The Tysons', Missionary Evangelist
Helping struggling churches in remote areas
Urging missionaries and churches to stand fast in the Last Days
WHO SENDS MISSIONARIES?
Acts 13:4
By Preacher James Tyson


This message is intended to help Pastors as well as Missionaries know the truth from God's word about who is in charge of the mission program in the local church. Many  Pastors have egotistically assumed it is they who send Missionaries and boast about how many are sent by the church where they pastor. I don't mean to criticize good Bible believing Baptist Pastors but it has gotten out of hand in many cases.  I often see the multitude of Missionary prayer cards with the wording, sent by Calvary Baptist Church or some other church. The wording is a misnomer. It should be stated that the missionaries are members of some particular church. There is a vast difference! God is being robbed of his glory and he said he wouldn't share his glory with any man!
 The truth is described in Acts 13:4- " So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost ",

1- WHO IS IN CHARGE OF GOD'S MISSION PROGRAM?


(1)-
Not the local Church.
The church didn't call the missionary nor was it they who sent them. The church is only an instrument which the Lord uses.         

Acts 13:4- "Sent forth by the Holy Ghost".
Acts 13:3 seems to imply that the church sent the missionaries away so I want to explain from Greek wording what is being said. The word "Sent" is inserted by the King James Translators but the Greek word "Away" is ap-ol-oo/-o which means To set at liberty- To dismiss- and is used in Matthew 19:7 for Divorce. "Put her Away". It has the exact opposite thought than most Baptist Pastors think it gives them a right to practice. When a woman is given a bill of divorcement her husband has no more authority over her. She is at liberty to pursue her own actions. The Missionary therefore is at liberty to pursue his own actions as long as they meet biblical perspectives. Many times our Mission board had Pastors calling them to get some kind of disciplinary action administered against a missionary that had no biblical guidelines to back up what they were saying.

The Greek word for The Holy Ghost sending missionaries is found in Acts 13:4. It is ek-pem/-po. Here again the word "Sent" is inserted by the Translators for clarity but the word "Forth" ek-pem/-po means to send forth. It is a direct translation that God in the person of the Holy Spirit is the sending factor and not a body of believers even though God uses the church to help in various ways.

I have an Interlinear Greek English New Testament with the Authorized Version which reads for Acts 13:3 :Then having fasted and prayed, and having laid hands on them, they let [them] go. They indeed therefore having been sent forth by the Spirit the Holy, went down to Selucia, and thence sailed away to Cyprus".

The common misconception
on the subject is that Calvary Baptist Church or some other named church is the one who sends missionaries and for that reason missionaries are looked upon as mere puppets of their so called "sending church". If you want to put them on a salary and pay for the missionary to perform a certain task, then you are the employer and have the right to ask them to abide by your rules but until that time you are to let the Lord lead the missionary for their lives and service where ever they serve!

(2)- God will not allow man made rules to take charge of the mission program or the lives of missionaries.
Phillippians 2:13- "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of his good pleasure".
Missionaries are frightened to the edge of being traumatized on the subject of making a mistake that would not fit into a group of man made guidelines by the brethren which have no scripture to back up what they say. I lost some financial support by some pastors who preach it is a sin to own or view a television. A pastor told me they didn't support missionaries who owned a tv nor did they approve of missionaries who subscribed to newspapers and read what they called secular information. This is ludicrous! It is wrong however to leave children unsupervised when it comes to pornographic content It is wrong to let programming enter into your home that uses language that slanders the Lord but we need to control what we use rather than disregard it completely. God said we are in the world but not of the world!


(3)- Prayer and God's word are the only instructions needed for missionaries to abide by.
John 16:13- "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth":
Prayer and God's word is the only way to properly address the guidelines for the mission program.
We need to look into God's word for answers and pray much about fixing the problem so often hindering the work of the Lord on mission fields and missionary personnel trying to get to their field of service. It seems like some Pastors look at missionaries as if they are somewhat inferior spiritually and need strict guidelines to follow in order to keep them in line. The New Testament calls this legalism and Jesus condemned the practice of legalism in the twenty third chapter of Matthew and summed it up in verse 24 by saying "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel". I am trying to relate that it is wrong to put legalistic boundaries on missionaries while failing to support good personnel who are anxious to get the gospel to those who sit in darkness around the world.                                                                   

2- WHO CHALLENGES MISSIONARIES TO SERVE ON VARIOUS FIELDS AROUND THE WORLD?

(1)- MISSIONARIES ARE SENT BY GOD.
JESUS GAVE US THE EXAMPLE WHEN HE TOLD THE DISCIPLES THEY WERE SENT BY DIVINE INSPIRATION.


John 20:21- Jesus speaking- "as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you".

(2)- MISSIONARIES ARE EMPOWERED BY GOD.
 MISSIONARIES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SERVE THE LORD WITHOUT DIVINE SPIRITUAL POWER.

Acts 1:8- "But ye shall receive power, After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth".
John 20:22 - Jesus speaking- "and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, receive ye The HOLY GHOST". see also John 17:18. Jesus empowered the disciples by filling them with His Spirit.

(3)- MISSIONARIES ARE CALLED BY GOD.
MISSIONARIES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOAL OF REACHING THE LOST WITH THE GOSPEL WITHOUT  A CALL FROM GOD.
God gave the call to Barnabas and Saul in Acts 13:2- "Separate me Barnabas and Saul".
Acts-13:1- "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
Acts-13:2-
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."

