
“The Mission of God Study Bible” published by B&H Publishing Group, is interspersed with essays by dozens of Christian leaders, thinkers and theologians who challenge readers to consider that wherever they are, they are on the mission of sharing the good news of what God has done through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus.
The essay by Jones titled “Developing Missional Leaders” is appropriately found at chapter four of Ephesians.
Jones describes four “stair steps” of spiritual maturity. The first two steps are when a person becomes a genuine follower of Christ, and helping the new believer establish and grow in their walk with Christ. A critical third stair step is equipping believers by training them for ministry to others:
11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Jones describes the final stair step as mobilizing Christians “as goers or senders to reach the hundreds of millions of people without access to the gospel.”
He says declaring God’s glory among all peoples requires the mobilization of “firmly established” and “effectively equipped” believers.
“By wisely selecting, properly training, and strategically launching missional laborers, the Church can fulfill the task of taking the gospel to all the nations of the world,” Jones concludes.
“The Mission of God Study Bible” also includes the essay “The Kingdom of God” by CIU alumnus Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In addition, it recognizes those who have been martyred for the sake of the gospel, including CIU alumnus Chester “Chet” Bitterman, a Bible translator who was found shot to death in Colombia, South America in 1981 after being held captive for 48 days by a group of revolutionary socialists known as the M-19 guerillas.
For more on “The Mission of God Study Bible,” visit: http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/books/products.asp?p=9781433601576.