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Missions Lesson 5

CALVARY Baptist CHURCH Instructor: J. VandenHurk

SCHOOL of the BIBLE Missions Lesson Five

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Missions Quote of the Week – “God is always advancing!”

– Hudson Taylor (founder of the church planting movement in inland China)

Last week, we learned that God is working in the world today through the New Testament church.

LESSON FIVE:
“BIBLICAL MISSIONARY METHODS
FOR THE CHURCH”

In the introduction, we looked at:

Our Message in Missions

For the New Testament Christian, the message is the Gospel, which is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ according to the Scriptures, I Cor. 15:1-4. The Gospel message is found in God’s Word and therefore never changes.

Our Method for Missions

A method is:

1) A specific way of doing things; 2) A repeatable process; 3) An order or way of handling things; 4) A way of consistently working toward a goal.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave us a goal to work toward in Mark 16:15.

What methods should we use to meet that goal?

Some sources of methods other than Scripture:

-­- Historical Methods

-­- Pragmatic Methods

-­- Contemporary Methods

-­- Modern Mission Leaders

*(These things all change over time)

A.The only legitimate Source for Missionary Methods is in the Word of God.

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

C. One half of the method the church has been given is evangelism.

The other half of the method the church has been given is discipleship.

D. The result of these in Scripture is church planting.

Church planting is a foundational method of missions. The Great Commission is clear, Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

The first “teach” means to disciple (matherteuo). This is to bring people of all nations under the authority of Jesus Christ. This is done in the context of local churches, and more local churches is also the result.

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This begins with preaching the gospel.

(the means of which may vary: visitation evangelism, tracts, street preaching, radio, internet, etc. The going may be implemented by airplane, ship, car, or foot).

Discipleship then begins with Baptism

(the means require a baptismal pool of some sort or an ocean or river)

Teaching comes next,

(may be accomplished through regular preaching / teaching, flannel graph, overhead projectors, chalk talks, Bible schools, Bible clubs, camps, coffee houses, etc. However these things ought never to replace or supplant the biblical method of church planting, but instead should supplement the local church’s ministry out of which all other biblical methods come.)

Means may change, and they have through the ages, but what does not change is that planting churches is the biblical method of discipling and spreading the gospel across the face of the earth, while its members continue to grow in the grace of God.

To review:

A) The church is the overarching method in missions.

Who was the Great Commission given to? The Church

  • The local church is the source of biblical ministries that carry out the great commission.
  • The local church is the source for personnel to carry out the great commission.

It is a very important mission. We are one generation away from paganism. If this generation does not take the truth of God, with the method of God, then the next generation will not know the truth.

God’s wisdom is better than man’s wisdom.

B) The church is the source of other missionary methods and means.

In Acts 20:17-32, Paul meets with the Ephesian elders on Miletus beach, telling them all that he had done and what they are to do in their churches:

  • Verse 25 – Preaching
  • Verse 27 – Teaching / Discipling
  • Verse 29-31 – Exhorting / Building them up in their faith
  • Verse 32 – Commending the local church to God

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C) The local church is the objective of mission methods.

In Acts 14:21-28, we see seven things done in church planting:

1. They “preached the Gospel to that city,” v21.

The church, as they go about their work, is to preach / proclaim the Gospel (used 76 times in the New Testament). Which people did he preach to? They went to all the people of the city.

There was a comprehensive effort to evangelize each person. This was the first step. (As this progresses, the next steps grow out of the previous ones.)

God has a vision for every church, and that is to reach their village, city, or town.

(Luke 4:18; Luke 20:1; Mark 16:15; Acts 8:25; 14:6-7, 21; 16:10; Rom. 1:15-16;

Rom. 10:15; Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 1:17; 9:16; 2 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 1:11; 4:13; 1 Thess. 2:9)

2. “and had taught many,” v21.

They made disciples. Every believer is to disciple others.

A discipler is someone who follows Christ’s teachings and teaches others His teachings.

In different places, you have to begin at different levels of teaching.

Discipleship is best done on an individual basis (how Christ worked with His disciples).

(John 8:31-32; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11-17; 2 Tim. 2:2; Titus 2:1-8)

3. “they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples,” v21-22.

