WHO IS A MISSIONARY?
UNDERSTANDING THE BASIC THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS-PART TWOSince the word missionary was not used in the Bible, different people have defined who a missionary is at different times based on the perspective of thinking. A missionary is called and sent by God with a specific mandate to a particular people. A missionary is called by God to take the gospel of the kingdom of God to people that have not received it. The Bible tells of different individuals and groups of people who were called at different times to fulfill a missionary mandate. In the Old Testament it was God the Father who played the role as sender of missionaries for example, Abraham was called by God as an individual: (more…)

UNDERSTANDING THE BASIC THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS PART ONE,Mission, the major task of the church is widely spoken of by Christians today, but the understanding of the concept and the way it should be done differ from people to people and places to places. It is often very important to compare the general understanding of the church about mission with what the Bible teaches. The true concept about mission does not only help us to do it correctly but also to maximize the use of God’s given (more…)


 

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” ( Mark 11:13 – 14).
Looking from the method of our Lord Jesus Christ, there are basic steps to preparing people to accomplish His missions in whatever area of involvement. Mark recorded in the passage above some of the steps that the Master and our Lord Jesus Christ took in preparing men for his enormous task (Missions).
 
  1. THE CALL: I have mentioned often times in some of my articles that every Christian is suppose to be involved in Missions. This means that, every Christians is called to missions but each person is called to do different things, this is where the issue of understanding the call of God is very important.Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles’. As a Bible student you definitely have noticed that Jesus during His life time interacted very closely with different set of people, both men and women at different times and in different places. Apart from the works of healings, deliverance, miracles and so on that Jesus Christ did in the lives of most of them, many of them played very positive and significant roles in His ministry. They were all His disciples but He did not call all of them Apostles. The twelve disciples were the only one He called Apostles based on the nature of their calling – they were called and sent to places and people who have never heard the gospel. The Apostles were sent to pioneer the gospel message among the Jews and other people of other places of their time. That was a specific calling for a specific mandate. The call to be a missionary is a special call to specific people. An individual must hear God speaking to him to engage in a full time missionary work before taking such step.  A Christian must be able to hear God clearly when God is speaking to Him especially when he or she is been called upon for a specific assignment.  
 
  1. THE TRAINING:  Mission is a spiritual venture, and God uses spiritual people to carry it out. Spiritual formation is the first and major training that is needed for a God – focus and productive missionary work. The Lord Jesus Christ called His disciples first and foremost to be with Him: ‘that they might be with him’. ‘To be with Him’ is a means of enrolling the 12 men in the School of Jesus Christ to learn His way of life and ministry.  Despite the fact that the work was urgent and enormous, Jesus did not de-emphasize the importance of training neither did He send them in haste without appropriate preparations to equip them for the task. He took time to train and prepare His disciples before sending them out on mission. There are other technical training both formal and informal that are very important for missionary work but the spiritual formation supersedes them all.  It is not sufficient to have a clear missionary call but we must have adequate spiritual, cross-cultural and other relevant trainings that will enhance our fruitfulness in ministry before going to the Mission Field. Also in the course of our service as missionaries we must equally make ourselves available to relevant trainings that will further equip us for greater effectiveness and fruitfulness in ministry.
 
  1. THE TASK: The summary of the missionary mandate is to go and make disciples of all nations. We have many and different areas of work in missions but all have the overall objective of making disciples of and for the Lord Jesus Christ. designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach”. The Lord Jesus Christ sent the disciples out to preach. The disciples were called Apostles because they were sent out to preach. They could have just been called ‘disciples’ and not ‘Apostles’ if they were not sent out.  Missionaries are not like other gospel workers, but they are missionaries because they do missionary works.  The only way by which the unreached people of our time can be reached with the gospel of Christ is when men respond to their missionary calls, undergo appropriate trainings and do the work of a missionary.
God bless you.
Matthew Olorunnaiye

 

 
 
WHO IS A MISSIONARY?
Since the word missionary was not used in the Bible, different people have defined who a missionary is at different times based on the perspective of thinking. A missionary is called and sent by God with a specific mandate to a particular people. A missionary is called by God to take the gospel of the kingdom of God to people that have not received it. The Bible tells of different individuals and groups of people who were called at different times to fulfill a missionary mandate. In the Old Testament it was God the Father who played the role as sender of missionaries for example, Abraham was called by God as an individual:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Israel as a nation was also called during this era: “You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites” (Exodus 19:6). God the Son was the sender of missionaries during the gospel period or the Pre-Pentecostal period and the call was specifically to the disciples who were also referred to as ‘Apostles’ from which the word missionaries emanated, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18)
Since the Apostolic or the Post-Pentecostal era, the responsibility of the sender shifted to God the Holy Spirit whose target became the church. The Holy Spirit calls the church today either as a group or individual to fulfill God’s missionary mandate.
“In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:1-3).
 
