Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The process of missions


"But I hope as you become stronger in your faith, we will be able to reach many more of the people around you. That has always been our goal. Then we will be able to preach the good news in other lands where we cannot take credit for work someone else has already done."
2 Corinthians 10:15b-16 CEVDCUS06

Here is a great summary of the hope and goal of missions :
  • To reach many people in any one locale 
  • To train up & strengthen the new believers so that they will become partners in outreach and discipling. 
  • As local believers become active in outreach then the missionaries/apostles can go to another place and start again.
Notice the two pronouns Paul uses: "as YOU become stronger in your faith, WE will be able to reach many more of the people around YOU." (emphasis mine: why do people always say that? Does anyone really think Paul used all caps in the original Greek?) I think the YOU is the Corinthians and the WE is the Corinthians + the Apostles. When the Corinthians grow to the point where they become active partners in outreach then MANY MORE people in the area can be reached. Multiplication occurs, and the Apostles can go to another land where people haven't yet heard about the gospel.