‘Mongolia TEE provides the churches of Mongolia with Theological Education in an Extension mode, helping all church members to find their national cultural inheritance and identity in Christ, and to become effective ministers in church and society.’
A detailed explanation of this mission statement follows:
‘in an Extension mode’
There are a variety of methods of extension education. The methodology underpinning the courses used by Mongolia TEE may be illustrated by a railway track. Just as a railway track must have both rails and the ‘sleepers’ holding the rails in the right place if the train is to make progress, the three elements of home study, group meetings and practical application are all essential for progress towards Christian maturity. This methodology encourages all-round growth and integration into the life and ministry of the local church.
‘helping all church members’
The heart of Mongolia TEE is that the possibility of theological education should be open to all church members, regardless of their age, whether they are in full-time employment or not, or whether they live near to, or are able to move to, a full-time residential centre for education. Since all church members are called to some kind of ministry by virtue of being ‘members of the body’, they need to be equipped and encouraged in that ministry.
‘to find their national cultural inheritance and identity in Christ’
The process of building a genuinely Mongolian church is one that is very relevant in Mongolia today. Some are concerned that the Mongolian church may unthinkingly absorb elements that are incompatible with true Christianity. Others are more concerned that the churches in Mongolia are cultural transplants, having more to do with the founding missionary than the local Mongolian culture. In this debate, Mongolia TEE wants to provide tools and a curriculum for Mongolian believers to engage with these questions from an adequate Biblical understanding.
‘and to become effective ministers in church and society’
This section is connected with the emphasis on ‘every-member ministry’ outlined above. In addition, the question may be asked: where does the ministry of the Church take place? Mongolia TEE recognizes that for most church members the main thrust of their calling and ministry is outside the church building. Therefore, Mongolia TEE’s courses and structure should aim to encourage and support these varied ministries. Mongolia TEE exists to enable church members to be salt and light in their families, work and local communities. In fact in the original Mongolian version of the mission statement, this clause reads literally, ‘to become effective ministers in church-society’ to emphasize that church and society together are the locus of ministry, and one is not above another in importance.