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March 8th, 2019

Class 5: Missions and Outreach

Evangelism and discipleship happen in three primary ways in the New Testament.

Core Seminar

Membership Matters

Session 5: Missions and Outreach

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Teaching Suggestions from Jamie:

This teaching guide has two pieces: an outline of the class, and a word-for-word manuscript.  Feel free to use either—after you’ve familiarized yourself with the manuscript.

The thing in here that’s probably most new for people is the Southern Baptist Convention.  Make sure you don’t spend so much time before that section that you don’t have time for questions about the SBC—and about being part of a denomination generally.

You’ll see time markers through the outline and the manuscript—but you really shouldn’t have much trouble with time management so long as you don’t venture too far off the script.

What you need to cover:

  • History of the Southern Baptist Convention, especially how it intersects with racism, slavery, and theological liberalism; why and how we partner with the SBC.
  • That the SBC is a voluntary partnership between thousands of Baptist churches; it does not control what those churches do or believe. In that sense, the SBC functions differently than how many conceive of a “denomination”.

Outline Format

Introduction

  • Let the pastoral assistant welcome people, describe the membership process, get the sign-up sheet around, and pass out books.
  • Introduce yourself (name, where you live, family, job, etc.)
  • Ask everyone to briefly introduce themselves: first and last name, how long they’ve lived in DC.

9:50 / 0:00 

Background

Matthew 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • “Make disciples of all nations”
    • Evangelism
    • Discipling
  • Three primary ways this happens in the New Testament: Personal Evangelism, Global Evangelism (missions), Churches Helping Other Churches. 

Personal Evangelism 

How many of you came to know Christ through someone personally sharing the Gospel with you? [briefly, what happened?] 

  • I love to hear about how people come to trust in Christ! Point: most people believe because someone personally shared the good news with them.
  • Personal evangelism is relational.
    • Through relationships with friends, family, etc.
    • That means it’s done primarily by you and not simply by bringing people to church.
    • If the content of Sunday services never extends beyond what non-Christian can understand, we won’t fulfill the vision Jesus has for us.
  • How does the church get involved?
    1. When your non-Christian friends come visit, they’ll hear and see  the gospel.
      • Hear: As we sing and preach the gospel.
      • See: Lord’s supper and baptisms; love and unity in the congregation.
      • Kind of silly to share the gospel and not introduce people to one of the primary witnesses to the truth of the gospel—the local church.
    2. Equip you to share the gospel.
      • Core seminars: evangelism, apologetics, Two Ways to Live, Christianity Explained.
    3. Events and ministries to share the gospel and introduce people to the church
      • Lunchtime Talks, Henry Forums.
      • ESOL and ISM.
      • Central Union Mission, Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center.
      • Three things to note about these ministries:
        1. They’re your responsibility. The church can help, but sharing the gospel and caring for those in need are things you must do.
        2. Care for all suffering—especially eternal suffering.
        3. We have a fairly entrepreneurial approach to ministry development.
      • Campus Outreach (evangelism, discipling, bridge from campus to local church) 

Any questions so far? 

10:02 / 0:12 

Global Evangelism / International Missions

  • While personal and local evangelism are important, we also understand that Jesus said we are to “make disciples of all nations.”
    • So in Acts: Paul and Barnabas sent out.
    • 3 John 6-8: “send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.”
    • “Missions:” proclaiming the gospel across language, cultural, and geographic barriers.
  • Every member should be involved either by sending or going.
  • Sending
    • We make sure that at least 15% of our budget goes to global evangelism, with the IMB as the largest beneficiary of that money.
      • The IMB is a bit different than most missions organizations. While most of these organizations require missionaries to raise financial support, the IMB does not.  (explain how it works)
    • But when it comes to supporting missions, we want to be more involved than just writing checks.
      • Housing for missionaries
      • Try to visit each of our missionaries each year.
      • Our strategy is to focus intense effort on a small group of missionaries (about 30 at present) rather than a small level of support to a lot of missionaries.
      • Focus on Central Asia. Because it’s so unreached and we have good relationships with Christian workers in this region.
    • Access Partners: consulting firm, staffed by members of this church, that develops for-profit businesses to provide missionaries with legally and culturally-legitimate platforms for gospel ministry in countries where Christian workers are illegal.
  • Going
    • Short-term trips: generally come in two flavors
      • Childcare trips
      • Scripture distribution trips
    • Long-term going. If you’re thinking of going out as a missionary at any level, you should—as soon as possible—have a conversation with Andy Johnson (associate pastor, missions). We understand from Scripture that missionaries are sent by churches—they don’t just decide to go on their own.  So if you’re interested in going, as many in this church eventually do, we want to help guide and support that decision, and your eventual work overseas, so that you can be sent out by us. 

