Missions Lesson 1

Calvary Baptist Church Instructor: J. VandenHurk
School of the Bible Missions


“God had an only Son and He made Him a missionary.” – David Livingstone


“What Is Missions and What Is It’s Significance In My Life?”

Missions is the heartbeat of God. Without missions there would be no redemption for mankind; man would be lost and undone. Without missions there would be no local church. It is the responsibility of the church and the individual believer to continue the work of God through missions.

Lesson Aim:

The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint Christians with the what and how of missions so that they can understand what their responsibility is and what they can do to further God’s purpose in this world.

I. The message – What Is Missions?

Missions is sharing the Gospel.

The Death of Christ according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:3)

The Burial of Christ according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:4) The Resurrection of Christ according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:4)

Should the message ever change? Why?

Missions is … the Lord burdening my (your) heart for an unsaved person with whom I (you) share my (your) faith. They in turn get saved and tell their family and friends who get saved. Their family member and/or friends get saved the Lord then burdens their heart for someone else … and the chain continues on.

Missions is the heartbeat of God…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Missions is a ministry of reconciliation…

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to

God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Corinthians 5:18-21)

Missions is Evangelism

Missions Part of Discipleship…

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

But most important, Missions is Part of the Church Planting Process –believers reproducing believers, churches reproducing churches.

Missions, when boiled down to its core, is the establishment of local churches

(not just missionaries – they come from local churches)

(not just evangelism – that takes place in local churches)

The local New Testament church is the one, big method Christ has given us to evangelise the world.

Matthew 16:18 – Jesus Christ founded the church.

I Timothy 3:15 – The church is “the house of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Ephesians 3:10 – God has ordained one organisation to reveal to the world Who He is He is and His manifold wisdom in the world.

Ephesians 5:23 – Christ is the Head of the church.

Ephesians 5:25 – Christ loves the church and gave Himself for the church.

Colossians 1:18 – Christ is the Head of the Body, which is the church.

Revelation 2-3 – seven specific churches are mentioned, and in each Jesus Christ is watching and seeing what is happening in each local church and He either approves or disapproves of what is happening there.

What is a church?

Where do missionaries come from?

II. The Mandate – Why Missions?

It is commanded, and we owe God obedience and allegiance.

The Great Commission is given in five parts:

  1. John 20:19-21 – We are sent by divine authority
  2. Luke 24:46-48 – We are witnesses.
  3. Matthew 28:16-20 – The Lord Jesus is with us as we witness.
  4. Mark 16:15-18 – Amazing things happen as the Gospel is proclaimed.
  5. Acts 1:6-8 – There is no place to stop.

We can look in the Bible and see the example of the Disciples and follow their example.

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.” (Acts 13:1-5).

Out of Love For Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us that should constrain and motivate us to tell others about Him (II Corinthians 5:14,15)

There are rewards for Faithful Service.

The apostle Paul said that it was necessary for him to preach the gospel and that he would receive a reward for doing so willingly (I Corinthians 9:16,17)

There is great joy and a crown to be received for having a part in bringing others to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Thessalonians 2:19)

III. The Messenger – Who Has Been And Should Be Committed To Missions?

Adam was the first missionary, and his charge was to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth… (Genesis 1:27,28). Noah was given the same mandate after the flood (Gen 9:1)

In Abraham we see God begin to unfold His plan of redemption.

1). Abraham received a divine call and received the promise: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2,3). God’s desire for Abraham is as Jesus’ was towards His disciples – “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17). God was and continues to reach down to and through man with a world-wide purpose.

  1. Abraham influenced the surrounding nations (Genesis 14).
  2. Abraham persisted in intercession for the heathen (Genesis 18).

The Nation of Israel had a threefold purpose in God’s plan of redemption.

Recipient of God’s revelation to the world (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Channel through whom the Redeemer would come (Matthew 1:1; Genesis 49:10; Romans 1:3).

Witness to the reputation of the only true God in the midst of the nations (Isaiah 44:1,2; 43:10).

The prophet Jonah was called to be God’s missionary to the Ninevites in the book called by His name. Obadiah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were prophets also called to be missionaries to other nations in the Old Testament.

The consummation of God’s redemption for the world and the greatest missionary to ever live was God Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10; Matthew 18:11).

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2). And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (I John 4:14)

Five things about a missionary as seen in Paul the Apostle.

Called by the Holy Ghost through the local church – Acts 13:1-3 Missionaries have a home church that they go out from and report to.

Starts local churches wherever they go.

His message is primary – “According to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 3:4) – Paul depended on the word of God.

Paul watched out for and constantly had the cares/concerns of the church/newborn Christians on his mind (II Corinthians 11:28)

Paul was willing to Give His Life for the missionary work he was called to. So should those who are following his example as he followed Christ’s (II Corinthians 11:23-27; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

God calls individuals and families like yours, from churches like yours, to be missionaries to the uttermost parts of the world.

When we talk missions remember, not everyone is called to go to Africa, China, or some other remote and isolated land. However every Christian can and should be involved with and committed to missions; after all it is the heartbeat of God and what makes God’s heart beat should make the Christian’s heart beat.

God would have us be as Abraham – a blessing to those around us, influencing them for the cause of Christ.

God wants us – our time, our talents (abilities), and out treasures (money) to be used to build his church around the world.

We have the ability to do the work of a missionary right in our own neighbourhood. We are to reach out for the souls of men, women, and children you come in contact with every day.

You can be involved and committed through your local church by supporting other Christians who have gone to foreign fields by praying and supporting them financially as God gives you opportunity. There will be fruit that abounds to your account.

Phillipians 4:16,17 – For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

IV. The Method – The How, Where, and When of Missions.

Missions is a direct outreach of the local church. Paul and Barnabas were sent out from the local church, and they reported back to that local church, and they reported back to that local church in Antioch – we see here responsibility and accountability (Acts 13:1-5; 14:25-27).

It is the responsibility of the church to send and support; it is the responsibility of the missionary to go, show, and report.

The goal of missions is church planting – we have the example of our Master’s plan to follow.


“Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God…” (Mark 1:14,15).

We need to proclaim the gospel to the people who do not know it, using all available appropriate means.


Jesus took twelve men “that they should be with Him (for training) and that He might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14).


Knowing that He would not always be with them, Jesus’ next step was to put His disciples to work as partners with Him. They did as He did and they all rejoiced together (Mark 6:7,12,30).

Full Responsibility

The time came when the Master put the responsibility for His ministry into the hands of His disciples. He continued to work with them through the Holy Spirit, but they became responsible for the work that He had begun (Mark 16:14-20).

The sending church, the local church such as your church, must uphold the missionary and his work in prayer and support him financially that the work may continue. William Carey – “I will go…but you must hold the ropes.”

Pray that God continues to send laborers (helpers) – Matthew 9:37,38

Pray that the missionary would be continually filled and led by the Power of the Holy Ghost. (I Thessalonians 1:5; Phillipians 6:18,19.

When and Where?

Did Christ ever give us a goal to work toward?

Where can we find that goal clearly defined? Mark 16:15

Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Be a missionary every day. Tell the world that Jesus is the way. In Africa, China, or wherever you may stay, be a missionary, share the ‘Good News’ every day.