The Start of the Missionary Era
By Pastor Rachel
1. The 1st Missionary Journey
Acts 13 offers an account of the first missionary journey of Barnabas and Saul to Cyprus and Pisidia, which marks the beginning of “the missionary era.”
Barnabas and Saul weren’t sent by the Holy Spirit only, nor by a church or an institution only; the Holy Spirit directed the church leaders to send them while they were worshipping and fasting. This is a church with a vision to earnestly seek God’s will and do God’s work.
Yet the first missionary journey was marked with both opportunities and opposition. Barnabas and Saul preached the word of God wherever they came, first in Salamis, then onward through the isle of Cyprus till they came to Paphos, where they met with the proconsul who was willing to hear their message and Elymas the sorcerer who opposed them and did all he could to turn the proconsul away from faith. But Saul denounced the wrath of God against Elymas with power from the Holy Spirit, and therefore Elymas was struck blind.
2. Mission & Missionary
What is mission? Matthew 28:19 (NIV, similarly hereinafter) teaches us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus commanded us to be the salt and light of the world. Missionary means someone sent forth to do God’s work. And mission means to proclaim the Gospel, show God’s love and testify to God’s glory to bring people to the kingdom of God.
Mission isn’t a theory. It’s an action. Here are 3 ways to carry out our mission:
a. Expand God’s kingdom by evangelising;
b. Help people know God and defeat the evil so they experience God’s love;
c. Demonstrate God’s glory through worship and everyday life.
Our God is a missionary God. This is the basis for our mission. We know this because in the Old Testament God always called his people to testify their belief to the locals: Abraham, Joseph, Jonah, Daniel… And in the New Testament Jesus commanded his followers to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
3. A Church’s Mission
The purpose for a church is to testify God’s glory, power and love. A church is not about the number of its congregation or the size of its buildings. It must be one with mission and doing mission. The growth of a church and the maturity of its congregation is shown through the work of its mission.
Mission is a calling for every Christian. It is relevant with our context. There are always ways for us to carry out our mission in our own context.
- What does mission mean to you?
- Are you doing mission in your own context?
- What is your mission field?
- How do you do mission in your own field?
May God grant us the courage, strength and wisdom as we carry our mission in our own context. May God protect you, guide you and use you as His missionaries.
Communion service group 圣餐服侍组
Father, send me 父啊 求你差遣我
Gift to the couple 送给新人礼物
Lord I will follow 主我愿跟随
Receive the Lord's precious blood 领受主的宝血
Sacrifice precious life 舍弃宝贵生命
Silent prayer 默默祷告
Stabbed to assist 被刺搀扶
The choir band 诗班乐队
The light on the cross 十字架上的光芒
To praise 记入赞美
Worship group 敬拜团