Originally published in the Midwestern Magazine, Issue 42
In each issue of Midwestern Magazine, we highlight one of our faculty members. Given that this particular issue focuses on the area of missions, Dr. Joe Allen was the obvious choice. Dr. Allen is new to the Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College community, yet students can already sense his passion for missions. Dr. Allen and his wife, Christy, served in South Asia for nearly 14 years before Dr. Joe Allen joined our faculty as assistant professor of missions.
MBTS: Dr. Allen, thank you for joining us. In terms of your overall approach to missions and evangelism, what are the key elements of your approach?
Joe Allen: I love missions and evangelism because I love being a part of what God is doing in the world. I love seeing people place their faith in Jesus, because, whenever I see that happen, I know I have just witnessed the Holy Spirit doing a special work in a person’s heart. I approach missions and evangelism as a stewardship and a privilege to participate in God’s cosmic plan to display his glory through the gospel among every tribe, language, people, and nation.
MBTS: How does the missions mindset intersect with (a) other areas of learning and (b) other parts of our lives?
JA: Faithful stewardship of the missionary task requires total engagement of head, heart, and hands. Every branch of academic study, from linguistics and archeology to hermeneutics and biblical exegesis, to historical and systematic theology serves to inform our missiology. As we develop a rigorous, biblical missiology, we must apply it to on-the-field strategies. Field workers then provide a valuable feedback loop for refining missiological theories.
MBTS: What excites you about serving at an institution like MBTS?
JA: I am excited about joining MBTS because it is laser-focused on serving the church. I can get on board with that vision because a healthy church is a church on mission. I love Midwestern’s synthesis of high academic excellence and real-world application. I am also excited about serving at MBTS because I love working with college and seminary students. People come to seminary at a crucial season of life and make many life-altering decisions. Most students come to class hungry to learn and eager to make a mark on the world. I consider it a great privilege to invest in their lives and influence them to give their lives for the sake of the nations.
MBTS: What are your hopes for the students you will serve and the campus community overall related to missions?
JA: The missio Dei is paradigmatic for unifying the whole story of the Bible and understanding God’s plan for all of creation, so I hope my students come to see their missions involvement as something that brings them into alignment with the heart of God. I hope my students grow in love, knowledge, holiness, and in ministry competence, so they can experience the contagious joy of being “useful to the Master” (2 Tm. 2:21).
Christ is worthy. Heaven and hell are real. Demonic opposition is intense. The gospel is our only hope. Therefore, I hope to catalyze a movement of students who approach the task of missions and evangelism with profound urgency, enthusiasm, and commitment.