Mission

What is our calling?

Our calling is derived from Luke 10. Jesus ἀνέδειξεν (anedeixen) seventy disciples. This verb means to appoint and is best understood as a commission by a commander to accomplish a specific task or mission. Jesus then ἀπέστειλεν (apesteilen) the seventy disciples. This verb means to send out or to dispatch. They were to go in pairs, ἀνὰ δύο (ana duo) or ἀνὰ δύο δύο, meaning two-by-two. “The purpose of the pairing (cf. Mk. 6:7) was not merely to provide mutual comfort and help, but also to give attested, binding testimony.”[1] The intention is for them to go to every town and place that Jesus would go. However, Jesus did not go to all of those towns during His walk on the earth. Luke 10:16 which says, “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me,” supports the idea that the messengers were intended to take the place of Jesus, and that the mission continues in the Body of  Christ until His return. Jesus tells them to go, that it is He that is sending them. “The application of ἀποστέλλω (apostello) to the disciples is significant; here is the root of the concept of apostleship understood in terms of mission.”[2] Jesus says that He is sending them as “lambs in the midst of wolves.” This indicates that Christ is aware of the dangers that they will face and acknowledges them to the disciples. This is comforting and possibly alludes to divine protection which is confirmed upon their return when Jesus says, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Jesus instructs these missionaries to carry no bag, no extra sandals, and to greet no one on the road. The lack of resources is a witness to the absolute provision of Jesus. The omission of formal greetings, which were long in near eastern tradition, emphasizes the critical nature of the mission and the immediacy with which it should be carried out. This immediacy is still relevant. The Body of Christ literally has from the resurrection of Christ until His return to carry the Gospel message to all people. You and I have from the moment we believe until our own passing to carry out this commission. Time is limited. Like these disciples, we are called to seek out the “man of peace.” As we sow the Gospel seed we are to observe whom receives it in peace. Jesus’ direction is to stay with this “son of peace” and to receive whatever provision he gives. If a town receives us we are to “heal the sick and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” Looking ahead in the chapter it becomes apparent that these disciples also cast out demons. Therefore, as a part of the mission, we are intended to free people from spiritual bondage in Jesus Name, and then, more importantly, share the filling Spirit of Christ with them. If the people do not receive it, we are to dust off our feet as a sign of judgment, and declare that the kingdom of God has come near. This is a pioneer journey; people perish without the Gospel. Therefore, it is imperative to keep going and keep reaching those that have not heard.

[1] Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1978), 415–416.

[2] Ibid., 417.

What is our plan?

“Strategic planning is a prayerfully discerned, Spirit-guided process of preparation, development, implementation, and evaluation of the necessary steps involved for missionary endeavors.”[1]

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

Goal: Create a network of missional churches that are mutually supportive of each other.

How:

  1. Identify the Community – identify the specific group of people or area that is to be reached with the Gospel. Mark on a map where these people are to be found. Target a particular language group, age group, interest group or other specific group.
  2. Pray for the Community – start a personal prayer time for this group and enlist additional prayer partners. Pray for the people in the group by name and by need. Pray for wisdom, insight, and opportunity.
  3. Develop a Community/Group Profile – (Worldview, Beliefs, Values, Behavior) – d proper research in order to understand the characteristics of the people in the group to be reached. Take note of their culture, language, preferences, taboos, likes and dislikes. Understand their most pressing needs and gain a perspective of their hopes and dreams. This will help in determining the best method for Gospel presentation (written/oral tradition), and will aid in the identification of syncretistic, animistic, and blended religious beliefs. It will also aid in the  determination of possible obstacles to Gospel reception – multiple wives, etc.
  4. Send Scouts – Send people who can be trusted to infiltrate the community through the schools, other community clubs and activities such as sport.
  5. Plan to Overcome Obstacles – Political, Geographic, Religious, Communication
  6. Communications Plan – who and how to communicate
  7. Share the Gospel message
  8. Find the man of Peace/agent of influence – “And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you” (Luke 10:6). – identify the people who open their hearts and lives to Church Planting. Accept invitations from them and build relationships with them.
  9. Create Relationship through Service – create trust by serving and ministering to people. Loving means looking for an opportunity to serve and thereby care for people.
  10. Share Testimony and Stories – share our own testimony of how we came to faith in Jesus Christ. Tell stories of faith and stories in the Bible illustrating how people have interacted with God.
  11. Start Discovery Bible Study – ask permission to start a Discovery Bible Study using the Gospel of John. Begin with the John Journey House Disciple Group. Study the Gospel of John using the Discovery Bible Study Method encouraging family and friends to attend.
  12. Identify Natural Leaders – appoint them as House Church leaders and overseers.
  13. Mentor leaders – Teach them leadership skills, the Command’s of Christ, and Bible study methods. When those who have been mentored are ready, we can move on to mentor the next son of peace.

Overall, there will be a missional focus on the discipleship of the sone of peace. We intend to draw him into fellowship with the Body immediately, and to bring him along in evangelism efforts to nearby communities. This will create and foster a missional culture. The goal is replication, and spiritual leadership development. We do not want to create dependence on us, but dependence on and obedience to Christ.

[1] John Mark Terry and J. D. Payne, Developing a Strategy for Missions: A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Introduction, Encountering Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 13.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

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