Getting To Know Our New Missionary (Part 5)
Just a reminder, as we continue on getting to know Massimo Mollica a little better, Massimo and family will be with us Sunday, September 5. You will have an opportunity during the service to hear about how the gospel mission in Scripture has compelled him into missions. During the service you won’t get much of the details that you’re getting in the blog here. So read all of these posts and tell others in the body to get here and read!
Question: How did God use The Master’s Seminary to equip you for gospel ministry?
Massimo: The Master’s Seminary reinforced everything I had grown up observing in ministry. Specifically, my time in seminary increased my love for the local church and kindled a desire in my heart to see new local churches established where they do not exist. Seminary also taught me the importance of a being equipped to handle the Word of God. It takes hard work to interpret the Scriptures according to their intended meaning. If our interpretation is off, then so will our application of Scripture. If a pastor is unable to rightly teach His people, then a whole church can be misled. The impact of my professors, being men of God and men of the Word, has shaped my heart to disciple and equip men to be leaders in the church. Seminary also showed me the importance of seeking God out in His Word. In seminary and in ministry, it is easy to neglect personal worship and growth. I have a long way to go in this area, but my professors both modeled and pointed me to the priority of knowing God and the gospel. Finally, seminary increased my confidence in Scripture and grew me in the discernment I will need to face multiple worldviews.
Outside of the formal classroom environment, seminary itself is a pressure cooker that forms another classroom. With the pressures of your own life, family, work, ministry, and seminary, God shapes your character and deals with your heart in special ways. He makes you trust Him and He shows Himself faithful to both sanctify and sustain you when the shear amount of responsibility upon you seems impossible.
Question: Why are you interested in missions?
Massimo: Interest in missions is a non-negotiable in the life of a Christian. Missions stems from and overflows from the nature and purposes of God in the world. So, any interest in missions I have should be attributed to the working of God in my life. Specifically, God has used His Word to reveal His missionary purposes in the world. As I have sought God in His Word, I observe that from the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God graciously pursued man when they hid themselves from Him. When the nations of the world were scattered in Genesis 10-11 as a result of the judgment of God at Babel, he initiated a plan of redemption with Abraham that encompassed a blessing to all the families of the earth. This plan would ultimately be carried out in Christ to all who would believe. The salvation of men and women from every nation, tribe, and tongue is the purpose God is pursuing in the world for His own glory. So, it is God’s work in my life to align my heart and interests with His purpose.
In addition to His word, God has used various practical things to increase my awareness of other people and nations outside of the USA. I’ve been to India twice on short-term trips. Prior to seminary, I worked as an engineer in companies that had many foreigners in them. Also, I am Italian-American, being the first generation on my dad’s side of the family to be raised in the USA. Thus, I grew up well aware of a culture outside of the one I grew up in. Furthermore, I have been raised in a church that is focused on strengthening the local church around the world.
More could be said about this interest in missions, but to conclude, I’ll say that missions is a work of compassion that pursues those out in darkness who have no or minimal access to the gospel. Missionaries seek to be used as God’s instrument to grant spiritual sight in the spiritually blind who are held captive by sin, Satan, and false religions. It is a work of compassion because we seek both the salvation from eternal punishment and the eternal joy that comes from being awakened to the glory of God in Christ.