Thoughts on Missions: A Sending Church

I have been reflecting on what it means to be a sending church for missionaries. There are a lot of opinions and differences on what a sending church is and what it does. I have been reflecting on Acts 13:1-3 and Acts 14:24-28 which describe the relationship Antioch church had with Paul and Barnabas. Here are some basic observations from these passages.

  1. It was the Holy Spirit who called and sent Paul and Barnabas for the work (13:2 and also 13:4). The Holy Spirit did this through the church, but HE called and sent them.
  2. The Holy Spirit led the church of Antioch to send Paul and Baranbas (13:1). It was the church that the Holy Spirit used to send these missionaries.
  3. It was the leadership of the church of Antioch who were led by the Holy Spirit to send out Paul and Barnabas (13:1-2).
  4. Paul and Barnabas were actively serving in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1). They were actively serving where they were BEFORE they were sent out to serve elsewhere.
  5. It was while the leaders were worshipping and fasting that the Holy Spirit indicated that He had called Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2).
  6. The leaders fasted and prayed before sending Paul and Barnabas out (Acts 13:3).
  7. The leadership of Antioch laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them out (Acts 13:3).
  8. When the leaders laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them out, the leadership had commended them to the grace of God for the work (14:26). They were committed to God’s favor and enablement to accomplish their work.
  9. When Paul and Barnabas had completed their work they returned to Antioch. They reported what God had done with them to the gathered church and stayed with this church for a long time (14:27-28). 

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