Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Congregations with a vision for mission

On Sunday evening I was leading a Bible Study on Acts 13 & 14. This is a group of people (all White) with whom I meet from time to time and presently we are working through the book of Acts. Acts 13 & 14 tells the story of Paul’s first missionary journey. Those attending the Bible Study are all members of a church which seems to have lost its vision for missions, although individually many of these people do want to get involved in missions.
The story starts in the church in Antioch which most probably was not a very large church. In some way (we’re not told how), God indicates to them that Paul and Barnabas have to be sent out as their “missionaries”. After further prayer (probably also to make sure that they had “heard” God correctly), the laid their hands on these two people and sent them off.
How could a small congregation as the one in Antioch afford to do this while huge congregations in our times fail to do this. In Acts 11:27-30 we get an idea of the attitude of the believers in Antioch. They seemed to understand how God feels about people. Therefore, when they heard of the famine in Jerusalem, they gave what they could to help the people there. This gives us an indication of their vision which is directed towards people loved by God. Perhaps it is not so strange that God then also uses this congregation to send out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries.
Looking at this story, I think there are a number of things one can learn from it and which could be applied to our modern congregations:

  • First of all I believe a congregation needs to develop a vision for the world. We need to look with God’s eyes to the world which He created and we need to develop God’s heart for the people.
  • A church needs to learn to trust God unconditionally. As pastors we preach about trusting God, telling those in the pews that they need to learn to trust God with their money, with their families, with their belongings, even with their (eternal) lives, but often the church or congregation itself does not set the example of trusting God unconditionally. I’ve heard, time and time again that church members say that they believe that God wants them to get involved in some missions project, but that they cannot afford to do so. Isn’t this what it means to trust God unconditionally?
  • A church needs to spend time in prayer, listening to what God wants them to do. A church which regularly prays together, praying for the world, praying for specific mission projects, praying that God’s light will shine throughout the world, praying for guidance on where and how God wants to use them in this task, will hear from God. Of that I am convinced. And then all that they need to do is to obey Him.

I’m encouraged when I read and hear stories of churches taking this step of obedience. We ourselves are not there yet. The money issue is still a strong inhibiting factor, keeping us from taking the step of fully trusting the Lord. But step by step we are learning that there is nothing which can take the place of obeying the Lord and trusting Him so that He can reach His goal through us.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - Posted by | Church, Mission, Prayer, Swaziland, Theology

3 Comments »

  1. Dear Rev ,
    I came across your page while trying surf on the internet. I felt God lead me to your page and was so much blessed and encouraged after reading of what you are doing and of your faith. May God bless you greatly as you serve him.
    My names are pastor David Walukhu married to Selina and we are blessed with 5 children. We are the leaders of New Promise Life Evangelistic Ministry. We work hand in hand with pastors to strengthen their churches and host both revival, conferences, crusades and campaigns meetings. We have been reaching the lost in the villages where people have not received the true gospel of the kingdom of God.
    It has been our joy to see the unity restred in the body of Christ. That is why I feel God has called me to work with pastors. My wife and I have been leading the team to plant churches where they are needed and evangelize in both villages and centers. We have been teaching the true gospel where we feel the true gospel has not reached. Many churches here in Africa needs the real teachings. For we have many come to the Lord but they lack the true teachings.
    We also pray that God may lead you at his own time to come and be a blessing to the people of Africa. We shall be willing to host you and let you speak in our meetings, in our churches and our pastors net work. our small web. http://www.freewebs.com/newpromise

    May God richly bless you.
    Please do stay in touch
    IN HIM
    pastor David m.walukhu
    mukhonje faith church,
    p.box 230,webuye,kenya
    east Africa
    telephone;+254734375822

    Comment by pastor david m,walukhu | Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi Brother, thanks for the very kind words and also the invitation to visit you. I have never had the opportunity to visit Kenia and if it is within God’s will, I would be honoured to do so. Let’s pray together about this and find out from Him what he wants.
    In Christ.

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. Dear brother,
    I am a servant of God from the Netherlands, last April I was in Kenya invited by David
    Walukhu.
    I am happily married and father of three children (19,17 and 13 years old), we are
    leaders of a house fellowship from a big church called V.E.G. Nehemia, Zwijndrecht,
    Holland (www.nehemia.nl)
    David and I have visited a lot of pastors in Kenya and we were going to the deep bushes.
    I have preached several times and many many people gave there lives to our Lord. It was
    great. God is so good!!!
    Maybe we can make contact with eachother, so we
    can work and preach together??? It is in my heart to go back and serve the Lord
    everywhere in Africa.

    Please can we make contact???
    Piet van den Oever
    Lage Molen 16
    3352 VA Papendrecht.
    the Netherlands,
    p.vdoever@versatel.nl
    0031786412604

    God bless you,
    in Christ
    Piet v.d.Oever

    Comment by Piet v.d.Oever | Sunday, May 10, 2009 | Reply


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