John 15:16 says: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go.”
This was exactly the case when God called my family and me into missions. I was serving as a college/worship pastor at my church and teaching Music Education at a local high school, but on June 5, 2015, God spoke to me and said: “Take your family, move to Germany, and lead worship at the European Theological Seminary.”
Many people associate the call of a missionary with living in the Amazon jungle in a tin hut or with the tribes or even in the slums of Africa, but it is not limited to just that. The world is a huge place with many cultures that are hungry for God. And, there are other ways missionary callings are fulfilled.
God called us to teach in a seminary. At ETS, I am in charge of the music majors who feel a call to be worship leaders. Although the music program was somewhat small upon my arrival, I have seen it grow tremendously in the first year, from two students to six students, along with many more studying privately in instrument and voice.
It might not seem like we could be making such a difference. However, in our seminary, we have 30 different nations represented within the student body. What does this mean? We are providing them with the training they need and then sending them back into the world. When they return fully trained, they are leading worship, preaching, and even teaching about Jesus. Therefore, through those few students, we are reaching nations we could not have otherwise dreamed of reaching.
We not only train in the school, but we travel doing ministry and serving, giving the students opportunities to apply what they have been learning. This past year we saw over 20 individuals surrender their lives to Christ.
We are pouring everything we have into our students and in doing so, reaching the world, places I could never go, people I will never see, but still, people who now will come to know Jesus, because I said yes to the special call God gave me. When I see students grow spiritually and mentally and then watch them in action, I see my missionary call being fulfilled!
—Joel & Reianna Barron
Associate Missionary at Large