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Missions

Overview

Missions is the biblical ministry that takes God’s Word (gospel and basic doctrine) to people who live in geographical regions and cultures where it is not accurately proclaimed. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” 2 Corinthians 4:3

 

  • What? Send missionaries to evangelize
    • “Missions are the whole task, endeavor, and program of the Church of Jesus Christ to reach out across geographical and/or cultural boundaries by sending missionaries to evangelize people who have never heard or who have little opportunity to hear the saving gospel.”
      • C. Gordon Olson, What in the World is God Doing? The Essentials of Global Missions: An Introductory Guide. Page 13
  • To regions where God’s Word is not accurately proclaimed
    • Missions is the biblical ministry that takes God’s Word (gospel and basic doctrine) to people who live in geographical regions and cultures where it is not accurately  proclaimed. “Regions beyond” were Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 10.16.
  • Missionary is the worker
    • A missionary is the common title for the person who does this ministry.
    • Dictionary definition
      • A member of a religious mission
      • Of or relating to missionaries: missionary work
      • Resulting from a desire to convert people to one’s own beliefs: missionary zeal. (Collins English Dictionary. electronic ed. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2000.)
  • The truth that drives missions
    • There is only one way to relationship with God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. If this is not true, missionary effort becomes simply social work.
      • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14.6)
      • “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3.18)
  • Missionaries who set a standard
    • David Brainard (1718-1747), American Indians
    • William Carey (1761-1834), India
    • Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), Burma
    • Robert Morrison (1782-1834), China
    • Allen Gardiner (1794-1851), Patagonia
    • David Livingston (1813-1873), Africa
    • William Chalmers Burns (1815-1868), China
    • James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), China
    • Charles Thomas Studd (1862-1931), China, India, Africa
  • Scripture authorizes missions
    • Matthew 28.19-20. Great Commission
    • Acts 1.8. Sending the apostles
    • Romans 1.14-16. Paul’s attitude
    • Acts 13-28. Luke’s record of the missionary trips).
    • 3 John. Gaius supports missionaries.
  • Why? Purpose of Missions
    • Proclaim the good news that eternal salvation is a free gift to all who will believe in Jesus Christ as savior.
    • Teach the new believers Bible doctrine for spiritual growth and ministry.
    • Help the local (indigenous is the technical term) believers to form a local church, select a pastor-teacher and deacons, and begin to grow and serve Christ.
  • Spiritual gifts necessary
    • A missionary ought to have one of the public communication spiritual gifts: evangelist, teacher, or pastor and teacher. Spiritual gifts are the special abilities that God distributes to individual believers so they may serve Him and the church (1 Corinthians 12.12-28; 1 Peter 4.10-11).
  • Prepared missionaries
    • Missionaries ought to be biblically grounded in all Bible doctrine, but especially the gospel, grace, faith, and basic Christian life doctrines (Ephesians 4.11-16; 2 Timothy 2.15).
  • Lay the foundation and move on
    • After the missionary has
      • Laid down the gospel foundation
      • Taught doctrine to the new believers
      • Trained local spiritual leaders
      • Helped them form local churches
      • Passed the ministry to local leaders
    • He will then move to another region and repeat this process with other people (pattern in Acts 13-20).
  • Follow up: revisit, encourage, teach
    • Missionaries ought to revisit the new churches on occasion in order to encourage and teach the believers until they are self-sufficient.
  • Local church base
    • Missionaries must have a local church base. Missionary work falters without a strong local church base.
    • The local church should first provide for its pastor, then for missionaries.
    • Missionaries should be sent out from a home local church and be supported by that church and possibly by other churches in that geographical area.
    • Missionaries ought to return to their own local church to report on their ministry, to be refreshed, and to be taught and further equipped by the pastor-teacher and teachers.
  • Opposition to missions
    • Liberals oppose missions because they do not believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life.
    • Post modernists oppose missions because they believe that all cultures and beliefs are equal and Christians ought not to impose the biblical gospel on others.
    • Some Christians oppose missions because they are preoccupied with themselves and their own “little world” and missions might require some change in values.
  • Spokane Bible Church missions supported financially
    • Chafer Theological Seminary
    • CORE Ministries
    • Jim Myers Ministries
    • George Mueller (Operation Grace)
    • Glenhaven Youth Ranch
    • Village Ministries International
  • Ways the local church can help missions and missionaries
    • Pray for open doors that missionaries will recognize and then accept the God given opportunity. Peter, in Acts 10, did just this (Colossians 4.3).
    • Identify, pray for, and send missionaries out according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance (Acts 13.1-4).
    • Take advantage of open doors by sending, praying, supporting, and encouraging missionaries (1 Corinthians 16.9; 2 Corinthians 2.12).
    • Pray for missionaries that they will have wisdom, courage, and the right message (Ephesians 6.18-20).
    • Designate money support for specific missionaries and missions (Philippians 4.10-19; 2 Corinthians 11.8-9; 3 John 5-8).
    • Other practical ways to learn about missions, support missions and raise interest in missions.
      • Mission conferences, mission education, mission information, and short term mission trips (Our missionaries welcome you to come to the mission field and help).
      • Bibles, Bible teachers, books, children’s lessons, games, food, office supplies, medical supplies, letters, phone calls, and cards.
  • Ways the local church can help its own geographical area
    • Retirement homes
    • Nursing homes
    • Hospitals
    • Jail
    • Juvenile centers
    • Home Bible classes
    • Youth and College ministries: Young Life, Campus Crusade, Inter-Varsity
    • Have literature ready and give to friends and acquaintances
  • Challenges for Missions
    • Involve yourself in missions. Do more than passive agreement. Ask what you can do to help missions and then follow through.
    • Identify other believers growing in Christ and willing to be involved in missions.
    • Encourage those especially interested in missions to continue spiritual growth and to seek Christian service opportunities.
    • Provide those especially interested in missions with Christian service opportunities such as missionary news letters, mission reports to church, local mission opportunities, teaching a Bible class, and short term mission trips to other countries.
  • “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18

 

Last Update

Sunday, May 2, 2004