Does anyone have any questions so far about the international missions efforts at CHBC?

10:10 / 0:20

Caring for other churches

  • One common theme running through the New Testament is churches helping other churches. For instance, think of Acts 15:41 where Paul and Silas are sent out by the church at Antioch to encourage other churches. Or 2 Corinthians 8 where Paul commends the Macedonian churches for giving generously to help churches in need back in Judea.
  • How do we try to do this at CHBC?
    • Sending young men to seminary
      • Any point in time: financially support about a dozen.
      • Also give to directly fund the five SBC seminaries: Southeastern, Southern, New Orleans, Southwestern, Midwestern, Gateway.
    • Training pastors here
      • Every six months a new group of interns arrives.
      • We provide housing and a stipend.
      • Read, write, and observe—to learn how God has designed the church and what that looks like in real life.
    • 9Marks
      • Helping other local churches flesh out the Biblical model for what it means to be a church.
      • Conferences, pastor counseling, a website loaded with articles, bi-monthly journal, books, and Weekenders. 

10:14 / 0:24

The Southern Baptist Convention

  • A significant part of missions and outreach in our church involves a partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention. So before we finish up I’ll give you an overview of that partnership.
  • What does it mean to be Southern Baptist?
    • A Southern Baptist church is a local church that has voluntarily chosen to be “in friendly cooperation with, and contributing towards the causes of, the Southern Baptist Convention.”
    • Every SBC church is autonomous under Christ. They don’t take orders or direction from the SBC.
    • More a big pot of money that different churches contribute to than what most people think of as a “denomination.” Money funds missionaries and seminaries.
  • Where did the SBC come from?
    • The SBC emerged out of the need to better support and facilitate missions, both here in North America and around the world.
    • 1814: Baptist churches from South Carolina to Massachusetts came together to form the first national Baptist organization in America, charged with coordinating the funding of international missionaries.
    • 1845: split over two issues
      1. Should a central board send out missionaries or local churches?
      2. Could slaveholders be missionaries?
    • Sadly, most of the Baptists (as well as Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian) churches in the south, didn’t believe slavery was morally wrong. However, most northern churches, Baptist and non-Baptist alike, correctly understood that American slavery was an abomination and antithetical to the gospel.
    • At about this time, almost all of the major Protestant denominations split on north/south lines, including Baptists, over the issues of slavery and secessionism, with the southern churches in our case forming the Southern Baptist Convention—also known today as Great Commission Baptists. And the Northern churches formed what became the more theologically liberal American Baptist Convention[1].
    • Fortunately, the SBC has since publicly repented and apologized for its past position, declaring that church members must, “unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin” and “repent of racism of which we have been guilty whether consciously or unconsciously.”
    • That was 1 of 2 big crises that’s shaped the SBC.
    • 2nd: theological liberalism (characterized by denial of the authority of the Bible)
      • By 1970s SBC pastors being trained by professors who denied authority of Scripture.
      • 1980s: grassroots rebellion in the SBC (not seen in other major US denominations)àseminaries and sending boards reformed.
      • So today we’re excited about how our money is being used. Another example of churches cooperating together to do more than they could on their own. 

Conclusion

  • We want to lead our church to be engaged in personal evangelism, missions, caring for other churches.
  • My call to you: join us in this work—that God might be glorified in his people here on Capitol Hill and around the world. 

Any last questions? 

Manuscript Format

Introduction

  • Let the pastoral assistant welcome people, describe the membership process, get the sign-up sheet around, and pass out books.
  • Introduce yourself (name, where you live, family, job, etc.)
  • Ask everyone to briefly introduce themselves: first and last name, how long they’ve lived in DC.

9:50 / 0:00

Background

For the next few minutes, we’ll be looking at the topic of Missions and Outreach—and we’ll begin with Jesus’ words from Matthew 28 in what is known as the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The command here is to “make disciples of all nations.” This is what our church and every church who claims Christ as Lord should be dedicated to until He returns.  How do we make disciples? Well, there are really two ways we apply this command. The first is to help people who don’t know Jesus understand how to become His disciples . . . we call this evangelism. The second is to help people who already know Him grow in their relationship with him, called discipleship. Christians should dedicate their lives to both of those things. 

