Getting To Know Our New Missionary (Part 3)
We continue our series on missions with the beginning of a string of posts which allow us to learn more about our new missionary, Massimo Mollica.
Just a reminder – Massimo and his family will be with us over Labor Day weekend and Massimo will be preaching on that Sunday, 9/5. I can’t wait for you to hear him trace through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation the mission of God to glorify Himself through the salvation of sinners! That is what makes his heart beat for missions, I know.
Also – I first met Massimo when he was a rascally 9th grader at Los Angeles Baptist High School in California. He was in my discipleship group and I was his staff leader under Rick Holland’s pastoral leadership at Grace Community Church in LA where Dr. John MacArthur pastors. God’s grace in Massimo’s life has only ever been on full display as he has grown and become a godly, qualified shepherd and husband and father. I thought a good place to start with Massimo was to let him tell you what it’s like to grow up at GCC in LA.
Question: How has God used Grace Community Church in LA in your Christian life to prepare you for gospel ministry?
Massimo: When you spend your entire life in one church, it is difficult to answer a question like this. In many ways, I can say with the apostle Paul, “What do I have that I did not receive?” In my instance, Grace Community Church has been the instrument of God’s grace in my life for so much of who I am. I’ll try to keep it brief. Most people outside of Grace Community Church know the church by our pastor, John MacArthur. From Pastor MacArthur’s ministry, I’ve been impacted immeasurably. I think I can summarize his impact in three ways. First, much of my zeal as an evangelist stems from his constant exhortation to the task and his faithful example of the priority of evangelism in the life of a believer. Second, my own pursuit of holiness has been motivated and challenged by his model of integrity in the Christian life and ministry. Third, his faithfulness to the Scriptures spurs a desire in me to ensure that the growth experienced by the church is truly credited to the work of the Spirit of God and not some human gimmick. What most people outside of our church do not know is the sacrifice of service, the depth of discipleship, and richness of relationships that are fostered in the context of ministry there. God has used all of this in preparing our family for ministry.
Question: Tell us about your wife and family and the kind of “team” you will be in Italy.
Massimo: I met Susanna while working with High School students at Grace Church in 1999. We started dating in May, 2002 and were married in September, 2003. She is a great example to me of patience, selflessness, kindness, wisdom, and discernment. I’m eager for you to meet her. When we move to Italy, I’m anticipating us to grow even closer as we work to survive in a new country without the familiarity of home. In the opening months of our ministry we will need to help each other learn Italian. This means that I will have the privilege of spending more time than usual with our young children in order to protect her study time. May God be gracious to our kids without mom around as much as they are used to!
Tomorrow, we’ll back up a little further and hear about God’s saving grace in both Massimo and Susanna!