They confirmed these disciples. This means they established them, built them up, strengthened them, and made them firm with doctrine.

We need to help new believers to understand Bible doctrine. It provides them with safety from lies and a sure understanding of God and His Word.

(Acts 15:32, 41; I Cor. 1:4-6)

4. “and exhorting them to continue in the faith,” v22.

They stayed by their side and comforted them to continue in the faith. This is encouragement to press on in the faith and stay on course, so they can weather the tribulation.

Some people think edification is always negative, but it should include exhortation.

(Acts 2:40; 1 Thess. 4:1; 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:1; 2 Tim. 4:2;

Titus 2:6, 15; Heb. 3:13; 10:25; 1 Peter 5:1, 12; Jude 1:3)

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5. “And when they had ordained them elders in every church,” v23.

Where do pastors come from? A missionary cannot appoint or call someone to preach. We must trust God to raise up a man.

(1 Tim. 1:12; 3:1; Acts 20:28)

Pastor Lee Roberson said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.” A church can still be a church without a pastor, but a church cannot be as strong as it should be without a pastor.

(Mark 3:14; John 15:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:7; 5:17; Heb. 13:17;

1 Peter 5:2-3; Titus 1:7)

6. “and had prayed with fasting,” v23.

This was a special time. They needed to know God’s mind and His will.

(Daniel 1:8-14; 10:2-3; Esther 4:16; Luke 2:37; Luke 4:2; 5:33-35;

Matthew 6:16-18; Acts 9:9; 13:2; 1 Cor. 7:1-5; James 1:5)

7. “they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed,” v23.

Commend means to place under the authority of.

The church was a reproduction of themselves (multiplication). But they no longer had authority over them. They were an independent, indigenous church.

(Acts 20:32)

Autonomous – means it can stand alone

Indigenous – means it can exist naturally in its own area.

When the church planters were finished, they rehearsed all that God had done with them. * A missionary is simply the representative of the church in another area.

There is a method to begin a local church. The Bible does give a precedent to be followed. A Biblical missionary should not just think that he is starting a church only. He is following a precedent, but is also setting a precedence that will hopefully be followed in turn.

If this pattern is not followed, then the church will always be dependent on others and can never be autonomous and biblical.

*(The following outline is from Tim Carte, who was a church planter in Venezuela):

1. The FOUNDATION of the biblical method How do we know for sure?

Acts 13:1-3.

“For the WORK,” v2. The Holy Spirit started and organized the work to start indigenous churches in the frontier. In 14:27 they spoke of the work being done by God through them. The work got finished. They fulfilled the work the Holy Spirit had given.

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2. The FRUIT of the biblical method

The fruit is an indigenous church.

Example: In I Thess. 1:1, it says, “The church of the Thessalonians,” not the church of Paul, or the church of Antioch.

If you look at I Thess. 5:12, you see that there was leadership in the church:

  • The church was responsible for governing themselves.
  • That church was held responsible for propagating the Gospel by itself
  • The church was responsible for meeting its own needs (2 Thess. 3:7-12)
    They were getting a tendency to be lazy. But Paul had left an example. He did the 7 things mentioned earlier at Thessalonica in Acts 16-17. What was left behind? An autonomous church.

3. FOLLOWING the biblical method Why follow this method?

Acts 26:19. The following of the method was obedience. This was Paul’s motive. He had been given a Heavenly Vision, v16-18.

4. The FRONTIER of the biblical method Hudson Taylor said often, “God is always advancing!” God’s work is a Pioneering work.

In Romans 15:7-24, we see that Paul wanted to go where Christ was not yet named.

-­- Christ’s plan going on from the Jews, on to the Gentiles.

-­- Paul knew all the OT passages were clear that God’s purposes were for the Gentiles too, and so was very bold in his cause. He knew he was part of what Christ was doing.

-­- V13-18 – when you get in on what god is doing, Christ does it through you.

-­- V19-20 – the frontier of the biblical method is “not where Christ was named.” (2 Cor. 10:16)

-­- V21-24 – Why Spain? Because that was the next frontier.

-­- The truth of the matter is that there are frontiers everywhere.