engage-850x478There is rich fellowship in being commissioned by your church through its elders.

When it comes to someone heading off to engage in crosscultural mission, it's not uncommon for us to think of the commissioning of Paul & Barnabas by the church at Antioch. The first three verses of Acts ch 13 reveal for us some very interesting detail on that event. Here's the record from the NLT 

1Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man"), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. 2 One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

It's interesting to note these men, leaders in their church, were having a time of worship & fasting together when the Holy Spirit came with His directive. They were obviously united, 'on the same page' when it came to the things of God for themselves personally, & for their people corporately. How would it be if two out of fi ve of your elders were to leave for 'special work' in some place far away? It would sort of decimate your leadership team, wouldn't it! It was a pretty gutsy move. And I'm not sure who would have needed the greater reassurance, Barnabas & Paul going, or the three remaining!

Having received & understood the Spirit's prompting, these godly men went about testing what they had heard. Nothing beats being absolutely sure of the call of God on the life of anyone set apart for service. "More fasting & prayer" speaks volumes of their being deliberate & intentional, to know for sure it was God they were hearing from. It's at times like this that the Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirits confi rming & sealing the right thing to be done.

There is rich fellowship in being commissioned by your church through its elders. There is something spiritually signifi cant & meaningful in being prayed over, in having hands laid on you & being sent to serve God in an unfamiliar situation, outside of your normal comfort. This is a principle & practice God Himself endorses here.

So here's a challenge to church elders & leaders. Are you prepared to follow the Antioch Church example by living close to God, being sensitive to His voice, proactively sending those already deeply involved in ministry, suffering the consequences of your very best people leaving?

We'd love to talk more to you about sending someone from your church, either for longer term service or on a short term missions trip.

Contact Sefton Marshall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Russell Thorp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We would love to work with you so your people can experience the thrill of serving God missionally.

Sefton Marshall, GC3 Operations Director

 

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