Aug28

Acts 1:8 Challenge

I was recently asked the question, “What is an Acts 1:8 Missional Strategy?” I had fallen into the habit of using that phrase so often that I soon unconsciously assumed everyone knew to what I was referring. This question reminded me of how specific we need to be when using words or concepts. Not everyone knows what we are saying.

At the risk of sounding way too elementary, an Acts 1:8 Missional Strategy is a plan built around the verse found in the Biblical book of Acts. Jesus was about to ascend to His Father and he gave His followers a strategy of how they were to go about advancing the kingdom of God on earth. He would send them the promise of the Holy Spirit who would come upon them with a power of ability to be His witnesses to the peoples of the world.

The strategy was to begin in Jerusalem, branch out to all Judea and Samaria and even to the ends of the earth. Today, every church has a Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and ends of the earth. As a local church takes seriously the commission to make disciples of all the ethnic groups in the world, they will want to think about each of these regional areas. Jerusalem is most often your town or Association. Your Judea is most frequently your state convention area, but some churches located closely to the border of their state may choose to draw a radius of 150 miles around their church and declare that region to be their Judea. Samaria as a region, would be the rest of the United States and Canada. The ends of the earth for a local church is…well, you get the picture.

A local congregation prayerfully engages in missional ministry in each of these four regions. The church may choose to remain balanced and attempt to form an equal number of partnerships for each region. One church chose to form four partnerships the first year…one in each of the four regions. The next year they chose to add an additional partnership in each region, making eight partnerships. The third year they formed four more for a total of twelve partnerships. Each partnership was established for a 3 year period of time and could be renewed for additional time.

MBC church planters are encouraged to approach the Acts 1:8 Missional Strategy with a slightly different methodology. They are taught to consider a 4-3-2-1 approach to their missional strategy. In this method, the church will establish 4 local or Jerusalem mission partnerships a year. They will establish 3 Judea mission projects a year. There will be 2 Judea projects annually. And there will be 1 international project a year.

Every church has the mandate from Scripture to be Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Every local congregation has the freedom to prayerfully design a missional strategy of how they will fulfill that mandate from Jesus. Be creative! But be obedient! Develop your Acts 1:8 Missional Strategy. I would love to hear from you how God has guided each of you to establish your Acts 1:8 Missional Strategy.

 

 

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