Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading
An old pastors’ adage says, “Those who can’t, go; those who can’t go, teach”—the shortened aphorism for “Those who can’t preach, go to the mission field; those who can’t go to the mission field, teach.” Whoever created this useless and unbiblical proverb deserves appointment as minister of sanitation over church restrooms. This adage contradicts the following truths:
- Every man going to the mission field must be able to preach the Word.
- No one should go to the mission field as their second or third option for ministry.
- Every man who / must be able to preach the Word.
Missions is something that happens overseas. That’s why missionaries need to be sent, missionaries need to be supported, and short term mission trips are taken. That is the common wisdom anyway. Let me be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that missionaries need to be supported and that overseas missions are vitally important. But I think too often we focus on overseas missions and neglect the mission field all around us.
I am not talking about simple evangelism of our neighbors (which we absolutely must do), rather I am talking about reaching out to the non-American people groups that surround us. When I think of missions, I start my thinking with the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.… Continue reading
- the Word provides the authority for ministry,
- the instruction for ministry,
- the power of ministry, and
- the message of ministry.
To all of this nearly all agree. But what we too often neglect is how Bible translation fits into missions strategy.
Bible Translation and Evangelism
First of all, James 1:18 and 1 Peter 1:23 declare that the new birth itself is by means of the Word of God. That means that a missionary must speak from the Bible in the language of the people in order to evangelize.… Continue reading
How we approach church matters, and by church, I mean local church ministry. The church is the pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) and the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) and it is not to be taken lightly. Or to put it another way it must not be approached in a willy-nilly manner; we need to think through how we do things and why we do them that way. In other words, we need to have a philosophy of ministry. A good philosophy of ministry is really a philosophy of ministries, plural. It is simply not enough to say we do everything for the glory of God (although certainly that should be our driving purpose), we need philosophies that govern our use of the pulpit, how we bring new members into the body, how we use music in worship, how we reach out to our community with the gospel etc.… Continue reading