Missional Church (part 3) – The Model Sending Church – Acts 13-15 (word doc available here)
In this third study in our Missional Church series we look at a model sending church in order to learn how it planted new churches and overcame the challenges that resulted.
1. The key to being a spiritually influential sending church is to be “Spirit-led and Word-centred”. Spend a few minutes summarising how this demonstrated itself practically in the Antioch church. How does it show itself in our lives and in the life of Central Baptist Church?
2. The Antioch church had a number of gifted leaders, for them “it wasn’t a status thing, or a political thing, but a spiritual thing”. How would these different motivations reveal themselves in leaders? Are we intentional in our developing of leaders? How can we be more proactive in identifying and training godly new leaders?
3. Jim reminded us that “if God entrusts a work to a church, that church needs to be tuned in”. How spirit-led are we in our daily lives? What would our prayer life reveal about how important we consider it to abide in Christ? Are we ready for God to entrust us with His mission?
4. In Acts 15v5 a wrong understanding of the law (in the form of circumcision) threatens to wreck the new church. What are the false gospels that come against the true gospel in our day (Galatians 1v6-8)? How has the church, as a whole, responded to these challenges? Are we able to demonstrate the error of these false gospels from the bible?
5. Jim warned us that “Satan’s strategy is to get God’s people fighting each other, rather than fighting him”. How does he manage to get us fighting each other? Is there anyone you are currently fighting against, in word or thought? Make a promise to yourself to speak to them before the end of the day.
6. If our individual grasp of biblical doctrine is key to discerning truth from error and defending the true faith, why is it that so many see theology (the study of God) as dry and boring? How are we growing in our doctrinal understanding of the faith? What steps can we take to increase our understanding of Christian doctrine?
If a sending church needs to be Spirit-led and Word-centred then that means each of us, not just the leaders, must be replicating this pattern. In a world of competing demands and distractions it is the call to a deep-routed relationship with God that daily feeds off his word and listens to his Spirit. It is the call to engage in deliberate spiritual warfare for the cause of Christ. May God grant that we will be those who make the sacrifices required to develop such an intimate knowledge for the greater reward of sharing in his kingdom work.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes…Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6.10-18