Making Disciples for Hard Places
When Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology Dr. Matt Bennett was a kid, a missionary from the Middle East would visit his family’s church every couple of years. She was taking Bibles into places without the Scriptures, which he thought was amazing. “I prayed after those services, ‘Lord, I love what You’re doing to make Your name known in hard places, but don’t make me do that.’ It’s just where my heart was at growing up and early on during college.”
The Lord heard Matt’s prayer, but answered by giving him a heart for hard places. When he met his wife, Emily, she too had a desire to be used by God to bring the Gospel to places where Jesus was not known. Their calling was confirmed during a missions conference in 2003, but it was eight years later, in 2011, when they finally had a destination and were on the ground serving.
It took time to gain traction in their new community, but that eventually came. Matt found it easy to have conversations about the Gospel with their Muslim friends and neighbors, who were kind and engaging and very open to discussing spiritual matters.
Then the Lord started preparing the Bennetts for another move. They knocked on many ministry doors that would have kept them on the mission field, but it was an opportunity at Cedarville, to train disciples who would make disciples of the nations, that the Lord eventually opened. Matt joined the faculty in 2017.
“Our students have come here because they have a vision for coming to a school shaped by the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” Matt shared. “A lot of the students who come into my office are not Bible majors. They are studying a vocation — engineering or nursing or business — that will prepare them to go into the hard places to bring the Gospel. I love that missions is a part of the heartbeat of Cedarville.”
Matt is the author of 40 Questions About Islam, which came out this spring. Each question explains some dimension of Islamic theology and offers ideas on how to practically have discussions about faith.
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