When we survey the New Testament we find that there are three primary ways Christians do this: Personal Evangelism, Global Evangelism (missions), Churches Helping other Churches. So for the next few minutes we’ll talk through our church’s approach to each of these three areas.

Personal Evangelism

How many of you came to know Christ through someone personally sharing the Gospel with you? [briefly, what happened?]

I love to hear how people came to trust in Christ. We could do this all day, but the point I want us to consider is that God uses His disciples to make more disciples through personal evangelism. Parents sharing the Gospel with their children. Children sharing the Gospel with their parents. It’s you sharing the Gospel with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…whoever God has placed around you.

Now, as we think about personal evangelism and the local church, one thing worth noting is that personal evangelism is, well, personal.  It’s relational.  It’s something that happens most often through relationships we have with friends, family, and coworkers.  Sometimes a friend you’ve only had for two minutes.  But a friend nonetheless.  And that means that we think evangelism is done primarily by you in those relationships, not by just bringing people to church for them to hear the gospel here.  Of course, we want to make our services accessible to non-Christians.  But if the content of Sunday services never extends beyond what a non-Christian can understand, we won’t fulfill the vision Jesus has for us.

Now, if evangelism is basically done by you in your own relationships, how does the church get involved?  In all sorts of ways.  Let me highlight three:

First, we’re a church where you can bring your non-Christian friends and family and expect that they’ll both hear and see the Gospel. This church is a place where the Gospel is regularly sung, preached and displayed through the Lord’s Supper and Baptisms. And it’s a place where our people can see the love and unity which the Holy Spirit supernaturally produces in the church body. Why is this important?  Because supernatural love in a congregation of transformed sinners is a powerful witnesses to the truth of the gospel. The idea that we should share Christ with people without introducing them to this seems a bit silly.  Kind of like arguing with someone that the earth is round when, the whole time, you’ve got a picture shot from the Space Station in your back pocket.  So personal evangelism is relational in nature—but it should intersect with the church community.

Second, we desire to be a church that helps you to faithfully share the Gospel when you walk outside our doors. One of the things we do is train our members through our Core Seminars at 9:30 Sunday morning. We have one class specifically on Evangelism, another on Apologetics (how to answer questions and objections), we have another class called “Two Ways to Live” (6 week class about the basics of the Gospel) and “Christianity Explained” (a study through the Gospel of Mark) that you can use to help people see from the Scriptures who Jesus is and what He calls them to.

Third, we have various events and ministries that help you to introduce your friends to the truth of the gospel and other members of this church, all at the same time.  We have the ESOL and International Student ministries that help internationals improve their English while also learning about the Bible and meeting members of our church.  We also offer Henry Forums where we take culturally relevant topics and have open discussions about them.  We have members volunteering at the Central Union Mission, doing tutoring, teaching, and helping with meals.  Then there’s the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center where members volunteer as counselors and in other ways, serving pregnant women in difficult situations. In all of this, we engage in evangelism as we introduce non-Christians to the community of our church.

A few things you should know about ministries like this.  The first is that they’re your responsibility.  Personal evangelism and the command to love your neighbor are given primarily to individual Christians—not to the church.  So just because you give money to support this ministry doesn’t mean that you’ve discharged your responsibility to share your faith or care for those in need around you.  But the church can be a great help in your doing that—both in helping you mature as a Christian and by coordinating effort, as we do through ministries like the ones I just mentioned.

The second thing to note is that while we care about all suffering, we especially care about eternal suffering.  So we will always hold primary our opportunity to share the gospel—though we often see that opportunities to care for physical needs feed into that.

The third thing to note is that we try to foster a fairly entrepreneurial culture in our church.  We’re not trying to build a bunch of big programs that we recruit you to; instead, we want you to identify opportunities for ministry, jump in, and bring others with you.  What that means is that there’s no nice, glossy brochure that tells you everything that’s going on.  Instead, the best way to find out is to come regularly on Sunday nights and get to know people in our church.  This also means that you’ll see our ministry focus change over time as God brings new opportunities and passions to our church.  Interest in some things will begin to wane while new ministries rise up.  And generally, that’s a good thing.

And this would be a good place to mention Campus Outreach—one of four non-profits that are run out of our church.  Campus Outreach is staffed by members of our church as an evangelistic outreach to local college campuses.  These folks spend their time on campus sharing their faith, discipling students, and serving as a bridge between campus and the church—trying to engage students in local churches, and helping us minister more effectively to students.

So that’s all in the category of personal evangelism.

