Posts Tagged ‘great commission’


The Going: The Where, When and the Why…

March 29, 2012

Part 2 of the missions proposal series.

Read Part 1 Here

There is a cycle throughout the New Testament in regards to the growth and proliferation of the gospel.  The cycle reflects a certain pattern of evangelism consisting of four repeating steps; establish, proclaim, grow, establish.  First a church is established through the gathering together to believers.[1]  We see this in the days after Christ’s ascension as the disciples and followers of Jesus gathered together, literally in a room.  The church in Jerusalem has all the marks of church of God.  Believers gathered together, the spirit moving in power, discussions and a focus on the life and works of Jesus, and finally proclamation to the community.  This leads us to the second pattern within the cycle, proclamation.  The word and the glorious good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the community.[2]  As God is faithful to the proclamation of His word, growth inevitably follows in some form.  The third pattern is growth, souls added to the rolls of the kingdom through the faithful proclamation of the gospel.[3]  This growth is followed again by the further establishment of the church and the devotion to discipleship and proclamation of the gospel, followed by growth and so on.[4]  This pattern would be repeated through out the Mediterranean as the Apostles and disciples of Jesus spread out into the cities of the Roman world.  Jesus commanded that they go to Jerusalem, Judea and “remotest part of the earth,” and they went.  So to must we obey and go, first to our locale, then to our nation, then on to the world seeking to establish a presence, proclaim the gospel, grow the church and establish future planting churches.  We will now focus practically on the where of going, the when of going and the reasons behind why we go.

Where to Go

It shall be our goal to follow the example set in Acts 1:8, to start in the neighborhood and then move to the nations.  Ministry whether local, national, or international, is merely the reflection of the heart of those engaging in it.  Proximity is key.  It is no accident that Christ ties our words to our heart, as the two are so close.  So too our witness should begin with those in greatest proximity to us, as an outflow of the heart of our worship within the community.  The church should be engaged with its community on a weekly basis.  In addressing increasing engagement out into the wider world to reach the nations, I propose the following scale; tying activity and scope to church size on a yearly basis.

No. of Members            No. of Trips                    Destination

Less than 50                1                                     National

50-100                          2                                     National/Int’l

100+                              3                                   2National/1Int’l

250+                              5                                   3National/2Int’l

The scale might seem ambitious to some and perhaps underwhelming to others, and should be viewed as suggestive not compulsory.  It represents an honest effort to focus a church their mission to the nations regardless of their size.

When to Go

The frequency of missions activity within a church may vary based on past experience or prior goals.  Below is my proposal for the frequency of mission activity, with the understanding that local mission activity is ongoing.   It is also important to note that this scale is meant to start at year 1 of a church and progress to year 7; or start afresh a cycle in a church that has not been active in missions.  The goal would be to have local, national and international activity occurring by the end of year 7.

Years                    Destination

1-3                            Local (while developing national targets)[5]

3-5                            Local/National (while developing Int’l targets)

7-beyond                 Local/National/International[6]


Why Should We Go

The chief end of man is to glorify God, the chief end of the church is to facilitate that glory through the work of His Son and the obedient worship of His children.  God blesses his chosen people so that His glory might be known among the nations.[7]  His people make His glory known by obeying His commandments; to love Him with all their heart, soul and mind; and love their neighbor as themselves.[8]  If we call ourselves Christians, how can we not obey God in this, going where He commands we go, and loving whose He commands we love.  A church absent these features, has little claim to its title.  In addition to going we are commanded to go with a purpose, to make disciples.

[1] Acts 1:12-26

[2] Acts 2:14-36

[3] Acts 2:37-41

[4] Acts 2:42-47

[5] The purpose of this initial local focus is to train the church in discipleship, attempting to provide a sure footing to then launch out into extra-local missions.

[6] It is understood that this chart and the previous chart tied to church size would be read together, one interacting with the other.  Some churches may be in a position to expedite this schedule, while others may need more time.  The ultimate goal is a robust focus on getting the gospel to the nations.

[7] Psalm 67:1-5

 [8] Matthew 22:37-39