WHAT AN ACTS 1:8 MISSION STRATEGY CAN DO FOR YOUR CHURCH

July 26, 2017

By Doug Sarver Minister of Global Missions
     Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at ronniefloyd.com and is used by permission.

When it comes to missions, unfortunately, many churches practice without strategy. Even scarier than not having a strategy, is not having the right strategy. There are many possible strategies, some healthy and some not. Warren Wiersbe says, “Ministry is not done by imitation but by incarnation”. (Philippians 1:6) The best strategy would obviously be a Biblical strategy, and I love using Acts 1:8 as ours for Cross Church. It says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

As a pastor, when you are setting a missions strategy, you should ask yourself, “What is God doing in and through me as pastor, and our church, to fulfill Acts 1:8?”

Here are 4 things an Acts 1:8 missions strategy can do for your church.

1. Brings focus. Pastor, don’t just throw spiritual darts at a map to select where or what your church will do in missions. It is a key responsibility of the pastor to set missional focus for your church. Use Acts 1:8 to bring that focus. Acts 1:8 does not move on tracks like a train, with whistle stops along the way in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world. It moves like the sweeping hands of a clock, never ending, and with continuous movement. I love the thought that I can connect Jerusalem (local) missions to the ends of the world! Focus on how your missions strategy can connect local missions to the far ends of unreached peoples around the world. Begin reaching the nations in your own back yard to learn about the culture and language etc. Then you will be equipped to travel to their nation more effectively and with great focus.

2. Prioritizes the focus. Start with local missions, then move to regional, national, and international. I have said for years, at Cross Church, we will not forsake Northwest Arkansas on the altar of the world when it comes to missions. I believe we earn the right to go abroad. Pastors, let’s make sure we are getting it done in our own communities equal to our efforts abroad. It is a tragic thought to think we have thousands of churches in America that aren’t reaching and baptizing people in their own churches, but will buy plane tickets to go overseas to share the gospel.

3. Empowers the people. Jesus said, “you will be”. When we have a biblical strategy, it actually empowers people to be involved personally in your church’s missional vision. I want to see as many people as possible empowered to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. When we communicate clear, biblical strategy, it is amazing how many people feel empowered to get personally involved. When our people are empowered missionally, they will begin to live and believe “I am Acts 1:8”.

4. Honors Jesus and the Holy Scripture. “My witnesses”. The emphasis (mine added) on MY. Wow, what a thought. I can be a witness to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ beginning in my local community, and extending to the ends of the earth. Now, that honors Jesus and His Holy Word. There is nothing that brings more honor to Jesus and His Holy Scripture than when people are led to place their faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we, as believers, practice being a witness for Jesus Christ, we can almost hear a proud Father say, ”they are MY WITNESSES and wow, I am honored!”

Pastor, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I bring focus in my church’s missional strategy?
  • Do I prioritize our church’s missional strategy?
  • Do I empower my church members to fulfill the church’s missional strategy?
  • How much honor is being brought to Jesus and the Holy Scripture through my church’s missional strategy?

Rethinking SBC Membership Policies—Part Two Four Types of PARTNERS Receiving MEMBER Benefits in the Southern Baptist Convention

July 25, 2017

 Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
 First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
 Executive Director, Connect 316

In Part One I expressed the concern that Southern Baptists have a very lenient policy for admitting new churches into our convention. All one must do is (a) basically affirm our beliefs, (b) state somewhere, even semi-privately, that you will cooperate with us, and (c) donate an undesignated gift—optionally undisclosed—of any amount at all to any Southern Baptist entity. Frankly, this policy does not properly guard our interests as Southern Baptists. I called it the Southern Baptist equivalent of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It leaves us open to abuse by certain outside partners willing to be Southern Baptist enough to receive our benefits but not Southern Baptist enough to shoulder our responsibilities.

Continue reading

Mirroring the Gravity of the Cross

July 24, 2017

By William F. Harrell

For more resources from Dr. Harrell go to his website.

There are some places to which one goes that command respect. For instance, when one goes to our National Cemetery at Arlington, Va. there is a certain amount of respect which is demanded. In the courtrooms of America respect for the judge and the rule of law is required. If a person were to visit the White House, they would be held to strict rules governing their conduct and access to the building. When someone goes to a funeral to pay their last respects to an individual, they dress and act accordingly. If one were called to the Mayor’s office or to the office of a high government official, they would feel obligated to honor the person holding that office by treating them with respect. And so, my point is made that certain places to which one goes command respect. This attitude of respect will affect ones dress and conduct. It will keep them soberly aware of where they are and who it is that they are dealing with. It will also have a lot to do with their activities while they are in this place which commands respect.
Continue reading

1 4 5 6 7 8 754