One of the major concepts of missional theology is following the leading of God into the missional field. In the book of Acts, there are examples of Paul being directly led by the Spirit into Macedonia. This was through a dream. Throughout the book of Acts, there are examples of the Holy Spirit leading the workers in the mission field. God’s presence was already at work before the missionaries arrived on site. In Acts 18:9-10, Paul is instructed to go into the city because God had people there. The Gospel has not arrived yet, but God was already working in this area. We do know that salvation is a blending of general election and the gospel call, which is the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). So as one thinks through the missional component of direct communication from the Spirit and evangelism, how do we put this together. There seems to be no direct communication from the spirit during this time of age. This is because God communicates with his people through the word. But we do not want to limit God’s work. God is still leading the evangelistic charge into the mission field. There are opportunities that Christians must take full advantage of in this present age. God is sowing the seeds and the church must be about the harvest. There is a partnership in evangelism. God is working providentially to soften hearts. But the church is missing much of the call of God. God has accomplished his goals but the church has refused in some cases to fulfill its duty. The church must become receptive to those who are receptive to the gospel. People will gravitate to those who preach the message of Christ because God is drawing them near. But if the church is not receptive to these people there will never be growth. The church cannot “see God’s playbook, besides that which is revealed in the word” but the church must be discerning of those people that God seems to be drawing to his church. One sees this in the Cornelius case. He had a good heart, God was working with him, but it still took Peter to come to him. Even though Peter was hesitant, which seems to model too many in our congregations, to baptize him into Christ. Unfortunately some in the missional community are seeking direct revelation, but this is a false doctrine. But the fact that God is not directly leading people does not mean that He is not leading people. Christians process the information and make discerning choices based on that which seems correct. The signs will indicate the receptiveness of the people or the person. If the signs are there, continue with the direction, if there seems to be no signs of God’s preparatory work, moved on and shake the feet. This heart is not ready or will never be ready. Moving forward in a missional direction is discerning the previous presence of the Lord. Has God been involved in softening this soil?
- Missio Dei through the Holy Spirit
- Fighting Spirit: Texas vs Tennessee
- Review of “The Power of Communication”
- Conflict of Liked and Leading
- Inappropriate Indirect Communication in Congregations–1