Our section on missions in our doctrinal statement reads as follows: “We believe
it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to
glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of
Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe the primary
focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen,
and reproduce biblically-based churches, which will then plant churches that
plant churches for future generations and God’s glory (Matthew 28:18-20).”
In view of these convictions, here are twelve principles that shape our
understanding of missions, our involvement in missions, and our giving to
1. The power of God is required for missions. All men of every culture are
born radically depraved, at enmity with God, and in opposition to His truth. The
conversion of a man and the advancement of missions are an absolute
impossibility apart from the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration
(John 3:1-7, Acts 1:8). Modern church growth strategies and many new missions
methodologies often overlook this reality. Our cleverness and our ability to
‘contextualize’ the message are poor substitutes for the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. The Scriptures are sufficient for missions. The Scriptures are the source
and standard for our doctrine, ethics, and ministry. In this, we mean that the
Scriptures are not only inspired and infallible, but they are also sufficient. They
are all that is needed so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for
every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In our desire to fulfill the Great
Commission, we will employ those means, strategies, and methodologies which
are afforded us in the Scriptures. The more we stray from the biblical standard
and the more we rely upon our own ingenuity or cleverness, the less we will see
of the power of God and the advancement of His Kingdom! It is a contradiction
to employ unbiblical means in order to propagate biblical truth. It is equally
dangerous to employ means that are not warranted by the Scriptures in order to
fulfill the very tasks that the Scriptures assign to us.
3. Prayer is a necessity for missions. The impossible work of missions can be
accomplished only through the power and wisdom of God. Therefore, prayer
must be at the forefront of all our missionary endeavours. The first stanzas of the
Lord’s Prayer prove the necessity of prayer for the advancement of the Great
Commission: “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your
kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
Furthermore, we are to pray for labourers (Matthew 9:37-38), open doors
(Colossians 4:3), and clarity and boldness in the proclamation of the gospel
(Colossians 4:4; Acts 4:29-30). According to Jesus, it is through prayer that we
bear much fruit and so prove to be His disciples (John 15:7-8, 16). All the
missionary strategies and zealous activities in the world will not compensate for
4. The true gospel must be proclaimed in missions. The gospel is the power
of God for salvation (Romans 1:16), and the preaching of the gospel is the
great means and methodology of missions. The gospel is, first and foremost,
God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). It answers
the eternal question—the divine dilemma—of how a just God can rightly justify
wicked men (Romans 3:26). It points to Christ alone, who bore the sins of His
people upon the cross (Isaiah 53:6: I Peter 2:24), was accursed and forsaken of
God (Galatians 3:13;Matthew 24:46), and was crushed under His just wrath
against sin (Isaiah 53:10; Zechariah 13:7). The “good news” of the gospel is that
through Christ’s death the justice of God was satisfied and salvation was won
for those who believe (John 19:30). This is evidenced by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead: “He who was delivered over because of our
transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25).
5. Biblical knowledge is more important than cultural knowledge in
missions. The greatest need of all men of every culture is the clear proclamation
of the gospel. Men are saved through the gospel and continue in sanctification
through continued growth in the full counsel of God’s Word (Romans 1:16; 1
Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Although differences in culture are to be
considered, it is more important for the missionary to be biblically sensitive than
culturally sensitive. A missionary was once asked how he preached the gospel
to a certain remote tribe. He declared, “I do not preach the gospel to a remote
tribe; I preach the gospel to men!” All men have the same problem (sin), and all
men have the same solution to their problem (the Saviour). Therefore, all men
need the same gospel.
6. Incarnational ministry is essential in missions. Although there are some
effective non-personal means of communicating the gospel (e.g. radio,
television, internet, literature), there is no substitute for a man living among a
people—teaching the gospel to them and living out his faith before them. God
sent His own Son to become flesh and dwell among us (John 1:1, 14; 3:16).
7. Only qualified labourers should be sent to the mission field. Missionaries
must be mature Christians in their knowledge of the Scriptures and character. In
other words, they should meet the qualifications of an elder as they are set forth
in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Some might object to this statement on the
grounds that Paul is referring to elders and not missionaries or evangelists. In
answer to this objection, we should realize that Paul is first describing a mature
Christian and then demanding that elders be mature. It is unwise and dangerous
to send anyone to plant a church on the foreign field who is not mature and
would not qualify to be an elder in his own church. This also applies to
missionary women; although they are not to serve in the office of elder (1
Timothy 2:12), they also are required to be mature in their character and
knowledge of the Scriptures. Furthermore, the Scriptures demand that a church
and its elders are not to ordain anyone “too hastily” for they “will share
responsibility” for his sins and the error that may result from his ministry (1
Timothy 5:22). Much damage has been done to the church and its testimony on
the foreign field because elders and churches have not heeded this admonition.
