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    Oct 12, 2014

    Class 12: CHBC Vision for Missions

    Series: Missions

    Category: Core Seminars, Preaching & Teaching, Discipling / Mentoring, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Church Planting, Evangelism, International Missions


    Theme: The vision for CHBC’s engagement with global evangelism and the place of individual CHBC members within that template.

    The starting point: God’s vision for missions

    Before we say anything about the plan for missions at CHBC we need to reconsider what we know about God’s vision for missions. It is not a vision for our aggrandizement or success. Rather, we began this class so many weeks ago with an initial statement about the core vision of missions.

    As the puritan Thomas Watson has said “We glorify God when we are God-admirers.”

    The writer Tom Wells puts it especially well in his book “A vision for Missions.” He writes:

    Men must know God. That is the one thing they must do. And this can mean nothing less than that God is eminently worthy to be known in all the length and breadth and height and depth of His Character. The Christian is a God-explorer. The Christian vision is the vision of God.
    The missionary vision is the vision of God also. It is not something different from the Christian vision. It is the same vision being shared rather than merely enjoyed. It is the same vision being shared with men who have no natural taste for it, in the hope that God will create that taste so that they to will become “God-admirers.” Sharing the vision of God – that is the work of missions.

    Before we even begin to think about our vision for missions at CHBC we need to center our considerations on the goal that God has authoritatively given to the church. And the vision that God has given is not a small one. God’s vision for missions in global in proportion and eternal in its extent. As we noted last week it is not a vision of regional influence or limited extent, but one of world-wide blessing.

    The prophet Isaiah records God’s words we have considered Isaiah 49:6 –

    It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.

    And we know from the book of Ephesians and elsewhere that God intends that this global vision is to be accomplished. Ephesians 3: 10 – 11 tell it to us plainly.

    His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And in the book of Revelation, we see many descriptions of the culmination God’s vision for missions. In Revelation 7:9-10 we read:

    After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”

    From a careful consideration of these passages throughout the Scriptures, a few basic principles become clear. And we need to be careful that whatever plans and purposes we may have fit into a world-view that has internalized these things those values. For example, God is committed to his own glory. God desires that his church would be central in the work of the Gospel everywhere. God intends that the message of salvation should be preached to all people groups across all cultural and linguistic divides.

    Well, it’s principles like these that have shaped our church’s vision for our engagement in cross-cultural evangelism. While the things we are going to talk about this morning may seem largely practical and pragmatic, know that they are the outgrowth of long years of reflection on the implications of God’s passions for missions as revealed in Scripture.

    So what is CHBC’s vision for missions? I would hope that we could say that our vision is the vision found in God’s Word, but I also realize that’s not a particularly helpful way to frame our understanding. Perhaps laying out a list of some of our priorities will help you to have a better feel for the actual outworking of our understanding of God’s passion for the nations.

    1. A vision to encourage workers on the field and to partner with them in a manner worthy of God.
    First, we realize that there is wisdom in looking to others
    A. Support fewer missionaries to the glory of God.

    B. Support our workers spiritually, not just financially.

    C. Concentrate our resources on a specific region and with a specific entity.
    a. Why Central Asia?
    b. Why the IMB?

    D. Meaningful short-term trips that are really helpful to people on the field.
    a. Looking for field-driven requests
    b. Looking for ways to encourage CP workers.
    c. Why so much childcare and service?

    2. A vision to keep the local church central in our missionary engagement:

    A. Importance of having a clear view of healthy church life for all our members.

    B. Every church member called to be involved in global evangelism…the work of the church.
    a. We teach that like worship, or evangelism…global missions is the work of the church, so it’s the work of EVERY Christian in the church.
    b. Helping CHBC members think through their place in missions intentionally.

    C. Sending people out in CP teams from CHBC that function almost as a small church themselves.
    a. Helping to have groups that model church life in the culture they are sent to.
    b. Allows the local church to really connect with a specific region.

    D. Training people here at CHBC before they are sent out.
    a. The church does the sending and we can perhaps best do the training.

    3. A vision to focus on church planting among un-reached people groups

    A. A particular focus on Central Asia.
    - the neediest area on earth and a hard area to work.
    - Lowest percentage Christians.
    - Where our church’s natural web of relationships seems to be.

    B. A focus on evangelism that results in churches not isolated Christians
    a. Why we partner with IMB CP work.
    b. Why we like to work with people with an eye to see local churches take up the work of evangelism.
    c. Realizing that God intends to be glorified through the church.

    4. A vision of Missions that naturally flows from a broad Biblical worldview.

    A. Focusing on preaching the Word, not on Missions itself.
    a. Preaching the Word, not missions.
    b. A big view of God will eventually result in a passion to make him known.
    c. A good grasp of the Gospel and salvation history is a great preparation for missions.

    B. Focus on general Christian growth and well-rounded maturity.
    a. Best training for missions is training to be Godly and fruitful here.
    b. One on one discipling is a fruitful training ground.

    C. Focus on encouraging fruitfulness here in DC for every CHBC member.
    a. Building evangelistic skills is good regardless.
    b. Building the ability to disciple is good regardless.
    c. Learning to reach out across cultures is good regardless.