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What do we mean by Mission?

Oxford English Dictionary:

van important assignment given to a person or group of people

vthe vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith

What I would like us to consider this morning is:

1 Looking at what Jesus told the disciples

2 Looking at past missions

3 What do we at Riverside mean by mission?

  How do we at Riverside do mission?

Jesus' instructions to his disciples

Jesus tells disciples they:

vare witnesses to his life death and resurrection  -   ascension   (Luke 24:48)

vare to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit  (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4)

vwill receive power for the task ahead  (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5)

During the forty days following the resurrection Jesus had been teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God and opening their minds to the Scriptures.

V8 known as the great commission is relevant to all believers

v8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Expositors Bible Commentary says "the commission lays an obligation on all Christians and comes to us as a gift with a promise.  It concerns a person, a power and a programme -

vthe person of Jesus, on whose authority the church acts and who is the object of its witness

vthe power of the Holy Spirit, which is the indispensable and essential action for the mission

va programme that begins at Jerusalem, moves out to 'all of Judea and Samaria' and extends 'to the ends of the earth'."

9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

On other occasions Jesus had just appeared and disappeared but this time they saw him go. Was this so that they understood that they were now responsible for continuing the ministry?

We know that Jesus said Jn 16:7 Unless I go away the Counsellor will not come to you

The disciples are obedient to Jesus' commands

They returned to Jerusalem and stayed together joining constantly in prayer (v14)

Emphasising the importance of waiting upon God in prayer in preparation for the task that lies ahead and for being filled with the Holy Spirit

The church of Acts is a missionary community

vcalled by God's Messiah

vSent out by the power of God's Spirit

vto interpret the importance of Jesus, resurrection for all people everywhere

Now let us look at past missions

The 1904 Welsh revival was preceded by years of prayer

Rev Seth Joshua prayed for years that God would send an ordinary young man to lead a revival in Wales

Evan Roberts was used mightily by God and a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit changed thousands of lives

1947 Hebridean revival

a handful of ordinary men were broken-hearted about the spiritual condition in their country.

Worked all day, spent evening with family then gathered in a barn to pray.

for 2 yrs kept begging God to rescue their islands

One night chose Ps 24: 3Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?

Who may stand in his holy place?

4He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

who does not lift up his soul to an idol

They realised their hands weren't clean

They confessed their sins

James 5:16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Then the revival began

What do we at Riverside mean by mission?

How do we at Riverside do mission?

I think that these two questions are linked together in that how we do mission reveals what we mean by mission

Your answers to these questions may differ from mine

I see mission as reaching out to people with the love of Jesus and letting them know that God is concerned about them

How do we at Riverside do this?

Sunday Service   -  Junior Church

BB & GB       short mat bowls

Time for Tots  -  Toy Library

Street Source   -  Source Cafe

Hope Week  Songs & Supper  Underpass

Prayer Breakfast            Create Links

My concern is that we do all of these things but don't see much 'fruit' for our labours

Why is this?

I put it to you that it is a lack of prayer and maybe misunderstanding

God has been teaching me about this during past few months

I also read Ps 24:3-4 and was convicted that I did not have clean hands and a pure heart

I asked God to forgive me for my wrong attitudes

I realized that I was not fully supporting Create Links because it was doing something different and it seemed 'strange'.

God showed me that this group is just like any mission group sent out by a church and requires our support

The difference here is that they are going out to 'make links'

vwith people who would never cross the threshold of church

vpeople who don't see the relevance of God

vPeople who still need God

vPeople who are local to our area

As with missionaries going abroad it may be some time before we see any fruit

We can, however, support them with our prayers

All of Riverside's activities require support by prayer

Jesus told the disciples to Wait

Do we wait upon God?    How long 10 days? 2 years?

Do we confess our sins?

I recently spoke to a lady who was quite put out because she had been to a church and they had told her that to become a Christian she had to confess her sins and believe on the Lord Jesus.

What annoyed her was that she said she had never sinned and how could anyone suggest that she had!

Do we wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Are we impatient to get on with things and go in our own strength

Glove illustration visual aid

glove on its own cannot do anything has to be filled with hand

We on our own will not see results for God

Need to be filled with the Holy Spirit

If we are to be a force for God we need the empowering of His Holy Spirit

Are we willing to humble ourselves before God?

To wait for His timing?

To be persistent in prayer?

To go where He directs?

I have been reading  'A Time to Pray God's Way' by Evelyn Christenson

vShe recommends prayer triplets where three people meet together every week for about 15mins

veach person praying for three people to accept Jesus

vpraying and loving those people until they came to Christ

This has been used to amazing effect all over the world

I don't know if we could use it but imagine what might happen if we prayed consistently

vin our home groups

vin our private devotions

vfor the groups we listed earlier?

We have lots of contacts with non Christians through out the week

Let us love them and pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our conversations

If mission was important enough for Jesus to send out his disciples

then we should consider it important for Riverside

I don't want to hinder anyone from becoming a Christian

Let us echo Paul

Eph 6:18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel

Col4:2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ,

If God opens the door then we may expect results

What do we mean by mission?          Mission is doing God's work in God's way and in God's power.

  • Hebrews 10:30-31

    “For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

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