Whatever one thinks of these numbers, one thing is clear: despite 225 years of Protestant missionary advance, the world is still largely unevangelized...
NOT EVERYTHING CALLED MISSIONS IS MISSIONS. My understanding of missionary work is formed by the Book of Acts. The clear pattern there is evangelism, discipleship, establishing churches, and training pastors / elders. When I came to my present pastorate I studied the list of supported missionaries and discovered that of 16 entities only two were on this program...
At no place is the tension between the various views of God’s sovereignty been highlighted more clearly than regarding the matter of personal salvation. Again, all orthodox believers would assent to God’s sovereignty in this area, but their respective understandings of it would be considerably different.
One of the problems that we face in missions today is a spectator mentality in churches because we have abdicated our responsibility to complete the Great Commission to mission boards and/or to individual missionaries.
No one was ever called to be a good example to the lost. It takes verbalization. Speaking the truth, in love of course, but nonetheless, they were called to proclaim, not live out a pious silent witness.
For the most part, church members do not engage in the great commission at a personal level but rather by contributing resources so that the corporate body can send out a “Great Commission Expert” (missionary) to do it for them. However, this is a far cry from what the Lord intended when He issued the Commission.
Modern believers have convinced themselves that spiritual maturity is based on information and that it takes a long time. However, if one follows the New Testament pattern, mature disciples were made in short order. They were tested by persecution and stood! The secret was the absolute insistence on personal obedience to the demands and expectations of Scripture. This is the forgotten side of the Great Commission in many churches today.
Many contemporary approaches to the Great Commission have focused on the Lord’s instruction to go to all nations. In other words, for them, the dominant responsibility of the commission is to go to the nations. However, the grammar of the Lord’s statement makes clear that the central imperative of the Commission is the making of disciples. That central imperative will be accomplished by three accompanying activities – going, baptizing, and teaching.
Five children seems an extraordinarily high price to pay for any ministry, much less one that seemed as fruitless as the Goforth’s appeared at the time. What could possibly have motivated Jonathan and Rosalind to suffer such devastating loss and count it but a small thing in their service to Christ? Perhaps the answer lies in the words Jonathan would later inscribed in the flyleaf of his bible. “In all things seek to know God’s Will and when known obey at any cost.
The... next time you visit Africa with your camera and take pictures of a congregation in any of our African townships or villages, easily divide the attendance by a quarter in order to arrive at the regular attendance of that church.
Here are four suggestions for developing ministry connections. This is what missionaries do all the time among unreached peoples. In post-Christian America disciples of Jesus Christ must become intentional in developing these connections if we are to "make disciples." So here goes:
A glimpse into the life of an incredible youth worker, Brian Dye. Brian's ministry in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago is a tangible example of living a life of discipleship.
We lose our ability and opportunity to "minister the gospel of God" when we think that the effectiveness of the gospel will create people who look the same (i.e. -like me), think the same, act the same, and come to the same applications.
The purpose of continued learning of Scripture is to help us in our life mission of harvest work. Equipping is always in the context of the rubber-meeting-the-road application. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge leads to aimless and harmful arguments fueled by intellectual pride...
The gospel is always in danger when the message becomes more man-centered than God-centered. One unintended result of a minimalistic approach to the gospel is that our churches and schools became refuge for many small "c" christians, perhaps more than many of us imagine.