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How to Lead a Missional Church that Expands God’s Kingdom

 

Jesus powerfully trained the disciples to preach the Gospel. The verb to “preach” in the Greek is kerusso that means: (1) to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; or (2) to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done.4 “Through intimate fel­lowship with the Lord, the disciples would receive a commission ‘to preach’ and an authority (exousia, power in the sense of dele­gated authority) to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.”5 Jesus sent out His disciples “to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14-15).

Jesus sent the disciples forth to do the work of the ministry. On this occasion, the verb “sent out” in Greek is apostello that means: (1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed; or (2) to send away, dismiss (Mark 3:14b; 12a). Jesus “began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7b). Jesus’ strategy to fulfill His mission was to send His disciples in pairs. Jesus’ training of the twelve had now come to the point that He could send them out to spread His teaching to expand the kingdom of God.

Jesus chose and prepared normal people to change the world. 

Jesus empowered his disciples for the Glocal mission. The verb “empowered” in Greek is exousia, meaning: (1) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either pos­sesses or exercises, or (2) the power of authority (influence) and of right (Mark 3:15a; 6:7b). The disciples received the divine impartation from the Lord.6 Even though the disciples were trained for the mission, they still had to receive the power from their Master to be effective in their ministry.

 

A Missional Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in glocal mission is paramount. He is a missional Spirit. The Holy Spirit sent the original missionaries out to share the gospel and the guiding of the Holy Spirit in contemporary times is equally critical. Called and sent is still the essential paradigm of missions. However, the context has shifted and the congregational nature of the church is front and center in the discussion of missions. “The heart and basis of the ministry is the ministry of Christ Himself. Even in that which is graciously done though others, Christ by the Holy Spirit is the true Minister.”7 Jesus emphasized to His disciples the magnitude of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

There is a great need today for missional churches and missional leaders.

We need to be willing to risk our comfort zones and follow the Holy Spirit. Craig Van Gelder also emphasizes that “The Spirit empowers, teaches, and leads the church even when the church fails to discern, understand, or engage the fuller purposes of God in living out its missionary nature.”8 There are many times when the Holy Spirit is going to reveal new ways and strategies to reach people glocally. We need to be bold, trusting that God is in control. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31, emphasis added). “Churches must be willing to risk making mistakes because they are moving in a direction that the church hasn’t moved in since the church first began!”9

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2011

About the Author: Victor H. Cuartas, D.Min. (Regent University), has been involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for nearly twenty years. He is Assistant Professor of Practical Ministry and Global Missions at Regent University in Virginia. Victor serves as director of research for COMHINA, a missionary movement that mobilizes Hispanics in the United States and Canada for ministry to unreached people groups. He is the author of Empowering Hispanic Leaders: An Online Model (Church Starting Network, 2009) and Capacitando Líderes Hispanos: Un Modelo En Línea (Wipf & Stock, 2010). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Oxford, U.K. through Middlesex University & Oxford Center for Mission Studies.

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