A Missions Program That Succeeds -- By: George W. Peters

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:525 (Jan 1975)
Article: A Missions Program That Succeeds
Author: George W. Peters


A Missions Program That Succeeds

George W. Peters

[George W. Peters, Professor of World Missions, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

Missions is not a happening; it is a movement. It is not an enthusiastic leap and haphazard beat; it is an orderly enterprise. It is the progressive realization of the plan and purpose of God for our age. It is a warf are against the powers of darkness and the kingdom of the Evil One. It is salvation movement designed to be as broad as mankind and as deep as man’s need. Its ultimate goal is the glory of God in the welfare of mankind; its foundation is the finished work of Jesus Christ accomplished on Calvary’s cross and His triumphant resurrection; its dynamic and Superintendent is the Holy Spirit; its means is the gospel, which unfolds the free gift of God for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; its instrument is the church of Jesus Christ, the body of Christ, the bride of the Lamb, the habitation of God through the Spirit, the pillar and ground of the truth. Since missions unfolds itself in space and time it has a human aspect as well as a divine aspect. This discourse concerns itself with the human aspect rather than with the divine. Our guide, however, is to be the Word of God. The church has multiple ministries to perform. Missions, however, is not the church in its total program. Missions is the church in evangelism and church planting. Missions is a specific task and the primary assignment of the church but not the total assignment. It is a paralyzing mischief to load missions with all kinds of assignments. These assignments, most probably, are Christian and biblical and must be fulfilled. But they are assignments to the church and not to missions. It is clearly understood that the church which

results from missions will mature and its ministry will become much more comprehensive than the services of the mission have been. The danger, of course, always exists that the mission will create a church in its own image rather than a church according to the ideals of the New Testament. Because of this the ministries of the church may continue to be as limited as the services of the mission. This is unfortunate. “Teaching them to observe all things” is the way to remedy such situations. Four basic principles for missions can be derived from the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, which is recorded in all four Gospels (Matt 14:13–21; Mark 6:32–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–14).

A Successful Missions Program Must Share In The Visi...
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