 
WHO IS A MISSIONARY SENDER?
A missionary sender is simply an individual or a group that facilitates the fulfillment of God’s missionary mandate upon an individual or a group through spiritual and physical supports. It is God that calls and sends a missionary but He also needs men as co-senders. They are people who release the missionaries into their mandate through their prayers, financial, material and moral support. In the case of Abraham, his father, Terah, was the only person who was involved in his call, the prophets and priests served to help Israel fulfill her mission mandate. The church served as co-sender with God to help the Apostles fulfill their missionary call during the apostolic era. Today, the concept of co-sender’ with God in missionary task has become more developed and well structured in modern missions. Local churches act as ‘senders’, individual believers or group of believers act as senders, family members and sending organization act as senders and so on. It is this concept that brings about the fact that every believer is a missionary, either you are called to go as a missionary or called to serve as a co-sender with God.
 
REACHING THE UNREACHED
The concept of unreached people is very fundamental in the modern day missionary work. Unreached people is defined as any group within which there is no indigenous community of  Bible believers able to evangelize this people group without  help or support from outside. An Unreached people group has an insignificant percentage of Christian evangelicals among them. We have majority of unreached peoples in Africa, and most of them are in the Islamic settings. There are still some unreached people in the world today that do not have missionaries among them yet. How then can we say that we have finished the task and how can we expect the Lord to return. The task is ‘to make disciples of all nations’, which means to raise and nurture believers among every tribe. We must speed up the fulfillment of our missionary task for we cannot expect the Master to come, until the whole world has heard the Good News.
 
God bless you,
Matthew Olorunnaiye.

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART SEVEN. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:18-20). (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART FIVE. The general believe is that, mission which is the preaching of the gospel to those that have not heard it sufficiently enough to make a decision to follow Christ, or those among whom there is no viable or a strong church, is often considered as a ministry that every local church should be involved in doing. Far beyond this perception, mission is the overall life of the church because that is the major reason why the church exists.  There can’t be church if there is no mission and there will be no mission without the church. The early church was doing mission everywhere, every time and to every people in every circumstance. (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART 4 Please, permit me to use the unusual approach as we look at part three of our main theme, ‘The Local Church and Global Mission’.  I am sharing with you a meditation by Mary Schotte that I received from a friend couple of weeks ago, on ‘finding rest in God’. It is taken from a blog site called tendingscatteredwool.com  (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART ONE.Apart from the inability to see the advancing of God’s Kingdom beyond a small scope or the four walls of the church, the global economy and the socio-political atmosphere of the world is a big threat to the local church’s involvement in global mission. It is becoming increasingly difficult and challenging to get Local Churches actively involved in mission. The churches that were once taking the lead in the mission mandate are placing their priority on something else, and those that want to embrace the call are hindered by different kinds of challenges and distractions. If there is a time that deliberates efforts need to be made to challenge and awaken the church to her responsibility in advancing God’s kingdom through mission, it is now. Mission cannot advance except the ecclesiological institution in the grass root, which is the local church, acknowledges her role and plays it.  The local church must awake to her responsibility in mission. (more…)

THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART TWO. Every local church can be likened to the vision of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37 – The valley of dry bones. God moved supernaturally upon the dry bones to bring them together into a body that became a mighty army. The bones could not do it on their own.
The Lord Jesus Christ did the first gathering of 120 “Dry Bones” at Jerusalem and on the Pentecost day, He turned that local dry bones into a local church and a mighty army for global missions.
The Lord Himself gathers the dry bones, raises them into a local church and a mighty army and sends them forth with the command to “GO”, for global missions in the power of the Holy Spirit. The problem has been that the “GO” command is perverted to “STAY”and build up empire etc. (more…)

SHINNING THE LIGHT IN DARK PLACES THROUGH MISSION-PART 5. “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
A missionary entered a community where there was no potable water for the people. He made efforts with members of his team to provide potable water not just for the Mission Base but also for the people in the community who were in dire need. As evangelism work progressed in that community, it came to a stage that they needed to organise a church for the disciples. Initially, there was a resistance by the community because their ancestors had already said that there would never be a church in that community, so every effort by different people in the past to organise a church had failed.  Simply because of the act of good work by this Mission group in providing water for them, the people in the community not only became open to the gospel, but they also accepted for the Mission group to organise a church for the believers. That is what an act of good work can do among nations. (more…)