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    Oct 12, 2014

    Class 4: The Role of the Local Church in Missions

    Series: Missions

    Category: Core Seminars, The Nature of the Church, Church Planting, Evangelism, International Missions

    Detail:

    Introduction: God, Individuals and the Local church

     

    I. To whom was God’s missionary commission given?
    a. The Assembled Church - (Luke 24:33-48)

    33They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

    36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
    37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
    40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence.
    44He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
    45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.


    b. Chain of missionary sending
    i. God sends his Son - John 3:17
    John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
    ii. The Son sends the Holy Spirit - Luke 24:49
    Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
    iii. The Holy Spirit gathers and encourages the church - Acts 9:31
    Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
    iv. The healthy church sends her people –
    1. Of the congregation in Antioch we read in Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
    2. Romans 10:14-15 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"[a]

     

     

    II. What does it mean for a local church to be central to sending missionaries?
    a. Evaluation

     


    b. Teaching/training

     


    c. Sending and supporting

     


    d. Overseeing and caring

    III. How should we think about mission sending agencies?
    a. An optional, but permissible means of organized cooperation among churches.

    Philippians 4:14-16. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.

    3 John - Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

    - seems fine to organize support when multiple churches finance one missionary

    b. Only authority is that delegated to them by local churches. (Acts 15:23-25)

    23 With them they sent the following letter:
    The apostles and elders, your brothers,
    To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
    Greetings.
    24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—

    - unique salvation historical event…much not to be repeated…but the issue of authority of the sent one derived from the one who sends, is still useful to us.

    Acts 13:2 - While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

     

    c. Useful for strategic coordination, humility, field oversight.

    -

    d. Servants of the local churches

     


    IV. Why does this matter that we are clear on these points?
    a. Because the church is the goal and the means of missions (Eph. 3:10)

    10 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,


    b. Because Individualism and “para-churchism” can be problematic (Acts 15:24)

     


    c. Missions is intensely congregational, not just intensely personal.

     


    V. What does all this look like at Capitol Hill Baptist Church?
    a. Teaching God’s Word is our most fundamental “missions” task.

    - shaping our congregation’s view of the gospel as glorious
    - organizing our lives around the gospel – here or overseas is secondary

    b. Being a Biblical church is the organizational means.

    - by entrusting, training, upbuilding, sending
    -


    c. Desire to train and equip members intentionally.

     

    d. Mobilize members through Biblical preaching and missions exposure/instruction.

     

    e. Helping to channel and instruct against wrong individualism.

     

    f. Training and sending teams in cooperation with the sending agencies.

     

    g. Maintaining theological and pastoral oversight.

     

    h. Happy to delegate and trust those who work for us, too.

     

    Conclusion:
    a. Local churches are central to the New Testament plan.

     

    b. The gathered local churches are the mediating entities for implementing God’s great commission.

     

    c. Local churches are both the aim and the means of God’s missionary plan.

     

    Local churches are God’s means to bless you in your missionary obedience