Follow the Spirit on mission…
Goal: Disciples sent to make more disciples wherever God leads.
The mission that God has give the church is seen in several places in the Bible. Perhaps the clearest and most known place is Matthew 28:18-20. In these verses Jesus makes it very clear that His followers are to:
- Make disciples of all nations.
- Teach people to obey His commands.
- Connect believers to the church (i.e. baptize them).
In Acts 1:8, Jesus amplifies His mission by telling His followers (then and now) to be His witnesses in a variety of places:
- In Jerusalem: that’s the local community.
- All Judea: that’s a larger area, i.e. country or continent.
- Samaria: that’s with people who are “unlikeable,” as the Samaritans were to the Jews.
- Ends of the earth: the international community.
The mission is clear and straight forward, and it is a mission shared by all churches who call Jesus Lord. To carry out the mission, churches and believers must seek out God’s guidance on when and where to go. We must follow God’s Spirit as He guides us to make disciples of all nations. A great example of this is found in Acts 16:6-10, when the Apostle Paul set out for Asia. The Spirit changed his destination and led him to bring the Gospel to Europe instead of Asia. How did God speak to Paul to direct him? Acts 17:6-10 tells us the Spirit spoke to Paul in four ways:
- Through what God had already commanded Paul to do.
- Through changing circumstances.
- Through supernatural means (a vision).
- Through wise counsel of others.
God still speaks to us by the Holy Spirit in the same ways: through the Bible, though circumstances, through prayer, and through the church.