All Topics
All Topics

Six Components of the Missionary Task

For the official and complete version of the missionary task as defined by IMB, please refer to the IMB Foundations Magazine. Commentary on the missionary task is available in a series of articles, each of which covers one component of the six-part missionary task in order: EntryEvangelismDisciple MakingChurch FormationLeadership Development, and Exit and Partnership.

  1. ENTRY
    1. Find them
      • The role of research
        1. Understanding people groups
        2. Understanding levels of evangelization
        3. Understanding Bible translation
        4. Understanding the GCC network
    2. Get to them
      • Explore political, economic, religious environment
      • Explore access options
      • Acquire necessary skills and/or resources
    3. Develop an ability to communicate with them
      • Language (almost always cannot be done in English!)
      • Culture
    • No salvation apart from hearing and believing the gospel
    • Making disciples starts with sharing the gospel
    • Evangelism is non-negotiable
      1. Some are gifted
      2. All are responsible
    • Gospel message must be faithful to Scripture and understandable
      1. Role of language and worldview
    • If there is no evangelism, it is not missions
    • Goal is disciples, not “converts”
    • Disciple = learner/follower of Jesus who is being transformed by the Holy Spirit to be conformed to the image of Christ
    • This includes knowledge of Scripture
    • This includes transformation of character
    • This includes development of skills like Bible study, prayer, evangelism
    • This is a lifelong process
    • Discipleship normally happens in a local church
    • Local church is the automatic, natural home of a healthy disciple of Jesus
    • Where there are none, we must start churches
      1. This was the consistent practice of apostles
    • Even where there are churches, it always good to start new churches
    • The goal with new churches is maturity
      1. Self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating
      2. Fully able to understand, teach, and obey the Word of God
    • Leaders need to be trained
    • Know/Be/Do: knowledge, character, skills
      1. Initial stages are simply discipleship, and this is critically important
      2. Biblical qualifications are primarily exemplary, what every disciple should be
      3. Also able to teach
    • Knowledge of content, interpretation, application of Bible, along with theology
    • Character includes maturity, humility, and integrity
    • Skills include teaching, shepherding, evangelizing, discipline
    • All should be taught carefully and rigorously
    • All can be taught non-traditionally in context of local church
    • The goal is not to be there forever
    • Stay too long, and you develop unhealthy dependence
    • Stay too short, and you leave new believers/churches as prey to wolves; look to the phased process of Model, Assist, Watch, and Leave
    • Example of Paul included ongoing involvement even after physically leaving
    • Example of apostles also included partnership in the gospel
      • Take them with you as you go!