Anytime we begin a project in life we must have a plan to get us to completion. Before we ever begin any action we must have the end goal in mind. This would be true of building a house, going on a journey, or running a business. If we ever want to reach our goal we must have a plan. Well, the same is true of the church. When it comes to the mission of the church we must begin with the end in mind.
What does such a plan look like. Let’s again consider organizations all around us in the world. Every successful business, ministry, and government has a vision statement, a purpose statement, a list of core values that will govern their behavior, and policies or plan of action to describe how they will go about making their vision a reality. What actions they will and will not take in order to accomplish their purpose.
Well, Jesus did this very thing for his disciples, both in the early days of the church and today. Jesus’s vision statement, purpose statement, core values, and ministry plan
Today’s message is an overview of the big picture plan of Christ to build His church through the activity that we call missions. There are four main points that I want to share with you today. In the future we will dig deeper on each of these points in their own sermons because there is so much that needs to be understood about each one so that we can put the ideas into practice in everyday life. For today we will focus on the big picture of missions.
Today we will look at Christ’s overall plan that he laid out for us, His church, to follow in order that His church will multiply and spread through entire world. He has a plan for us, but we won’t fulfill it unless we understand it.
I. Christ’s Purpose – To Seek & to Save the Lost
- Luke 19:10
- John 6:38-40
II. Christ’s Promise – I Will Build My Church (Matthew 16: 13-19)
III. Christ’s Vision – People from everyplace & culture on earth who’ve been redeemed from sin – Revelation 5
- This vision is still something that has not become a reality yet, but we are assured of the fact that it will become reality because this is the vision that God has for this world. This is the eternal purpose of God that He will not abandon. It is the destination that He will not stop until it has been reached.
IV. Christ’s Method to Fulfill the Purpose, Promise, & Vision – The Rescued Souls become the Messengers so more can be rescued.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
- Matthew 28:18-20
- Mark 16:15
- Luke 24:46-48
- John 20:21
- Acts 1:8
When we combine all of these elements together we get the Biblical concept of missions.
“Mission” is the work of God in reconciling sinful human beings to Himself. God introduces and sustains the mission. The church partners with God’s agenda.
What earthly function does the church play? We are the rescued who become the messengers so others can also be rescued. This past week at Bible Study one of you made an important statement. “If we really believe the message of the Gospel then it means that those who have not repented of sin and put faith in Christ are going to hell. That means that most of the people we see all around us are on their way to hell. If we believe that then we have to do something about it. We have to share the Gospel with them.”
“Missions” is the plan of committed believers to accomplish the mission of God. It is knowing Christ personally ourselves and then making Him known.
V. The Church’s Pattern of Multiplication – 2 Timothy 2:2
VI. The Power of Multiplication
Let’s contrast the two types of growth – addition and multiplication.
- Linear growth: Addition…and increase by a constant amount at regular intervals.
o A person leads 1000 people to Christ every day of the year. (Is this even possible? Of course not! But for the sake of the illustration let’s pretend.)
o At the end of the first year there would be 365,000 believers
o After 25 years, there would be 9,125,000 new believers.
- Exponential growth: Multiplication. An increase by a constant percentage of the whole at regular intervals.
o A person leads 1 person to Christ in a year and spends that year building, teaching and training that individual to grow to maturity, give witness of his faith and build up others.
o At the end of the first year there would be one new, mature, reproducing believer.
o After 25 years, there would be 33, 554, 432 mature, reproducing believers.
|Years||One Pastor Leading Others to Christ||The Pastor Trains Others who Lead Others to Christ who lead others to Christ|
- This is the Pattern of Christ
- This is the Pattern of Paul
So, how can normally people like us be involved in missions today? If we are really going to understand the big picture of missions from beginning to end we must put ourselves in the story. Let’s close by looking at three Biblical ways in which each of us can be involved in missions work today.
VII. The Individual Church Member’s Privilege & Responsibility
- Pray – Romans 15:30
- Give – Philippians 4:10-20
- Go – Mark 16:15
So, today we have seen the mission that God has entrusted to His church. We have seen it from beginning to end. But I leave you with one important question. Are we doing the work or have we forgotten our purpose. We, who have been rescued, must take seriously our privilege to run the life saving station – the church – to do our part in rescuing those lost in sin.