I thought i would post some comments I made about missions from Jackhammer. The topic this month is missions and the discussion was over the goal of missions.
As a missionary, my goal is to obey the Great Commission in reagrds to the work the Lord has called me to do. I am to follow Matthew 28:19.20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8 etc… (These verses, and other similar verses, are the Biblical authority behind missions.) I am therefore to preach the gospel and disciple those who trust Christ. As a result a church will be established. This is God’s design. Church planting is the ultimate goal.
Here is the Biblical pattern for Biblical mission work as I follow it in PNG:I am to go into new villages preaching the gospel. If there are converts as a result of the preaching, my next step is discipling, with the end goal a self supporting local church. If a local church is established, I have accomplished my goal for that village. A goal that I believe is Biblically mandated by verses like Matthew 28:19, 20. (The only way to fully accomplish Matthew 28:19 20 is by establishing a local church. These verses are the directive for missions.) Granted, I can not accomplish it backwards. I do not start teaching Bible doctrine to lost people. This is absurd. It has to start with the gospel followed by conversion.
Bro Kent made a very true statement today, “We’ve made “church building” so complex.” The fact is church planting on our end follows a simple pattern, and yet when I read books on the subject they usually have one chapter on Bible methodology and then dive into 14 other chapters of man made efforts. By the time your finished reading you have list of 98 things you need to do to plant/build a church.
We need to be Biblically driven instead of numbers driven in our efforts to accomplish the great commission. Please do not think that I do not desire to see multitudes saved. I truly dream and day dream of entire villages coming to the Lord with only one true church in the village. However, we must stay focused on how the Lord has directed us and leave the results to him. I will not be judged based on numbers, but on my obedience to the Lord. Let’s remember, many of the churches in the New Testament were house churches. We have come to the place in America, that unless you meet certain worldly requirements such has a separate church building, pews, choir loft, baptistery etc… you do not have a “real” church.
Now, I am a realist. I understand it will be difficult to build a church in the American culture with a house church. However, as I already stated, we need to leave the results to God. Jesus said, “I will build my church.” He did not say “he would build your church”, nor did he say “you will build my church.” God knows how for provide for his work. We simply need to follow the Lord and trust him to provide. Matthew 6:33 is very true! I would whether have a house church with true converts who love the Lord, then a church of 500 who are sheep in wolves clothing or carnal. (My point is not that big churches are wrong. A church that does not follow God’s design is wrong regardless of size. A church that does follow God’s design is right regardless of size.)