Can I just start doing things?

This article assumes you have been walking through the previous “Inquirer” on the “Paths in Missions” articles.  If you just stumbled on this article without reading the others first, you probably want to read previous articles for context. Check them out!

If you have a desire for involvement in missions, and you don’t think your church is doing enough in missions, you don’t just “start doing things” to try and get the leadership to “get on board with missions” (except for walking with God, obeying Him, sharing your faith) – rather study and mediate on these passages (and in the previous articles), with a humble, prayerful attitude for your church leaders, and present your missions desire to your local church leaders/elders/pastor.  Ask for their guidance and prayers.  See Hebrews 13:17 about local church leaders; they “keep watch over your souls” – share with your pastor, elders, and/or mission leader your vision and desire for missions.  Of course a godly pastor is going to agree with what the Bible says about missions and evangelism, but the rest of us have to realize that many times a pastor or elders just don’t know what exactly to do; or are already very busy; and if you start offering your ideas in humility – get ready! – they may ask you to start “doing things”!   If you are not involved in some kind of service/ministry in the local church, you need to start there with the church’s guidance – start serving with a humble attitude.  (see Acts 11:26; see also Ephesians chapters 3-4; Romans 12; 1 Cor. 12; Galatians 5:13-26; 1 Peter 4:9-11)

Acts 13:1-4 is key:

1.  It was a church. (Acts 13:1) 

2.  It was a specific local church – the church at Antioch.  (Acts 13:1) 

3.  The leaders and teachers and prophets (Acts 13:1)  (apply to preachers and pastors and elders, who are to be able to teach of today- see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1 for qualifications; along with Acts 20:17-28 and 1 Peter 5:1-6)  

4.  Paul and Barnabas were teachers/prophets in the group, and submitted to those teachers and prophets, leaders of the church in Antioch. (13:1)

5.  Paul and Barnabas first served in the local church and waited and prayed and worshiped the Lord regularly with the church, gathered before the Holy Spirit who guided them to be sent out.  (See Acts 11:26 and 13:1-4 together)

6.  They were regularly meeting and worshiping the Lord, with prayers and fasting for guidance.  (Acts 13:2-3)

7.  The Holy Spirit spoke and guided them as they prayed and served and were under local church leadership.  (Acts 13:2)

8.  The church laid hands on them and sent them out.  (Acts 13:3) 

9.  The Holy Spirit sent them out. (Acts 13:4) 

10.  So, we see the Holy Spirit does not send people out unless they are first confirmed and approved of by a local church.  (Acts 13:1-4)