Sunday, August 16, 2015

God’s Method Of Missionary Outreach

Missionary Outreach

I took a long break from this blog in back May but now I have resumed my weekly sermon posts. I appreciate all my readers and will keep going on it for as long as the Lord allows.


Text: Acts 13:1-15

Recently, the Church organized an eleven-week Evangelism training course in order to highlight the opportunities that are ours today in going out to reach others for Christ; for in the words of Christ Himself – “the fields are already ripe even unto harvest” We also tried during the course to show the how-to of evangelism.

Today, in this country, the Church has the greatest opportunity to reach others for Christ. Now that men are confused asking where do we go from here. Now that people have developed itching ears, now that their trust in material things has received a heavy shock; now that much of the country is open to us, with the freedom of religious belief entrenched in our Constitution, never has the Church had a better opportunity.

We wish to, in this passage, look at God’s effective plan for effective evangelism. We would want to point out in this study that the Church today needs not fail for lack of knowledge of this plan. It is necessary to note here that the principles of Missionary Outreach of the early Church established on God’s direction are applicable in our today’s Church outreach. The text gives us four basic principles for Missionary Outreach.

1. There Must Be Quality Personnel Available  

Like every other employment quality personnel and not just personnel, the right quality, is required in Missionary Outreach. Not necessarily man or woman of great educational qualifications and chains of degrees and a bundle of Certificates. But verse 1 tells us the two qualifications: – 

- They must be men who are in active fellowship in the Church. Today we hear of people who say “I am a Christian but I do not belong to any Church”. By the standard of this verse, they are not the right personnel. Men in active fellowship in the Church. 

- They must be men who are Spiritually equipped. Spiritual Equipment is an issue that cannot be avoided or side tracked in God’s service for the Bible tells us that “God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth”. “Who can tell what is in the mind of God except the Spirit of God?”

2. There Must Be A Call From The Holy Spirit

In God’s service, the recruiting Officer is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who enlivens the Word of God and explains it so that we understand it sufficiently to make a decision. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us to see our wretchedness without Christ and in sin. It is the Holy Spirit who brings us to Christ and it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to live the Christian life. It is the Holy Spirit of God who gives us gifts with which we can serve God. Verse 2 tells us that these men are called by a specific choice of the Holy Spirit and they are called for a specific ministry. God never leaves us in doubt of His purposes for calling us to Himself.

3. The Church Must Identify With The Missionaries 

Many a would-be Missionary have fallen by the way side because of lack of cooperation from the parent Churches. There are fakes in our society but there are also genuine cases. It therefore behooves the Church to discern the fakes from the genuine cases and give the later its fullest cooperation. The cooperation of the Church is in three specific areas according to verse 3:

In The Area Of Prayer:  The Church must commit itself to pray with them and for them. The Christian cannot achieve anything except through prayers, and several times it is the prayer of others that strengthens the weak Christians and Missionaries.

In The Area Of Commissioning Them: The Missionaries are going on behalf of the Church. It is therefore pertinent that the Church should commission them. Commissioning then involves identifying with them and realizing that they are working on their behalf, and

The Church Must Accept Responsibility In Sending Them:  Those who go out on behalf of the Church should depend on the Church for their support. Often we find Missionaries wretched and ill-cared for. This should not be the case if the Church accepts responsibility.

Related Post: Our Prophetic Role: Spreading the Gospel

4. There Must Be A Diligent Labour By Those Sent Out 

Missionaries whether on Overseas Missions or on Local Missions are not people on holiday or picnics but people out to diligently work for a purpose. They are not only answerable to God but also to the Church and the people. Therefore they should work hard. In so doing, verses 4 – 5 point our three things they must do:

They Must Obey The Leading of The Holy Spirit: This fact is lacking in so many of our Missions today if not there should not be the so much confusion and contradiction we have in our society. The Holy Spirit does not create confusion, but peace. Look at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: 22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. How very lacking because most of our missionaries today are led by their whims and caprices?

The Missionaries Must Preach God’s Word: not the figments of their minds or what they would want the word of God to say. They must preach “Thus Says the Lord” not “thus says my wife, my Church or thus should the Lord have said”. The Word of God is Powerful and does not require our assistance to achieve its objective. Let us give the Word of God as it is and wait for it to do what it is sent to do. God has promised that it will never return to Him void.

They Must Work Together: Division among the labourers – not speaking the same thing with the same voice is evidence of lack of the leading of the Holy Spirit. The strength of the Church is dissipated today because of division and this is traceable to disobedience to the leading of the Spirit or outright lack of the Holy Spirit.

These principles are simple but they are the ones God has chosen to use. Our response to Christ requires that we take our place in putting these principles into action. Each of us must ask ourselves:

Am I qualified?
Am I listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit?
Am I truly identifying myself with those who have gone out in prayer and in supporting them?
Am I willing to spend and be spent as God’s Spirit may direct?

God is waiting to hear our answers.

1 comment:

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