Every gathered people of God (the local church) is to be a world mission
It is a command of our Lord to His people, and therefore to local
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19,
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15,
you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8, NIV).
He had called His twelve disciples to Him He gave them power saying "Go "
(Matthew 10:1-7, NKJV).
Each church, by Gods design, is to be a center
for strategies for taking the gospel to every person in the world. It is also
from each local church that God intends to provide laborers for His harvest
fields. This is the story of Acts.
Deacon Philip was sent by the Holy Spirit to Samaria, and then to the
Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8). The Spirit led Peter to Cornelius, a gentile. This
was Gods purpose, evidence that the whole church approved of what God was doing
through Philip and Peter.
It is soon noted that Gods plan included all believers, as the
Spirit would thrust them forth. Acts 8:1 reveals that they were
all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles
(NKJV). Acts 9:31 says that after the conversion of Saul [Paul], then
the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria were multiplied
What a picture the Bible paints of the purposes of God unfolding in the
earliest churches. The fullest picture includes: [they] had peace and were
edified walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit
(Acts 9:31, NKJV).
Later, it was a local church (at Antioch) that the Holy Spirit directed to
send Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1-3). It was God Who called, and it was God Who
sent, all from the local church. Also, it was the "lay people" whom He
called and sent.
My dad was a businessman, but he knew the New Testament. When there was a
need for a Baptist churchand there was no pastorhe assumed that role, just as
he had read in the scriptures. He obeyed, and God built a church. My uncle and
aunt were calledfrom their local churchto go as missionaries to China. They
were in North China during the great Shantung revival.
Our home is a place where we believe God calls out laborers. Our oldest is
the president of the Canadian Baptist seminary. Our second son will be senior
pastor in an international church in Norway. Our third son pastors in Canada.
Our fourth son is a pastor in Texas, and our daughter and her husband will soon
serve with the International Mission Board.
In my 30 years of pastoring, we saw more than 100 people respond to Gods
call into ministry, missions or both. We taught missions in every age group.
Our worship services always magnified Gods plan through the local church and a
constant invitation was given calling out the called to go!
Our church was a church on mission to the jails, nursing homes, new
church plants in other communities, high schools and college campuses. We were
always on some mission trip. We believed that our (Gods) church was a
world mission strategy centerby Gods eternal design.
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