8. Superficial evangelism is one of the great obstacles to missions. Nontheological
preaching, entertaining skits, and gospel films are no substitute for
the biblical exposition of the gospel and the full counsel of the Scriptures.
Inviting men to raise their hands and pray a prayer is no substitute for the
biblical call to repentance, faith, and personal discipleship. Biblical assurance of
salvation is not founded upon a past decision (that has no impact on the
present) or the mere repetition of the “sinner’s prayer,” but upon the reality of
ongoing repentance from sin, faith in Jesus Christ, and progressive
9. The establishment of biblical churches is the primary work of
missions. There are many gifts and callings in the body of Christ, but all of them
are to work together on the mission field with the primary goal of establishing
biblical churches. It is not enough to evangelize or even disciple individual
converts; we are to unite them in local congregations that follow the clear
commands of Scripture.
• A biblical church is a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, in a specific
geographic location, who are of like faith in the Scriptures, committed to one
another’s edification, under the teaching and authority of qualified elders and
deacons, obedient to the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper),
practicing church discipline, and evangelizing the world through the preaching
of the gospel.
• A biblical church is that which seeks to conform its faith and practice to the
Scriptures, especially in the following areas: expository preaching, sound
biblical theology, gospel-centrality, evangelism and conversion, membership,
church discipline, discipleship, leadership, prayer, and missions.
• A biblical church is the result of costly and arduous labor. On the foreign field,
it may take years of a missionary’s life to establish one biblical work. While we
recognize the need for the rapid advance of the gospel, we cannot find any
biblical methodology for missions other than evangelizing the nations through
the preaching of the gospel and the establishment of local churches. This
• A biblical church is foundational to a self-sustaining, ever-multiplying
missions effort. The missionary endeavour is most advanced, not through an
ever-increasing number of missions agencies, but through an ever-increasing
number of strong local churches that are devoted to the Great Commission.
• A biblical church is the evidence of a genuine work of God. The goal and true
litmus test of all our missionary endeavours is the planting of biblical local
churches that are training elder-qualified men (2 Timothy 2:2) and sending
them out to establish other local churches of like faith and practice.
Evangelistic decisions and even baptisms are not accurate measures for
determining the effectiveness of a missionary or a ministry.
• A biblical church is the “pillar and support” of the truth. The church is to be
the guardian, messenger, and example of truth; and the great and enduring
bulwark against error (1 Timothy 3:15). It is also the “salt of the earth” and the
only entity that can preserve a nation or people from self-deceit, moral decay,
and self-destruction (Matthew 5:13). Therefore, biblical doctrine and practice
must prevail over pragmatism and cultural sensitivity. The church exists under
the headship of Christ (Ephesians 1:22) and must be governed by His Word.
The Scriptures are the inspired and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice for
the church (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
10. The autonomy and centrality of the local church are vital in
missions. Each local congregation is independent, autonomous, and directly
accountable to and under the headship of Jesus Christ. Every missions
partnership, therefore, should be one in which each local church is careful to
respect, uphold, and affirm the autonomy of every other local church.
11. True missions is costly. Missions is no more and no less than an
opportunity to die. We live in a fallen world that is at enmity with God and
opposes His truth. Therefore, missions and suffering will go hand in hand. Any
advancement of the Kingdom of Christ into the dominion of the devil will be met
with warfare. There are many countries and people groups where deprivation,
physical suffering, and even martyrdom cannot be avoided.
12. The goal of missions is the glory of God.
The salvation of man is not primary in missions. The glory of God is primary in
missions. God is committed to His own glory being made manifest through the
redemption of a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation who will one day
stand around His heavenly throne to give Him the worship that is due His Name
(Psalm 67:1-5; Revelation 7:9-12). Getting people saved, therefore, should not
be our chief motivation for missions. Bringing God glory should be our chief
motivation for missions (1 Corinthians 10:31).
In line with these twelve principles, we currently support HeartCry Missionary
Society, which is laser-focused on preaching the Gospel, making disciples,
training pastors, and planting churches. Click the image below to visit their