Acts 14 gives us four essential elements of the work of missions: The work of missions includes:
- The Work of Proclamation (v1-21) – They went about proclaiming the gospel. At times they could launch straight into the gospel. At other times they had to go back and start with the “pre-gospel” – that there is one true God who made and sustains the world. Wherever they had to begin, they proclaimed the Word boldly. And they were humble: they knew they were mere men and refused to be exalted. In the same way, the work of missions today is to proclaim the gospel (and the pre-gospel as needed) both boldly and humbly.
- The Work of Perseverance (v1-21) – They had to flee one town. One man was stoned in another town. But they didn’t quit. They kept preaching the gospel. They persevered. Missions is tough. Missions is war. The work of missions today, no less than in Acts, includes the need to persevere.
- The Work of Planting (v22-23) – They didn’t just proclaim the gospel, but they gathered new Christians into churches where they could grow. They planted churches. This included building up the churches and appointing leaders. The work of missions today still requires planting new churches.
- The Work of Partnering (v24-28) – They returned to their sending church to tell all the great things God had done. They understood that they were not lone rangers, but rather partners with their supporting church. In the same way, the work of missions today includes the need for active communicating partnership with supporting churches.