How should churches evaluate the success of missionaries they support?

9Marks

That’s a tough question to answer because competing principles are at play.

Should small churches expect to do less missions work?

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By no means! While churches with fewer members and resources may not support missions work on the same scale as larger churches, they should still strive to do all they can to engage in the work of missions.

So how can small churches engage in missions work? The same way larger churches can:

How can churches cultivate a culture of missions?

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Preach expositionally. Scripture is filled with instruction to believers about God’s plan of salvation and our responsibility to spread the good news of salvation in Christ to the ends of the earth. Faithful Christ-centered, expository preaching should, over time, teach a congregation to heartily pursue local and international evangelism.

What is success in missions and how do you measure it?

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The Bible teaches several points with unavoidable clarity. 

Who is responsible to fulfill the Great Commission?

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All Christians. In John 20:21, Jesus says to all his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Jesus was sent into the world to become the savior of those who would believe. We are sent into the world to proclaim what Christ has done and call people to faith in him. Therefore, every Christian should evangelize locally and, if possible, support the work of bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth.

What does the Great Commission require of local churches?

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In order to fulfill Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19), churches must:

What activities and goals are properly included under the term “missions”?

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The mission of the church, according to the Bible, is to worship God and to love the world by calling it to that same worship. The goal of missions, in other words, is to produce worshippers of God by proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ:

How can a preacher explicitly address non-Christians in his sermons?

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Be sensitive to the worldview and emotional wiring of non-Christians. Think in advance about how your sermon will sound to them. When you arrive at a point in your sermon that you think would be particularly interesting or offensive to non-Christians, pause and explain it in greater detail. When you do so, explicitly address non-Christians. You can say something like, “If you’re not a Christian, I wonder what you think about that last point…”

How can expositional preaching be evangelistic?

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It is evangelistic. God’s Word is what converts sinners (Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet 1:23). Faithfully preaching God’s Word week after week exposes dead sinners to the only source of spiritual life: God’s Word. So expositional preaching is inherently evangelistic.

Should expositional sermons be evangelistic?

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Absolutely! Why?

How should a biblical understanding of conversion impact us personally as Christians?

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A biblical understanding of conversion should…

Can you give several examples of bad evangelistic practices that result from a bad understanding of conversion?

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Altar calls, decision cards. Altar calls and decision cards result from an overemphasis on the human’s role in conversion, as if conversion results whenever someone is persuaded to walk an aisle. (Never mind the movement of God’s Spirit!) Also, signing a card isn’t the same thing as repenting and believing. The Bible calls us to repent and believe.  

What practical difference does a biblical understanding of conversion make in the life of a church?

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A church with a biblical understanding of conversion will…

Why is a right understanding of conversion so important for a church’s corporate witness?

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A church that does not rightly understand conversion will…

How do I lovingly confront someone who claims to be converted but who lives like a non-Christian?

9Marks
Pray for yourself and the other person. Pray that you would be faithful merely to speak truth, relying on God’s Spirit to do the work of true persuasion (1 Cor. 3:6-7; 2 Cor. 7:8-10). Pray that he would convict and change the heart. Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Approach the person tenderly, patiently, and kindly. Explain that you are confronting them out of a deep and loving concern for their eternal good.