(A)- CHURCH INSTRUCTIONS IN RELATION TO THE CALL.
The church's part is described in Acts-13:3-
"And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."
The principal is found in 2 Corinthians 11:8 where Paul said, ..."I robbed other churches, taking wages of them...". The Greek word for wages is op-so/-nee-on which means a soldiers pay. The missionary example we have through the Apostle Paul was to take finances for the journey given by local churches to proceed with evangelizing the world.

(B)- THE HOLY SPIRIT'S  ROLE IN EVANGELIZING THE WORLD.
Acts-13:4-
"So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus."


(C)- THE ORIGIN OF THE MISSIONARY CALL.
God works in and through the local church to select missionary personnel.  Acts 13:1-
"in the church that
was at antioch".
God
has chosen the local church as a tool to evangelize
the world and selects missionary personal from it's congregations.

(D)- THE PERSON OF THE CALL.
The Holy Ghost is God and he only has the right to call a person to full time service.
Acts 13:2-
"as they ministered unto
the Lord and fasted, The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul..."

(E)- THE PURPOSE OF THE CALL .
Acts 13:2-
"for the work
whereunto I have called them ".  
For every call, God has a plan
and a purpose and he will reveal it to each mission family individually. No Pastor or anyone has a right to suggest a mission family go to a certain field that the Pastor might have an interest in sending them.

I never will forget during our Bible College days in Greenville, South Carolina, more than thirty years ago, a young preacher boy stood and gave a testimony in one of the chapel services that he was there but didn't know for what he was called. Some time later in our senior year, each of us preachers were given the chapel service. During my message the Spirit of God caused me to remember the statement that young preacher had made and I proclaimed, "Some of you have made the statement that God hasn't called you but He isn't going to give you any more than he has already given you in His word, Acts chapter one verse eight declares, "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE". I said, "you already have your call". Each one needs to let the Holy Spirit direct him into his particular field of service.

After the service that young man came up to me and said the Lord had spoken to him about Pastoring. That was his eye opening experience and soon after my family and I left for mission work in Southeast Alaska that preacher had a church going and started supporting THE TYSONS in ALASKA. It is a joy to see God work as we go about His service.

3- GOD'S CHARGE FOR THE CHURCH IN VIEW OF MISSIONS.
Acts 13:3- "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away ".

(1)- THE CHURCH FASTED.
When have you last heard of a church that fasted as
they sent out missionaries?

(2)-
THE CHURCH PRAYED.
My how little prayer we have in most modern
churches. I mean real prayer, where heaven is accessed and the power of God falls with sinners being saved and missionaries being called out of the congregation as well as financial support for missions.

(3)- THE CHURCH ORDAINED PREACHERS.
Acts 13:3- "laid hands on them..." The
ceremony of ordination is supposed to be a measuring rod to make absolutely sure certain standards are met in the life and character of the man being ordained. God's standards include being the husband of one wife and not one at a time as some try to get away with. Divorce and remarriage will disqualify a msssionary in the Lord's sight. Having faithful children is another qualification that many have neglected. Some Preachers kids are so worldly that they might even make the devil blush. Not a novice is another qualification that needs recognition. A missionary should prepare before he makes his way to the field of service. A good Bible College would be a good start in most cases. Forming a sound Biblical doctrinal position is mandatory and the ordination is a testing to prove he is in line with the Word of God. I would even suggest that the King James Bible only be used for preaching and if he didn't meet that qualification, I would not ordain him. One of the first things I did after Pastoring my first mission church was to include in the church minutes that we would only allow a speaker to preach from a King James Bible and if the guest speaker did not have one we would offer to lend him one. If that was refused we would not permit him to speak. Another qualification is that he use no alcoholic beverages. Some Pastors even say that it is all right to drink a glass of wine as long as you don't get drunk but that is not what the Bible teaches and certainly a Pastor or Missionary should not partake of it. In the first place, churches need to ordain preachers and missionaries who are in line with the scriptures.

(4)- THE CHURCH FINANCED THE JOURNEY.
Acts 13:3- "Sent them away".
The word sent was inserted by the King James translators but "Away: means they were set free. The concept  that they financed the journey is found in 2 Corinthians 11:8 where the Apostle Paul said, "I robbed churches, taking wages of them...". Greek word for Wages is op-sol/-nee-on. It means a soldiers pay. The Missionary example given by Paul was that the finances for evangelizing the world came from the local church.



CONCLUSION:

(1)- If a missionary is no good, don't support him, but please get off the backs of good missionary families and let them do the work God has in mind without unscriptual guidelines.

(2)- If you want to have guidelines, let them be from God's Word. If the missionaries don't insist on using a King James Bible don't support them, If they don't believe in sound doctrine, don't support them, If they don't meet biblical marital requirements, don't support them.

(3)- With all this in mind, it is no wonder God said in his word, ''Judgment must first begin at the house of God..." 1 Peter 4:17. God will not bless a church that exercises lordship over missionaries. 1 Peter 5:3- "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock". Thank God for good Pastors who love Missions. Many are genuine who have their program centered in the word of the Lord but there are also many who need to make some adjustments.
 

By James Tyson Sr.