Summary: Becoming a New Testament, missions minded church.

The Antioch Church

Acts 11:19-26

Purpose Statement: To renew our focus on becoming a New Testament

missions minded church

In many churches these days, the buzz word is “purpose statement”.

Churches and church leaders are in many churches trying to put together a

statement that reflects what their purpose is as a church. I recently

researched this and looked at several churches in Houston and Dallas to see

what they said about themselves. Here are just a few:

Champion Forest Baptist, Houston,- “our mission is to follow the Bibles

directive to worship Jesus Christ, to instruct and encourage Christians to

become like Christ and to present Jesus to the world as Savior and Lord.

South Main Baptist, Houston- “a dynamic faith community committed to

being Christ’s people, reflecting His light, growing God’s kingdom.”

First Baptist Houston said “enlist and equip fully devoted followers of Christ”

Second Baptist Houston simply quoted Matt 28:19-20 on their web site.

Memorial Baptist, Grapevine- “We are a place for restoring and deepening

relationships with God and others that result in passionate pursuit of

unreached people across the street and around the world.” All of these

statements are good to some degree. They focus on what has historically

been the purpose of the church.

We are spending some time looking at the early church in the book of

Acts. Our purpose is to look at what the focus and purpose was of the

church. Also, we want to be aware of what their method for reaching people

with the gospel was and what their motivtion was. As we look at the church

in Antioch today, we want to examine ourselves and ask ourselves some

quesitons about whether or not we are following the Biblical model for the

church. Are our passions similiar to that of the church in the Bible? Do we

display the same characteristics? Do we share the same emphasis and

motivation in our work? Read Acts 11:19-26

The Focus

1. They preached and taught Christ crucified . They believed that salvation is

by faith in Christ vs.20,23 (Acts 15:11,35). They didn’t preach man made

ideas or philosophy. They had a gospel that was Christ centered. Scripture

clearly indicates that man will eventually not endure sound doctrine, but

rather will gather for themselves teachers who will tell them what they want

to hear (2 Tim 4:3-4) They will turn aside from truth to myths. The church

must always be on guard to guard against turning aside to myth and a man

centered gospel. We must always preach and teach Christ crucified, dead

and buried and raised from the dead by God Almighty. We must always

preach about the uniqueness of Christ.

The Results of the Focus

2. There was evidence of grace vs.23- they treated one another and others

with respect and honor. If grace means “unmerited favor” then they

understood and were humble about the nature of their salvation and service to

God. They didn’t have an ungrateful heart. They thanked God often for His

wonderful works. They were dependent on Him to bear fruit.

3. There was great fruitfulness v.21,24 - you could see evidence of a effective

testimony. They were missions minded (Acts 13;3). They took Christ’s

command to go out into all the world. They took their two best speakers and

leaders and sent them out on mission. They saw their purpose statement as

being the great commission of Christ. FBC Hull has a purpose statement

written in it’s constitution and by-laws that says this “The purpose statement

of FBC Hull, shall be to carry out the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus

Christ as record in Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; and to develop

Christian fellowshiop and growth in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

among the saints.”

Paul Powell once said “Many churches today remind me of a laboring crew

trying to gather in a harvest while they sit in the tool shed. They go to the

tool shed every Sunday and they study bigger and better methods of

agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and then get up and go

home. Then they come back that night, study bigger and better methods of

agriculture, sharpen their hoes and grease their tractors and go home again.

They come back Wednesday night, and again study bigger and better methods

of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and get up and go

home. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out, and nobody

ever goes out into the fields to gather in the harvest.”

A missionary in Africa was once asked if he really liked what he was doing.

His response was shocking. “Do I like this work?” he said “No. My wife

and I do not like dirt. We have reasonable refined sensibilities. we do not

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