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June 22, 2017
Don't Waste Your Witness
Elder Letter by Daniel Broyles
I am writing from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. Pastor Paul and I are here teaching pastors and church leaders with YMI (Youth Ministry International). YMI is a mission organization that partners with seminaries and Bible colleges to help advance youth and family ministry training. I have been working with YMI since 2005 and count it as one of my greatest blessings.
To grasp the full scope of YMI’s influence, keep in mind that many churches outside of America define “youth” much differently than we do. For example, here in Nigeria the term youth is used for everyone under the age of 40. In Tanzania where Pastor Jeff and I were teaching last year, youth is 45 and under. While we at YMI focus our efforts to train the trainers (future professors) of youth ministry, we also equip church planters, senior pastors, missionaries, and lay leaders globally. This week we have roughly 20 students from all over Nigeria and one from Ghana. They are a few of the most influential church leaders in the country. They pastor some of the largest churches, oversee major roles within the Nigerian Baptist Convention (the 3 rd largest Baptist association in the world), and lead major parachurch organizations. Many already have doctorate degrees.
You may think, why would leaders at their level want more education and training? For most the answer is simple, they don’t want to waste their witness. Their missional pursuit is convicting. They are not satisfied. They want more for themselves and the people they lead.
Today they discussed raising up teenagers to become missionaries in northern Nigeria (home of the Boko Haram) to proclaim the gospel. As I listened and watched I could not help but think of how there is so much more for me to learn, so many gospel conversations I need to have, and so many brothers and sisters I need to encourage, challenge, and admonish.
This summer, do not waste your witness. Your life tells a story. Make sure it is telling a story bigger than yourself. We have so many opportunities others desperately pray for. You don’t have to travel across the world to proclaim the gospel and live on mission.
Today, in every contact you will be a witness. Don’t waste it.
Daniel Broyles Elder/Pastor
Daniel Broyles has served as the Executive Pastor and Elder at Tri-Cities Baptist Church since 2012. He is married to his wife Amy and they have a daughter named Lena.