Thanks for visiting our website! The photo this month was taken during a seminar in Santiago de Chile, November 2016. [Click picture to enlarge.]
Ministry has always been a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 47+ years! In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by so many people around the world!
The 2017 Calendar of ministry and mission activities is now available. I hope you can attend an event when I am in your area. Contact me for details or to inquire about a possible visit.
I am continually seeking biblical models of missions. How was mission work done in the first century? Can we identify models of missions? What principles should guide us? What are biblical methods and goals? I ask this question again and again as I read and study Acts. Reading Matthew recently, it struck me that we have a missions model in Matthew 10. Jesus was sending his disciples on a mission. Matthew 10 is the second major discourse of Matthew. It gives us insight into Jesus' mission and helps us in our study of missions. What can we learn? The context is the commissioning and sending of the Twelve. Jesus gives specific instructions related to the mission. These instructions still provide guidance those who go forth today with the message of Jesus. I call these "principles for missions." They come directly from the text of Matthew 10.
First, Jesus is the teacher; Jesus is the example.
Missions is not about us, it is not about the workers. Missions is not the goal; the goal is to develop disciples of Jesus. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. The purpose of the teacher is the purpose of the disciple. We are not the teacher; we are the disciples. We do not direct the mission, God directs the mission. God defines the mission. God determines the purpose of the mission. The mission belongs to God. We are not free to develop our own mission when God has given us the parameters of his mission. The primary purpose of missions relates to God's eternal purpose to bring everyone under the Lordship of Jesus. God asks of his followers (disciples) that we make more and more disciples. That is the mission!
Second, God is in control and he will take care of those who are involved in his mission.
The mission does not demand poverty, but the mission does demand sacrifice. Those involved in the mission travel light. The mission is accomplished by those who learn to depend on God. A person who is willingly involved in God's mission develops a new set of priorities. A person who is "on mission" and is focused on God's mission develops a new way of thinking about life in this world.
Third, our relationship with God is enhanced by our boldness in God's mission.
As we declare him before others, he affirms that we are his. We become more confident in sharing the message. We find it easier and easier to follow Jesus. We acknowledge God; he acknowledges us. The disciple grows closer and closer to the Master.
Fourth, the result of God's mission is not always love and joy and peace.
Sometimes the message of Jesus causes divisions. Mission demands establishing correct priorities. Mission demands that we focus on life beyond this world. Being on God's mission will at times bring difficulties and challenges into our lives. Sometimes, the result is division and conflict.
Fifth, the messengers are God's messengers.
Whether the message receives a positive response or is rejected, the messenger must not take it personally. The messenger always remembers that the mission is not about her or him. The mission is about God; the mission is about Jesus. Those who reject the message are not rejecting the messenger but are rejecting God.
Sixth, the reward is certain because God gives the reward.
God promises that faithful disciples who pursue the mission will not lose their reward. God rewards faithfulness. God blesses faithful servants; they will not lose their reward.
Note: This article can be accessed and downloaded at: Matthew 10: Principles for Missions