Go to the Nations: Priorities and Responsibilities in Missions
June 17, 2018
When I was in college I got a job working for a lumber supply company. I worked in the showroom selling things like plumbing and electrical parts, cabinets, and paint. To say that I was ignorant about the building business when I began is an understatement. When I graduated from college and moved about a year after I took the job, one regular customer who was known to be demanding said to me something like, “You’ve come a long way — when you started you didn’t know anything and now you’re actually pretty helpful.”
What helped me become helpful was that I figured out how all the various systems that I sold worked — what their function was and how they were to operate — and knowing that, when people came in with questions about how to repair things, I could help them piece together the right plumbing parts or assemble the tools they needed for a paint job or how to lay out their kitchen cabinets. Once I knew the purpose of a system, I could design a plan for it or figure out a solution to a problem.
That applies to many areas of life and ministry, including missions. One reason some churches struggle with missions is because they don’t understand the biblical teaching about missions and do not understand the biblical priorities and responsibilities of missions. Once we understand what the Bible teaches about these things, making decisions about how we will involve ourselves in missions becomes much more clear.
That is what drove us over the past six months to work on a philosophy of missions for GBC — while we’ve always loved missions, we needed clarity for the kinds of ministries we wanted to identify with in the cause of missions, and we wanted a document that would help guide us to developing missionaries in our church body. [Aside: we would love for many more missionaries to be developed and trained in and sent out from our church over the next few years.]
I said last week that I am excited about this series and about this document because GBC loves the gospel and loves missions. And then this week I again read this sentence in a book about missions: “Churches won’t extend themselves to commend the gospel [in missions] until they deeply cherish the gospel.” My immediate thought was, “I am grateful that GBC loves the gospel, and because it loves the gospel, loves missions.” We want this document and series to expand that passion. Just as we want to deepen the culture of evangelism in our church, in the same way we’d like to see the culture of missions deepened (which makes sense, because they are both related to evangelism).
How will we summarize our commitment to missions?
The goal of GBC Missions is to cultivate a network of missionaries that will expand our global involvement and see people from all the nations trust Christ, love Christ, and live for Christ’s glory.
To say it more simply, our goal is to be involved in taking the gospel to other parts of the world so those who don’t know Christ will come to know Christ.
This morning we want to address two additional questions about missions: what are our priorities in missions, what are the responsibilities of missionaries in the missionary endeavor?
- What are our priorities in missions?
- What we do in missions is guided by what we believe missions is
- Some options for cross-cultural ministry
- GBC’s priorities in missions
- What are the responsibilities of missionaries?
- What should missionaries be?
- What should missionaries do?
Download the rest of this sermon on missions.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.