What does a missional church look like? The best way to find out is to examine both their heart and their fruit. First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas is a church with a heart that expresses itself through fruitful missions. They are out to change the world. Pastor Dennis Wiles and his partner in marriage and missions, Cindy Wiles, are leading their church to be on mission with God.
The church’s Global Ministries offer opportunities for their members to get directly involved in the U.S., Latin America and West Africa, not to mention a host of mission opportunities in restricted access countries that go unnamed on their website.
So, what is preventing Mission Arlington and its nearly 300 “church starts” from becoming a Church Planting Movement?
Beyond this personal global involvement, FBC Arlington hosts a mission house for furloughing foreign missionaries, and actively supports international missions through such agencies as the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.
The most dynamic fruit of FBC Arlington’s missional passion has come through the ministry of one of their members, and now associate pastor for missions, 72 year-old Tillie Burgin. Tillie accepted Christ, grew as a Christian, and heard her call to missions through FBC Arlington. Tillie, her husband Bob, and her two children spent 10 years as missionaries in South Korea.
Due to the illness of one of their children, the Burgins returned from the foreign field in the late 70's. While Bob took a job as a local school principal, his wife Tillie began doing for Arlington what she and her family had been doing in Korea. The result was Mission Arlington. Mission Arlington is one of the most vibrant church planting forces in the United States today. Since 1986, Mission Arlington has started nearly 300 churches in the Arlington-Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
So, what is preventing Mission Arlington and its nearly 300 “church starts” from qualifying as a Church Planting Movement? To find out more, download and read the case study here...