Stuff You Need to Know About Doing Missions in Your Church

Stuff You Need To Know About Doing Missions In Your Church
David Mays

“Missions is the worldwide enterprise of making disciples of the nations that falls outside the normal outreach responsibilities of the local church.” Church Missions Policy Handbook, ACMC, 3rd edition

“Missions is the method by which, through human agents, God extends his kingdom among men until it shall come to be universal.” W. 0. Carver, All the World in All the Word

“Mission is the sending across cultural barriers by Christ through the church evangelists whose primary function is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news about Jesus.” Robert Reeves, What the Bible Says About Missions

Missions is “an enterprise devoted to proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to persuading men to become His disciples and dependable, reproductive members of His Church.” Donald McGavran, Understanding Church Growth

“Mission is the intentional crossing of barriers from Church to non-church in word and deed for the sake of the proclamation of the Gospel.” Stephen Neill

Missions is “the intentional, sacrificial penetration of major human barriers…to plant communities of responsible disciples of Jesus Christ among groups of people where none have existed before.” David Bryant, In the Gap

“When a person is ‘sent out’ beyond the borders and influence of the local church to make disciples, that is missions.” Woody Phillips, Let’s Define Missions

“Missions is a specialized term. By it I mean the sending forth of authorized persons beyond the
borders of the New Testament church and her immediate gospel influence to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in gospel-destitute areas, to win converts from other faiths or non-faiths to Jesus Christ, and to establish functioning, multiplying local congregations who will bear the fruit of Christianity in that community and to that country.” George Peters, A Biblical Theology of Missions

“Missionaries are Christian workers who engage in cross-cultural ministries with evangelistic goals.” C. Peter Wagner, Frontiers in Missionary Strategy

Missionaries are “those who leave their home areas to take the gospel cross-culturally.” David Harley, Preparing to Serve

“A missionary is a prepared disciple whom God sends into the world with his resources to make disciples for his kingdom.” Ada Lum, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Missions

A missionary is “a ministering agent, selected by God and His church, to communicate the gospel message across any and all cultural boundaries for the purpose of leading people to Christ and establishing them into viable fellowships that are also capable of reproducing themselves.” Ray Tallman, Introduction to World Mission

“A Christian missionary is a person whose passion is to make the Lord Jesus known to the whole world. I believe that ‘being a missionary’ in the truest sense of the word is taking the Gospel where it has never been before, or at least to a different culture or a different language group. A true missionary is someone who will risk everything for the sake of the lost of the world.” Keith Green

“Cross-cultural church planting missionaries are messengers sent by their respective churches to places where there is no Christian witness. They live an exemplary life and communicate the gospel in ways their new neighbors can understand. Their aim is to see conversions to Jesus Christ. They teach believers obey all of Christ’s commandments. The final goal of their missionary activity is a body of obedient Christian disciples who are able to carry on the work of evangelism and discipleship among their own people and who are eager and able to reach other peoples also.” Robert W. Ferris, ed., Establishing Ministry Training, p. 33

Missions Glossary:

10/40 Window: An area stretching across North Africa and Asia bounded by the 10 degree and 40 degree north latitudes representing the greatest geographical challenge to the Gospel. Home of the world’s three great non-Christian religions, and the majority of the poorest and unreached.

Candidate: One who has been accepted by a church or a mission organization for missionary service

Church Planting: The process of bringing people to Christ and forming them into a local congregation

Closed Country: A country that does not receive individuals entering as missionaries

Closure: Completion or fulfillment of the Great Commission

Contextualization: The attempt to accurately communicate the gospel in ways that are reasonable, understood, and natural to another culture.

Creative Access: Various means of reaching people for Christ in “closed” countries; often used as an alternative, more positive way of describing a “closed country”

Cross-Cultural: Across a cultural barrier, usually across barriers of language, values, symbols, and habits

Dependency: The result of doing for others what they could learn to do for themselves, thus depriving them of opportunity to grow

Deputation: Developing financial support from churches and individuals to support the missionary’s ministry

Furlough: A time period set aside from regular missionary work to return to the home country for study, refreshment, reporting, personal business, and support raising, commonly called Home Assignment

Great Commission: Christ’s command to disciple all nations, usually referring to Matthew 28:18-20

Indigenous: Natural or native to the people in their own culture or context

Nations: Ethnic, cultural, or people groups. Derives biblically from the Greek ‘ethna,’ (“ethnic”)

Nominalism: Claiming a religious faith but not living it

Partnership: Two or more organizations working together to achieve a common objective

Paternalism: Treating people and institutions of other cultures as inferior or childlike

People Group: See Nations, above

Reentry: Returning to one’s country or culture of origin, often with negative emotional symptoms

Syncretism: The unbiblical blending of true religion with false; mixing of religions, or worldviews

TEE: (Theological Education by Extension)  a means of Christian education and training in which a missionary or Christian educator circulates among Christian workers on location, teaching and leaving materials and assignments to be completed between visits

Tentmaking: Doing missionary ministry while working in a non-religious occupation

Triumphalism: Believing we can convert the world on the basis of human resources

Unreached: A people group judged to have inadequate Christian resources to evangelize itself

