Special Missions 2015

Boston International Christian Church

 Special Missions

Yes, those two words that can bring so many feelings to the surface of your heart.  As baptized disciples we understand that we have to give up everything (Luke 14:33).  But have you ever wondered where “Special Missions” comes from? Or why would disciples have to give a certain amount (5x’s or 20x’s) on a certain day? I don’t believe you are alone as other disciples have asked this same question.  We would like to think that Special Missions was just created in the 21st century and is just an opinion issue, but we will find that Special Missions has been practiced in the church since the 1st century and even talked about in the Bible. Many disciples have been giving special missions just on the fact that they can see the fruit of it and want to win the world, but my hope is after going through the scriptures together we will have biblical convictions on the concept.

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1.The charge for all the churches!

1 Corinthians 16:1-5 “ Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.  On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made… After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you.”

In 54AD there was an established “collection for God’s people”. Paul asks the churches to save money on a weekly basis and have it turned in each week. So that by the time Paul arrives the money would have already been collected and ready for whatever needs the movement had at that time, aka a “Special Missions”. This was a unified conviction for all of the churches to follow. Many scholars would testify that Cornith had a very rich economy, especially compared to its neighboring region Macedonia (which was very poor). But notice the call was the same no matter what “economy” you lived in. It was not a specific dollar amount across the board, but was according to each persons income (a percentage) which made this possible. So no matter if you made very little money, or a lot, you could share in the grace of giving!

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Brunson (middle) – a former Mainline Church of Christ Preacher – not only bapitzes his wife Mary (right), but the five people on his staff!

Six months later, Paul writes the church again:

“2 Corinthians 8:1-6 ” And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, … And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” Out of extreme poverty, far worse than that of the United States, God allowed the churches to raise more than they were expected. In other words they blew past their goal!  But that means they were assigned a special amount to raise, maybe a 5x’s or 20x’s the Bible doesn’t say, but as a church they did have a goal. Most likely the amount was according to the need of the movement that the leadership would set (Hebrews 13:17) in order to meet all the needs of the spiritual family…”They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us” I believe the disciples not only wanted to take care of the full time people in Macedonia (1 Cor 9:14) but also wanted to help their brothers and sisters around the world. Our weekly contribution meets the needs of our local congregation while, Special Missions meets the needs around the world. When we decide to take care of every brother and sister regardless of what church they are in, God gives us the ability to break any goal we set! Weekly contribution is just as important as Special Missions and both are to be done by faith!

2. Right understanding of Giving Special!

2 Corinthians 8:9 “9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

The disciples in Corinth needed to be persuaded to imitate Christ, Jesus didn’t just give his time but he gave up his life in his prime! He left his home in Heaven and his Father to come to Earth, he gave up his kingdom to become a servant, and gave up his life to give us a chance. When Jesus was focused on all that he was about to sacrifice he didn’t want to do it and had to pray to get his heart right (Matthew 26:36-46). And what does the Bible say? “Who for the joy set before him endured the cross” Hebrews 12:2 because he was now focused on the outcome of his sacrifice! We too can imitate Christ, not thinking about what we are losing or the hardship we will go through in giving our Sacrifice, but thinking about the souls that will be won because you give! How exciting it is to think of all the baptisms that will come in these new churches because we found the money to send disciples there and bring hope to a lost and hurting nation!

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Blaise tries his best to comfort our sister Cylene.

Today she feels no pain as she is with our Father in Heaven!

2Corinthians 9:9-13 “ As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”… This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

When we give to Special Missions we are taking care of our brothers and sisters (disciples who are already baptized and in need) but Special Missions also results directly in people receiving salvation, and so results in praise to God. Your sacrifice takes care of your spiritual family all around the world and your sacrifice saves souls!  How much you are needed in saving the world!

Because of all the special missions that have been raise in the past 9 years we have seen a movement of God grow from one church to over 50 churches in 27

different nations! Of special note is what our sacrifice has already done. In 2013

Alexis Turgeau came to the Global Leadership Conference (because of your sacrifice) and was baptized into Christ! Then Blaise Feumba traveled with Alexis back to Haiti (because of your sacrifice) and helped Alexis baptize his former congregation into Christ! Then with the help of Blaise traveling back and forth to Haiti (because of your sacrifice) and Alexis’s faith and conviction and with the help of the Holy Spirit we have seen 149 baptism in Haiti (17 of them former preachers) and have established five churches in five cities in just 20 months!

What can a your sacrifice for “Special Missions” do? Simply change a whole nation! But how sad it would of been if we wouldn’t of had the money to fly Alexis to the GLC in LA, but because of your sacrifice we did and now there are 149 sold out disciples in Haiti, some of which we will only get to meet in Heaven.

 3. Special Missions isn’t optional, it’s an obligation!

Romans 15:26-29 “For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.  They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.  So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way.  I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.”

As Paul tells the Church in Rome, the reason all the churches gave was that they owed it to the family! They understood that without the church in Jerusalem there would be no movement around the world and so they would still be lost! In the same way, we can understand that without the movement, most of us wouldn’t have heard the pure gospel that brings salvation! And without Special Missions we wouldn’t have the church plantings we do around the world. And if we don’t have the church plantings, then people wouldn’t be able to hear the pure gospel of Christ and so be saved (Romans 10:17). Our salvation is owed to Christ giving up everything! But it is our responsibility to get this gospel to every creature under heaven (Matthew 28:18-20)! The only way to send out mission teams is to have money. That is why Special Missions isn’t an option disciples have,  it’s an obligation if we are going to win the world! That is why I’m asking all the disciples to do everything they can to help us save more people by planting churches in every nation!

So lets us not lose faith that God will provide for this years special missions, but let us do everything we can as faith without deeds is dead (James 2:17) and watch the miracles that God is going to do.

We are all in, and family till the end!

Love,

Coltin Leondus Rohn