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Missions Mandate - Part 4 - The Local Church and Missions - By Ps Ashish Raichur
In this message on "The Local Church and Missions" using Early Church as a pattern, we discover 7 important ways in which an urban church can engage in missions. We also discuss APC's missions plan & opportunities for you to personally get involved.
The History of Missions
Some Insights on Missions
Today : The Local Church And Missions
As mentioned earlier, when we use the word “missions”
1. Taking the message of Jesus Christ to those who have not yet heard,
2. Discipling and equipping those who have believed, so that they can have a self-sustained church growth movement among their own people/community,
3. Empowering/working alongside those involved in the above.
How can a local church, more specifically an urban local church be involved in missions?
We will use some of the patterns we observe in the New Testament, with a focus on the book of Acts, to draw some specific ways in which a local church can be engaged in missions.
These are not in any particular order of importance – all aspects of missions are equally important.
7 Ways for an urban local church to engage in missions:
1. Church planting
Example of what happened in the church in Jerusalem.
Began on the day of Pentecost. The new believers matured in their faith. Leaders rose up within the local church. Barnabas was one of them. Stephen and Philip were among the deacons serving in the church. When persecution became severe, many believers were scattered out of Jerusalem.
Philip went to Samaria and preached Jesus, and a church was planted there (Acts 8)
Some believers went to different places and arrived at Antioch, and a church was planted there (Acts 11:19-21)
Later the same thing repeats from the church in Antioch. Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1-4), Paul and Silas, Barnabas and John Mark go out as teams to plant churches in many other places.
Some important truths we need to highlight here:
A) All believers can plant churches
B) God’s leading into missions can come either as a specific call (a word from the Holy Spirit) and sometimes simply by God directing your steps through inner promptings, circumstances, people around you, open doors, etc.
C) Your time in the local church is your time of equipping to be prepared for missions. The reason of your being in a local church is for you to be prepared to go out.
2, Strengthening new believers and local churches
Later on we see believers going from the church in Jerusalem to strengthen the new local churches.
Peter and John go to Samaria (Acts 8:14-15)
Barnabas goes to Antioch (Acts 11:22-25)
A team of prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts 11:27). We see the result of such input – in Antioch, in a matter of 2 years, teachers and prophets were raised up.
Judas and Silas along with others come from Jerusalem to Antioch to help clarify doctrinal matters (Acts 15:30-34)
Paul and Barnabas who had been sent out from the Antioch church, after they had planted several churches – visited the new churches again, strengthening them and appointing leaders among them (Acts 14:21-23, Acts 15:36)
3, Ministering to specific physical needs of other local churches/community of believers
The church in Antioch sent aid to believers in Jerusalem (Acts 11:29,30)
The Corinthian and Macedonian believers also gave to the Judean believers (2 Corinthians 8:1-4,9:1-2)
4, Tent making
Many of us are doing well professionally and are very aware of God’s call to be engaged in the marketplace. We recognize and perhaps in many ways are already engaged in marketplace ministry.
Sometimes we think that the call to missions conflicts with our call to the marketplace. We assume that the call to missions will involve leaving our professional careers and going full-time as a missionary somewhere. While it is true that God may call some of us to do this – we must also understand that God also uses our professional lives in missions.
Paul the apostle, along with Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth Acts 18:1-11
At Ephesus Acts 20:33-35 (speaking to the elders from Ephesus)
At Thessalonica 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Some of us can move with our profession to another urban center in India, and plant a church there or in some way engage strategically in missions.
While in school/college
While working in the USA
The last 12 years
1 Thessalonians 5:25
2 Thessalonians 3:1,2
Pray for unreached people groups
Pray for those working/engaged in missions
6, Partner with those involved in missions
support financially and in other ways those engaged in missions
2 Corinthians 10:13-16 After teaching on giving, Paul share his hope that the Corinthian church will help enlarge his reach with the gospel.
Philippians 4:10-20 The local church at Philippi supported Paul’s missions ministry
House travelling ministers Philemon 1:7,22, 3 John 1:5-8
7, Using all available means to minister Jesus Christ
Paul used letters to teach many people
APC – as we look out at Indian missions, there are several opportunities before us:
1, APC Bible College
Teach skills to our students at our BC here in Bangalore
APC Short term Bible college in Champa, Chattarpur (October 01- Dec 15)
APC Short term Bible college in Ajmer, Rajasthan (date to be finalized)
2, Church Planting
Go minister at existing APC outreach churches
Go plant new churches in cities across India
3, City Transformation Teams (Tent making teams that plant churches)
Get together with one or two other couples and target a city in India. Move there professionally and plant a church
Teach and train at conferences across India : Kingdom Builders Conference, Prophetic Ministry, etc.
To do this you need to learn and apply these things first and then be ready to go teach
5, Partnership with Vision India
Teach in their conferences
6, Partnership with EHA
Partner with two EHA Hospitals, using our professional skills to assist them, provide spiritual discipleship, and help in practical ways.
Weekend Discipleship seminars for Hospital staff
Conducting Children’s camp and train childrens church teachers
Volunteers who will spend time visiting patients, praying with them, etc.
Conducting professional training in several areas
Need to get team of experiened people
Teaching English and Basic computer skills to nursing college students (Chattarpur only)
Help design and set up a recreation/family room for hospital staff
Interior design and facelift for hospital buildings
Landscaping of 16 acres of land (Champa only)
All ASAP (need to get teams of experienced people)