Any questions so far?

10:02 / 0:12

Global Evangelism / International Missions

While personal and local evangelism are important, we also understand that Jesus said we are to “make disciples of all nations.”  So in the book of Acts, the church in Antioch fasted and prayed, laid hands on Paul and Barnabas, and sent them out to proclaim the gospel in places the gospel had never been. In 3 John 6-8 we hear how that church was involved with missionaries by “send[ing] them on their way in a manner worthy of God.  It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” (v. 6b-8) 

Christians historically have called this “missions,” which we define as proclaiming the gospel across language, cultural, and geographic barriers.

Now, we believe that every member at CHBC should be involved in missions in one of two ways . . . either by sending or going.  As for the sending part, that begins with giving.  We try to give generously to the work of oversees missions through our church budget.  We provide financial support to missionaries with several different missions organizations, though the largest chunk of our missions giving goes to the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Missions Board (IMB).

The IMB is a bit different than most missions organizations.  While most of these organizations require missionaries to raise financial support, the IMB does not.  How’s that work?  Southern Baptist churches all give money to the IMB—many of which are smaller congregations who can give money but probably can’t send people. What that means for us is that their generosity allows us to send out more of our members than we could by ourselves. So we try to make sure that roughly 15% of our budget goes toward international missions, and the largest beneficiary of that 15% is the IMB.

But when it comes to supporting missions, we want to be involved beyond just writing checks. We regularly provide housing for missionaries when they are in the U.S.  We try to visit each of our supported workers once each year, and we regularly pray for them during our Sunday services.

As you learn more about our missions efforts you’ll see that our strategy is to focus intense effort on a small group of missionaries (we currently have about 30 supported individuals or families, most of whom are members of our church) rather than provide a small level of support to a whole bunch of workers. We feel that this is good for them, and it’s good for us.

Another thing you’ll come to learn about our missions work is that we focus most our efforts in the area known as Central Asia. This area is an almost exclusively Muslim region that stretches from Eastern Turkey and Azerbaijan in the West, through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China’s Xinjiang (SHEEN-geeong) province in the East.  That’s because this area of the world is one of the least reached by the gospel and we have good relationships with many Christian workers there.

This would be a good place to tell you about another of those non-profits based out of our church, called Access Partners. Access Partners is a consulting firm, staffed by members of this church, that develops for-profit businesses to provide missionaries with legally and culturally-legitimate platforms for gospel ministry in countries where Christian workers are illegal.

All that is largely under the heading of sending.  But what about going?  How should members of CHBC get involved in missions?  Well, many times each year members go on short-term trips, which generally come in two flavors.  Some are geared to providing childcare for annual meetings of missionaries overseas where they can be taught and encouraged.  And other trips distribute gospel literature in places where church planting teams are about to go, as a way of throwing seed in preparation for the coming harvest.

Then there’s longer-term going.  Some of us quit our jobs, say goodbye to our friends, and move overseas to join that work full-time.  If you’re thinking of going out as a missionary at any level, you should have a conversation with Andy Johnson (associate pastor, missions) as soon as possible. We understand from Scripture that missionaries are sent by churches—they don’t just decide to go on their own.  So if you’re interested in going, as many in this church eventually do, we want to guide and support that decision so that we can send you out and support you.

You’ll hear a lot about missions in our church; by God’s grace it is one of the most exciting things that we’re able to be involved with.

Does anyone have any questions so far about the international missions efforts here at CHBC?              

10:10 / 0:20

Caring for other churches

One common theme running through the New Testament is churches helping other churches.  For instance, think of Acts 15:41 where Paul and Silas are sent out by the church at Antioch to encourage other churches. Or 2 Corinthians 8 where Paul commends the Macedonian churches for giving generously to help churches in need back in Judea.

How do we try to do this at CHBC? A few ways.

First, by sending young men to seminary to train for pastoral work.  At any point in time, we financially support somewhere around a dozen former members of our church as they attend seminary. Along with this we give significantly each year to directly fund the 5 seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention: Southeastern in Wake Forest, NC; Southern in Louisville, KY; New Orleans Seminary in Louisiana; Southwestern in Fort Worth, TX; Midwestern in Kansas City; and Gateway Seminary in California.

The second way we encourage other churches is by training pastors here at CHBC.  Every 6 months a new group of 6 interns come to CHBC to be trained for full-time pastoral work. We provide housing and a stipend for them, and then give them time to learn about who the church is, how God has designed it to work, and what it looks like in real life. They read a mountain of material about the church and write around 75 papers woven into weekly discussions.  So even though we call them interns, they’re really students—studying and observing us in our life together.

