Introductory Thoughts on a Biblical Study of Local Church Mission
In the short time that I have pondered the way that many Christians tend to view ministry both “lay” and “full time,” I have become very concerned with the way that many appeal to their people in youth groups, Bible colleges, and local churches. There are tendencies within many churches to put people on guilt trips, entice them by the hope of physical or emotional blessing, or appeal to emotions in order to get laborers into the Lord’s work. Is this the work of human persuasion or the convicting work of the Holy Spirit? Young people are often compelled at camps and retreats to make public decisions after a preacher has made a powerful, emotional appeal to full time Christian service, but is it directed by the persuasion of a man or the Spirit of God. I admit that God certainly can use these things to work in the hearts of His people, and that this in many ways is the way that God first began to stir my heart and lead me into what is now a full time cross-cultural church planting ministry; however, the question is not whether or not God has or will in the future use these kinds of appeals, but whether or not this is the proper method that we should be using.
What Principle Motivates Our Appeal?
Perhaps we should re-evaluate the way in which we appeal to Christian young people. Is our appeal done in a Biblical way? How do we appeal to our average church member when teaching on missions giving? How do we teach our responsibility to evangelize the lost? My desire is to evaluate the pattern of Christ and the apostles. What did they teach about these issues and the issues that connect to them, and what method or methods did they use when appealing to believers? The next several posts will be focused on answering the following questions: What is the foundation for any degree of involvement in missions? What should be the focus of a committed disciple of Christ? Lastly, what are some basic fundamentals when involved in discipleship whether in your own culture, or cross-culturally? My desire is that these posts would be used to cause you to think and evaluate the way to appeal to others in our teaching in these critical ministry issues. For those who teach, and those who do not, I hope that these posts will be refreshing, informative, and challenging.