Worldview: The way a people look upon itself and the universe, the way it sees itself in relationship to all else. Four main elements: mankind, nature, the supernatural, and time.
Archetypes: secularism, animism, theism

Basic Biblical Missions Principles
* Bridge – Acts 13:1-4 Barnabas and Paul choosing to go to Cyprus first
o Continuity
o Connections
o Commitment
* Missionary Care – Acts 13:13. John Mark leaving the missionary team
o Adequate preparation of candidates
o Adequate safety net
o Restored relationship is the goal, 2 Ti 4:11
* Strategy – Acts 13:14. Going into the synagogues: Utilizing common ground to preach the Gospel
o Heritage of the missionary counted
o Cultural sensitivity
o Respect for the target group
* “Z Thinking” – Acts 14:23. in context Indigenization, Intentionally giving leadership to the nationals as quickly as possible
o Give away leadership
o Give high expectations
o Give way and leave
* Accountability – Acts 14:27-28. Missionaries returning to their sending church and reporting
o Returning
o Reporting
o Refreshing
* Recruitment – Acts 16:1-3. Raising up missionaries from the church, Timothy is commended by the church and taken by Paul
o Draft – leadership being proactive in selection for ministry
o Farm team system – increasing equipping for ministry
o Training and orientation assured by the church
* Allocation – Acts 16:6-11. Reflections on “the missionary call” Paul’s Macedonian Vision is unique; “the call” process is simpler and sensible
o Discussion – Is it from God? Is it intended for us?
o Conclusion – “knitting together”
o Action – immediate and complete
* Saturation – Acts 19:8-10. Equipping for long-haul penetration. Paul’s establishing a training program which impacted “all Asia”
o Disciples – avid learners
o Curriculum – implied in establishing a “school”
o Completion – intentional and natural result of the strategy
* Completion – Acts 20:1-17. Paul’s release of ministry to the planted churches Conscious and ceremonial turnover of responsibilities
o Divesting
o Directing
o Departing
* Final Charge – Acts 20:17-38. Paul’s legacy is more than doctrinal. Paul’s soliloquy to Ephesian elders highlights core philosophy of ministry
o Work ethic
o Attitude
o Responsibility

Quotes on the Church’s Global Responsibility

“His purpose for the church was to continue what He began with Israel. God wants to redeem a lost world.” Henry Blackaby, Fresh Encounter, p. 68

“I define ‘successful’ as fulfilling the Great Commission. Any church that is not obeying the Great Commission is failing its purpose, no matter what else it does.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, p. 64

“The church’s mission is the Great Commission.” Aubrey Malphurs, Ministry Nuts And Bolts, p. 63

“No pastor is fully obedient to Christ if he does not lead his church to pursue the Great Commission by making disciples both locally and around the world.” Bill Lawrence, Effective Pastoring, p. 53

“Jesus himself gave us the mission to ‘make disciples’ of people and to obey his entire teachings.”

“What the church urgently needs to do is establish the biblical mission of seeing Christ formed in individuals as the foundational mission of biblical community.” (66) “…the common mission is to see individuals become fully developing followers of Christ.” (67) Randy Frazee, The Connecting Church, p. 67

“I believe all Christians and all congregations are to be involved in ministry in their locality, in their nation, in neighboring nations, and on the spiritual frontiers of this earth. And I believe this ministry is to happen simultaneously we don’t have to win everyone at home before we step out of our own neighborhoods.” Howard L. Foltz, For Such a Time As This, p. 30

“Christ’s commission is for the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world! Every member is called to participate in mission; therefore, we need to provide a broad range of opportunities.” Art Beals, When the Saints Go Marching Out, 138

“We witness because we worship and we worship by our witness.” “Because we love the Lord we reach out in world missions. Worship is the driving force. True worship yields world missions. Missions is simply the evidence of worship in action.” “Worship launches mission outreach, and worship is the outcome of this outreach as new believers join in honoring our Lord.” “Our assignment is big. We are called to join in the chorus of nature to proclaim the glory of God in all the earth, to point the peoples of the world to their Creator….” Ron Blue, Strategies for Outreach in the 21st. Century, pp. 3, 5, 33

“The church is to be the means of the final achievement of God’s eternal purpose: ‘in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church’ (Eph. 3:10).” “God has seen fit to make his people partners in the world of world redemption.” H. Cornell Goerner, All Nations In God’s Purpose, pp. 137-8

“The Church, wherever it is, is not only Christ’s witness to its own people and nation, but also the home-base for a mission to the ends of the earth.” Leslie Newbigin, A Word In Season, p. 2

“People’s participation in global missions is waning. While many Americans have adopted a global mind-set within the past decade, American Christians are increasingly devoted to domestic ministry and causes to the exclusion of international ministry opportunities. Even though we continue to give massive sums of money to religious activity, the share assigned to overseas ministry is in decline.” George Barna, The Second Coming of the Church, p. 223

“The whole purpose of creation, the existence of the universe and of history is that those who believe in him should become an Eternal Companion to his Son as his Bride and to share his throne and authority. That Bride is to come from every part of the human race.” Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger than You Think, p. 181

The above article, “Stuff You Need to Know About Doing Missions in Your Church” is written by David Mays. The article was excerpted from July 2002.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.