A third way that we encourage other churches is through 9Marks Ministries. 9Marks is another non-profit based out of our church; it’s dedicated to helping other local churches throughout the world uncover the Biblical model for what it means to be a church. 9Marks does this through conferences, pastor counseling, a website, a journal, the publication of numerous books, and 9Marks Weekenders where pastors, seminary students, and other church leaders come for a weekend to observe and learn how we seek to live our lives together as a church. 

10:14 / 0:24

The Southern Baptist Convention

A significant part of missions and outreach in our church involves a partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention.  So before we finish up today, I’d like to give you an overview of what that partnership looks like, since so many people who take this class tend to be new to the SBC.  To do that, I’ll answer a few questions that we normally get.

First, what does it mean to be Southern Baptist?

A Southern Baptist church is a local church that has chosen to be “in friendly cooperation with, and contributing towards the causes of, the Southern Baptist Convention.” What that means is that every Southern Baptist Church is completely autonomous under Christ. We don’t take orders or direction from the SBC, but instead, we can be in friendly cooperation when we want, and disassociate ourselves when we want. In fact, some don’t even like to call it a denomination because the SBC doesn’t have authority over any of the churches associated with it and it can’t tell any of those churches what to do like Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran, and many other churches.

That means the SBC isn’t a church, but rather thousands of churches that cooperate together for missions and evangelism. Basically, the SBC is a big pot of money that many different churches contribute to that goes to fund missions and seminaries, and a few other things.

So when we say the words “in friendly cooperation with…” we mean that we have a shared theology and vision for missions and evangelism. And when we say “contributing towards the causes of…,” it simply means that we financially support to the work of the Convention.

Second, where did the SBC come from?

The SBC emerged out of the need to better support and facilitate missions, both here in North America and around the world.  So in 1814, Baptist churches from South Carolina to Massachusetts came together to form the first national Baptist organization in America, charged with coordinating the funding of international missionaries like Adoniram Judson, the famous missionary to Burma.

In 1845 this association of churches and the Convention they founded split over 2 issues: 1) should they have a central sending board, or local sending board to send out missionaries? And 2) more significantly, over the issue of slavery. The specific question that brought this to a crisis was “could slaveholders be sent as missionaries?”

Sadly, most of the Baptists (as well as Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian) churches in the South, didn’t believe slavery was morally wrong. However, most Northern churches, Baptist and non-Baptist alike, correctly understood that American slavery was an abomination and antithetical to the gospel.

At about this time, almost all of the major Protestant denominations split on North/South lines, including Baptists, over the issues of slavery and secessionism, with the Southern churches in our case forming the Southern Baptist Convention—also known today as Great Commission Baptists.  And the Northern churches formed what became the more theologically liberal American Baptist Convention[2].

Fortunately, the SBC has since publicly repented and apologized for its past position, declaring that church members must, “unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin” and “repent of racism of which we have been guilty whether consciously or unconsciously.”

That was the first of two big crises that have shaped the SBC.  The second was the theological liberalism that American churches encountered in the late 19th 20th century—characterized by a denial of the authority and truth of the Bible.  By the 1970s SBC pastors were being trained in SBC seminaries by professors who denied core gospel doctrines like the divinity of Christ, the necessity of faith in Him for salvation, the authority of the Bible and more.  Like the racism before it, if this had continued, CHBC would not be an SBC church today.  But, again, in God’s mercy a change occurred. 

Beginning in the 1980s there was something of a grass-roots rebellion in the SBC, something not seen in other major US denominations. Over time the seminaries and sending boards were reformed, which meant that for the SBC, money was now supporting missionaries and seminary professors who would not actively work against the gospel.  And so today we are pleased with how our money is used for pastoral training and for missions—and their partnership with us as we send out our missionaries with them and send our young men to their seminaries for training.  It’s yet another example of how churches cooperating together can accomplish so much more for the gospel than they could do on their own.

Conclusion

So at CHBC we’re concerned to lead our church to be engaged in personal evangelism, missions, and caring for other churches.  It’s a basic part of what it means to be a church as defined and described in the New Testament.

My call to you would be to join us in this work.  Join here as a member.  And work with us for the fulfillment of the great commission, that God might be glorified in his people here on Capitol Hill and around the world.

Any last questions?

[1] Initially, the Northern Baptist Convention.

[2] Initially, the Northern Baptist Convention.