Tuesday, July 28, 2009

JESUS' MISSIONARY STRATEGY: Part 2 Have A Plan



"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." Luke 10:1 (NIV)

In this verse Jesus hints to why he had appointed and sent out the seventy-two. His purpose was for them to prepare for his arrival to those particular towns and villages he was about to go. They were to go ahead of Jesus and get things ready for his arrival in order so that when Jesus did arrive he would be wholeheartedly received by the people. You see Jesus had a plan. He knew exactly where he was going. He wasn't flying this mission by the seat of his paints or trying to figure it out as went along. He knew exactly what he was doing and how he would get it done.

Even in the book of Acts we see the Apostle Paul had a plan for where he was wanting to go on his missionary journey. In Acts 16:6-10 we see two very important principles that Paul used in determining where he was to go on this Divine mission,

"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phryia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."

From this passage we first see that Paul had intended and was actively trying to preach in the province of Asia and was trying to enter the boarder of Mysia. Why? Because that was the plan! They had planned to go there and had every intention to go and preach the good news. They had a plan and they were trying to follow that plan. I believe that Paul felt it was important to have a plan to execute and that he had thought through exactly where he felt God wanted him to go on this mission. He wasn't leaving the fulfillment of God's mission, to make disciples of all nations, to chance. He planned on where to go and what to do and he was going to execute that plan.

But then we see a second important principle that Paul used in fulfilling the mission. That principle was that all his plans and strategies were subject to change based upon the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit that prevented him from going into Asia and into Mysia! Why? Because God had a different plan for Paul to obey. He wanted him to go into Macedonia to preach to those people there. And Paul was obedient. As a result a church in Thessalonica was established, a jailer along with his entire household were saved and a woman, Lydia, opened her home for the church to meet. Paul followed the leading of the Holy Spirit because he had a clear understanding that he was not a slave to his plans but he was a servant of God.

From this I see three important things that those of us who are serious about being on mission with Christ need to implement:

  1. We must have a plan on how we intend to penetrate and reach our mission field. We need to know where the people are at. We need to have a plan on what neighborhood we are going to reach into first and then second and then third.
  2. Having a plan is not enough. We also need to have a resolve to implement and execute that plan. There has to be action applied to our plans.
  3. We must remember that all our plans are up for change based upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that we don't serve our plans. Our plans are just a tool for us to serve God. If the Holy Spirit comes and closes the doors for us to implement a part of our strategy we then need to be ready to listen and follow the Holy Spirits leading. The only reason why God would close the door to implementing our plan is because he wants to redirect our attention and move in a different way.

Do you have a plan to penetrate your mission field? Do you know who you are going to go after first, second and then third? Are you staying in close communion with God so that if the Holy Spirit wanted to redirect your plans you would be able to follow?

Folks it is time for us to get serious about putting together a comprehensive strategic plan to reach the Harvest Mission Fields that Christ has placed us in and we need to maintain a strong and intimate connection with Christ so that we can follow when the Holy Spirit wants to redirect us.


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