Missions in the Local Church
The Great Commission was given to the local church only
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples (the original church) went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Grk: exousia, authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore (because I have the authority to send you), and teach (Grk: matheteuo, make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching (Grk: didasko, teach, instruct) them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway (Grk: pas, each, every one, all) , even unto the end of the world (Grk: aion, age) . Amen.
The New Testament contains multiple examples of missionaries being sent by and reported back to a local church but no example of an outside board or agency.
Phillip at Samaria Acts 8:5-17
Peter and Cornelius Acts 10-11
Paul and Barnabus Acts 13:1-3
Paul and Silas Acts 15:22, 40
Paul's report back to Antioch Acts 14:26
Scriptural Reasons for Local Church Missions
Local Authority, no outside agency should usurp authority from the local church. The only institution created by Jesus Christ for the spread of the Gospel.
Only the church was commissioned by Jesus to carry out missions.
The missionary is not accountable to the church if sent out by a outside agency. His entire support can be cut off in an instance without any church oversite or even input. This completely strips the supporting churches of any rights or power.
Funds are siphoned off by the outside agency which could have gone to the missionary. It is estimated that less than 20 cents of every dollar given by Southern Baptists through the cooperative program reaches the missionary on the field. 80% is consumed in overhead by the board. All boards or clearing houses either take a percentage or seek their own support which still take from the support of the mission work.
Churches who don't send out missionaries through the local church lack mission zeal because they have no contact with missionaries. Without deputation church members do not come in contact with real missionaries. They are left with stories of Lottie Moon or some other dusty figure of history. Real missionaries and their families touch lives and hearts because we know they are doing what God's commission tells us to do. We can see their sacrifice and obedience and through our local church support share in it.
Entrance in the church is first by baptism or by recommendation from a church of like faith and order
Acts 2:41 Baptized then added.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 10:46-47 Sought approval of those with him before baptism of Cornelius.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Romans 16:1-2 Paul recommends Phoebe
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
Expulsion from the church is by church authority and due to unrepentant sin.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 Paul tells the church to take action against a fornicator
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
The procedure for church discipline.
Matthew 18:15-20 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Go to the person, one on one.
Bring witnesses from the church.
Bring it before the church
Exclude person from the church.
The purpose of discipline is restoration.
Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
It is the ordinances, authority and discipline that make and preserve the church. Without them we are aimless, purposeless and unidentifiable.
The only way the future of the church of Jesus Christ is assured is by holding and teaching those things He taught in the same way until He returns.
Jesus Last Words to His Church Before the Crucifixion
John 14:15, 21-24 If ye love me, keep my commandments. …He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
John 15:10-14 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.