Rethinking what it means to be sent
In Acts 13 we see the beginning of missionary work as we think of it today.
Who received the call?
How was the call “heard”?
How was the call acted upon?
Let’s look at the passage:
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. (Acts 13:1-4 KJV)
Several things to note here:
- God the Holy Spirit selected Barnabas and Saul
- God the Holy Spirit called Barnabas and Saul
- God revealed his plan to the church
- God issued the call within the context of ongoing church ministry
- The church sent Barnabas and Saul on their way
- The Holy Spirit sent Barnabas and Saul on their way
As we discuss this whole topic of partnership…
we need to back all the way up to some foundational assumptions.
If we are going to learn to conduct missionary activity as a form of partnership…
we must re-examine the popular American paradigm related to calling.
What other aspects of our current sending paradigm need to be examined?