From among all nations, God is establishing a people for Himself to reflect His glory to the world and to worship and enjoy Him eternally. When we embrace Christ as our King and Savior, we become a part of His kingdom. Therefore, we give ourselves to advancing His kingdom by making disciples of all peoples.
FBC Lindale’s Missions Team exists to equip and encourage our church to fulfill the goal of all believers, particularly in these two areas:
Making disciples of the lost within our community
Making disciples of those of other people groups
The Organization of the Missions Team
Any member of FBC Lindale may volunteer to serve in the area of missions by contacting the Missions Committee. They will serve alongside the Missions Committee as needs arise. Volunteers do not have a vote in matters entrusted to the Missions Committee, but their input and assistance are of utmost importance. Only those nominated by the Committee on Committees and elected by the church (and voted on by the church) may serve on the Missions Committee.
- Genesis 12:1-3 – At the outset of the Bible, God reveals His plan to use Abraham’s seed to bring blessing to all peoples of the earth.
- Psalm 67 – God calls on His people to pray that all peoples would be saved so that all peoples can praise God and enjoy Him.
- Matthew 28:18-20 – On the basis of His position as the King of all, Jesus commands His followers to make disciples of all peoples. The command is not to make converts but to make disciples. His forming a people for Himself (see also Titus 2:11-14), and He commands His followers to be a part of this activity.
- Ephesians 4:11-16- This passage gives us a picture of what it looks like to fulfill Jesus’ command to make disciples. It emphasizes that Christian growth happens in community, under godly leadership, as people use their gifts and speak God’s truth in love to one another. If we want to make disciples, we need to establish Christ-centered, Word-centered churches where the whole body is growing and serving together.
- Revelation 5:9-10 – Christ is worthy to usher in the fullness of God’s Kingdom because He ransomed a people for God from every tribe on the earth through His work on the cross. Through Christ, God will indeed accomplish the plan He laid out in Genesis 12.
- Missions must be Christ-centered.
- Therefore, missions must be Gospel-centered.
- Therefore, missions must be Word-centered.
- Therefore, missions must be Spirit-empowered.
- Therefore, missions must be God-dependent through prayer.
- Christ-centered – Jesus is the King of God’s kingdom, the one promised and foreshadowed in the Old Testament, truly God and truly man. He ushered in God’s kingdom through His perfect life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection. On the cross, He took the world’s sin upon Himself and appeased God’s wrath. Through faith in this Christ, we are forgiven, have His righteousness imputed to us, and receive new natures. Apart from faith in Him, there is no salvation.
- Gospel-centered – To be Christ-centered is to be gospel-centered because the gospel is ultimately the good news about Jesus Christ. The good news is that Jesus lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and conquered sin and death when He rose from the grave. The reason this is good news is because man is in rebellion against his Creator and is thus deserving of eternal damnation. Those who embrace Christ as their king receive His forgiveness and are given a new nature.
- Word-centered – To be Word-centered is to be gospel-centered because every strand of Scripture is developing a full picture of the gospel. God’s Word is without error, completely sufficient, and massively powerful. Because it is without error it is entirely trustworthy. Because it is sufficient, we look to it alone for guidance and direction. Because it is powerful, we give ourselves wholly to it as we make disciples.
- Spirit-empowered – To be truly Word-centered is to be Spirit-empowered because God’s Word and His Spirit are so closely tied throughout Scripture. The hallmarks of the authentic work of the Spirit are that Christ is exalted and His fruit is produced in the life of believers. Any manifestation of the Spirit that lacks these traits is counterfeit.
- God-dependent through prayer – Those who grasp the necessity of being Spirit-empowered will be dependent on God through prayer because they know that apart from God they can do nothing. God has chosen to accomplish His purpose through the prayers of His people. Therefore, prayer should be persistent and earnest. Prayers should be humbled pleadings with God to enable us to accomplish His revealed purposes. They are not an attempt to get God to do what we want nor are they a platform for us to command or control God. Nor should prayer be confused for meditative silence or attempts to hear God’s voice in the stillness.
10 Priorities of Missions at FBC Lindale
These priorities are not listed in order of importance but only in a logical order.
I. Least-reached people groups
We prioritize reaching those with the least access to the gospel.
Explained: Our tendency is to support ministries with which we have the closest personal connection. A better way to give support is to look for which people groups have the greatest need. According to Romans 10:11-15, we must prioritize bringing the gospel to those with little or no access to it.
II. Training national leaders
We prioritize helping those with the greatest need for biblically grounded leaders.
Explained: The church grows as the elders and shepherds are able to use God’s Word to feed and disciple the flock and guard it against destructive doctrines. As we seek to establish indigenous churches, our work is not done until its leaders are equipped to do their job. Our involvement is most vital where the leaders are least equipped.
III. Holistic ministry
We prioritize acts of mercy that fit into the wider goal of making disciples.
Explained: The Bible is clear that we need to show the love and kindness of Christ to the poor and needy. It is also clear that everyone’s greatest need is spiritual. Therefore, the mercy ministries we support must show how their work is tied to the larger desire of God to make Disciples of all nations.
IV. Lasting Change
We prioritize ministry that aims for lasting change.
Explained: We care less about statistics and more about heart change and lasting obedience to Christ.
V. The local church
We prioritize establishing and strengthening the local church.
Explained: Our goal is healthy, local churches, as pictured in Ephesians 4:11-16 and spelled out further in Acts and the Pastoral Epistles. Where there is an existing local church, we prefer to work with that church instead of establishing another. Where there is no existing local church, we desire to see one established.
VI. Strategic partnerships
We prioritize ongoing relationships with the like-minded people and organizations on the field.
Explained: Our resources are best spent assisting like-minded partners who are able to maintain and strengthen discipling relationships over time. Such partners could be a church, a missionary, a national worker, or an organization. Preference is given to like-minded organizations that are affiliated with the SBC.
VII. Focus and Intentionality
We prioritize doing fewer things but doing them better.
Explained: We recognize that we cannot do everything. Instead of investing in a wide variety of good things, we maximize what we do in a few areas so that we can have deeper and more lasting impact.
VIII. Them, not us
We prioritize serving others not edifying ourselves.
Explained: While obedience to God is always beneficial to us, our focus is always on serving and ministering to others, not on the resultant positive impact that it has on us.
IX. God, not them
We prioritize obedience and fidelity in ministry over visible results.
Explained: We ultimately evaluate success based on whether God was obeyed and glorified. Sometimes there is little visible fruit, but if our goal is to glorify God, then we obey Him and trust Him to do the work.
X. Sending our own
We prioritize sending out our own or those with close ties to our church.
Explained: Like the church in Antioch, our church should be sending out missionaries from among our own and doing all we can to support them. A healthy church will have many of its own going out, and all the rest doing what they can to support those that go through ongoing discipleship and accountability, through prayer and financial support, through friendship and relational support.