#1 - What is the mission of the church?
I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Tim Keller, “God does not merely send the church in mission. God already is in mission, and the church must join him. This also means, then, that the church does not simply have a missions department; it should wholly exist to be a mission.”
Kevin DeYoung - “The mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and gathering these disciples into churches, that they might worship the Lord and obey his commands now and in eternity to the glory of God the Father.”
#2 - Is the American Church fulfilling this mission?
#3 - Church planting is our best way to fulfill our mission
Main Point - The Church is God's chosen way to bring his kingdom into this world. And because that's true, we need to have a dedication to planting new churches.
Steve Timmis – “This is why ‘multiplying churches’ is so important. Multiplying churches is ‘God’s mission strategy’. Yes, evangelism is important. It is an integral part of our discipleship. Worship is important. It is a glorious expression of the gospel by which our affections are captured for Christ.
They are proper activities and priorities of the local church. But at some point in some way they should result in the establishment of new churches. We should be looking to plant new churches in diverse contexts so that the gospel word might produce more gospel fruit.”
Tim Chester - “Church planting is by definition a missionary activity, arguably the core missionary activity. Church planting puts mission at the heart of church and church at the heart of mission… This is the reason for church planting: to be a light to the nations at street level.”
Ed Stetzer – “Paul and other early Christians believed in and practiced church planting as a normal part of their lives—and specifically in response to the commands of Jesus. Planting new churches was not a novel or unique concept for zealous believers. Rather, church starting was the normal expression of New Testament missiology.
Intentional church planting, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was the method of the early church. Church planting explains how the early church exploded across the Roman Empire during the decades following the resurrection of Jesus.”
Steve Timmis – “Church planting is not simply starting a new congregation. Church planting is not beginning a new meeting. Church planting is not opening up a new building. Church planting is the work of filling and subduing. It is the work of pushing back the thorns and thistles of Satan’s tyranny. It is a glorious task to which God has called us. God in the gospel is inviting us to participate with Him to fill the earth and subdue it.
As we go out to make disciples of every nation we are extending Eden, creating Edens all over the world. We are establishing places where God rules and where God walks in mercy. It is for this that we were made. This is what the first Adam forfeited. This is what the Second Adam has gloriously secured. And this is how it has always been in the kingdom of God.”