Basic Mission Principles from the Book of Acts

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This outline of Acts is from Strategy Church Coordinator training.

PREPARE TO EXTEND GOD’S KINGDOM

  • 1:8 – Witness for Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, in four areas:
    • Locally (our ‘Jerusalem’),
    • Nearby, with people of the same culture (our ‘Judea’),
    • Nearby, with people of similar cultures (our ‘Samaria’),
    • Unevangelized peoples wherever they are (the ‘ends of the earth’).
  • 1:14 -  Wait in prayer for the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
  •  Start church planting projects with prayer for God’s supernatural help; He enables churches to be born in response to our faith.  Compare Acts 10:1-9 where both Peter and Cornelius were praying when God started to move to bring about the new church.
  • 2:1-4 -  Be filled with the Holy Spirit for a purpose (the experience was never an end in itself in Scripture).

PROCLAIM THE WHOLE GOSPEL

  • 2:14-36 -  Proclaim the entire gospel account (including Jesus’ resurrection: compare Luke 24:46-48, Acts 13:32-34 and every other occasion in which the apostles witnessed for Christ).
  • 2:37-41 – Call the people to repentance (compare Luke 24:46-48) and confirm it with baptism without undue delay (compare Acts 16:13-15, 31-34; 22:16).

MAKE DISCIPLES

  • 2:38-47 - Repent, believe, receive the Holy Spirit.
    • Confirm this conversion with baptism and continue to live the new, holy life that it initiates (compare Rom. 6:1-14).
    • Study, teach and obey the Word of God (make disciples).
    • Love God, fellow disciples, people in need (in a practical way) and enemies (forgive).
    • Break bread (they used a culturally relevant worship form and met in groups small enough for the discipling to take place; compare Acts 20:7, 20).
    • Pray regularly (compare Acts 4:23-31).
    • Give sacrificially (compare Acts 4:32-37).

GIVE COMPASSIONATE CARE TO THOSE WHO ARE NEEDY

  • 3:1-16 – Pray in Jesus’ name for those who need physical healing (compare Acts 5:12-16).

DEAL BOLDLY BUT RESPECTFULLY WITH HOSTILE AUTHORITIES

  • 4:23-31 - Pray for courage and wisdom to deal with the authorities (compare Acts 5:17-42).

CORRECT UNRULY BELIEVERS WITH FIRMNESS

  • 5:1-11 – Maintain the purity of the church body by correcting without condemning (compare Matt. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1; 1 Cor. 5).

NAME PEOPLE TO SERVE THOSE IN NEED

  • 6:1-7        Conserve the pastoral leaders’ time by naming deacons who are filled with the Holy Spirit, to care for those with material needs.

FACE PERSECUTION BOLDLY BUT AVOID OPPOSITION WHEN POSSIBLE

  • 6:8–7:60  Let the privileged ones, those who willingly die for Christ, suffer martyrdom (compare Rev. 20:4-6).  Speak boldly to the authorities (compare Acts 21:37–23:11; chapters 24-26).
  • 8:1-4  Leave communities that reject Christ, to proclaim Him to more receptive people (compare Luke 10:10-11; Acts 13:50-51).

MULTIPLY SMALL NUCLEII OF BELIEVERS TO WHICH CONVERTS ARE EASILY ADDED

  • 8:4-8, 25 - Reproduce churches through those who travel as families or small task forces to new areas (compare the example of Aquilla and Priscilla: Rom. 16:3-5, 1 Cor. 16:9).

COMMUNICATE THE GOSPEL WITHIN CULTURES THROUGH EXISTING WEBS OF RELATIONSHIPS AND LOCAL LEADERS

  • 10:2-48 - Work through heads of households or other leaders to spread the gospel and respect both their culture and authority (compare Acts 16:13-15, 29-40, 18:8).

FORM TEMPORARY TASK FORCES TO PLANT NEW CHURCHES IN OTHER CULTURES OR AREAS

  • 13:1-3 – Separate those with missionary gifting (‘apostles’ in the sense that Barnabas, Luke and other ‘sent ones’ were called apostles) especially for church planting. 
  •       They are separated from the mother church or mission base in the power of the Holy Spirit, to send them to the people they are to work with (compare Acts 11:12; Eph. 4:11-12 ).

PENETRATE BOTH SMALL TOWNS AND CITIES

  • 13:4–14:7  Go where the people are responsive; let the gospel flow from the towns to the cities and from the cities to the towns–either way.  Go with the flow!  (Don’t assume that the Holy Spirit is ‘direct current’ which can flow only one way.)

TRAIN LEADERS IN NEW CHURCHES

  • 14:21-23 - Keep visiting (or sending others to visit) new churches until their new leaders are established (compare Acts 20:13-36; Titus 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:2).

DEAL WITH CRUCIAL ISSUES ON THE INTER-CHURCH LEVEL

  • 15:1-31 – Have meetings in which elders (leaders) from different churches deliberate, plan and decide issues.  Do not treat new churches in pioneer fields as independent; let them go through a period of infancy when they rely on help and counsel from other churches.

WORK BIVOCATIONALLY, ESPECIALLY WHERE CIRCUMSTANCES DEMAND IT

  • 18:1-3 - Use small business as Aquilla and his wife did, or any other vocation that allows you to mix with the common people, to facilitate church planting. 
  • 18:24-28 – Disciple leaders behind the scenes, as Aquilla and Priscilla did for Apollos.
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