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Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church discuss What is a missionary and what are their qualifications? in the The Church forums; Missionary is not a biblical word. What IS a missionary anyhows. And how do you become one? What does one do? What are his and/or ...

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    What is a missionary and what are their qualifications?

    Missionary is not a biblical word. What IS a missionary anyhows.

    And how do you become one?

    What does one do?

    What are his and/or her qualifications?

    What is his and/or her job?





    Also, what about the term "evangelist"? The NT says to do the work of one, but of the Ephesians list of Apostles, evangelists, pastors/teachers, most would say that only the pastor and teacher is around nowadays. Is the office of an evangelist now expired?
    Pergamum


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    I was always under the impression that a missionary was someone who has been sent to proclaim the Gospel and disciple others in a different context or culture. I'm sure the word missio has something to do with the word. I think the word is like the Trinity, the word isn't found there but the concept is clearly there. But I actually haven't thought much about the word missionary now that I think about it! Good questions yet again! I'll have to chew on the others because they are related to your other post.
    Mark Maney
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Missionary is not a biblical word. What IS a missionary anyhows.

    And how do you become one?

    What does one do?

    What are his and/or her qualifications?

    What is his and/or her job?
    The dictionary says the English word mission comes from a Latin word which means to send. Romans 10:13-15 says,

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    Romans 10:14-15 (cf. Acts 13:1-4) is cited as a prooftext in The Form of Presbyterial Church Government (1645) when it discusses the nature of ordination of a minister of the gospel.

    NO man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word without a lawful calling.

    Footnote: John 3:27. Rom. 10:14,15. Jer. 14:14. Heb. 5:4.
    It may be said then the job of a truly sent missionary is the job of the preacher/pastor. Ministers of the word are tasked to bring the message of the gospel to all the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Doing missions Biblically understood therefore presupposes a lawful calling on the part of the missionary. This also explains why Reformed believers consider ordination as essential to Biblical church government (1 Tim. 4:14). The Form of Presbyterial Church Government also says,

    That the ministers of the gospel have as ample a charge and commission to dispense the word, as well as other ordinances, as the priests and Levites had under the law, proved, Isa. lxvi. 21. Matt. xxiii. 34. where our Saviour entitleth the officers of the New Testament, whom he will send forth, by the same names of the teachers of the Old.

    Which propositions prove, that therefore (the duty being of a moral nature) it followeth by just consequence, that the publick reading of the scriptures belongeth to the pastor's office.

    To feed the flock, by preaching of the word, according to which he is to teach, convince, reprove, exhort, and comfort.

    To catechise, which is a plain laying down the first principles of the oracles of God, or of the doctrine of Christ, and is a part of preaching.

    To dispense other divine mysteries.

    To administer the sacraments.

    To bless the people from God, Numb. vi. 23, 24, 25, 26. Compared with Rev. i.4, 5, (where the same blessings, and persons from whom they come, are expressly mentioned,) Isa. lxvi. 21, where, under the names of Priests and Levites to be continued under the gospel, are meant evangelical pastors, who therefore are by office to bless the people.

    To take care of the poor.

    And he hath also a ruling power over the flock as a pastor.
    The Belgic Confession explains,

    Article 30 - The Government of the Church

    We believe that this true church must be governed according to the Spiritual order which our Lord has taught us in His Word.1 There should be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments;2 there should also be elders3 and deacons4 who, together with the pastors, form the council of the church.5 By these means they preserve the true religion; they see to it that the true doctrine takes its course, that evil men are disciplined in a spiritual way and are restrained, and also that the poor and all the afflicted are helped and comforted according to their need.6 By these means everything will be done well and in good order when faithful men are chosen7 in agreement with the rule that the apostle Paul gave to Timothy.8
    1 Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11-12; 1 Tim 3:15; Heb 13:20-21 2 Lk 1:2, 10:16; Jn 20:23; Rom 10:14; 1 Cor 4:1; 2 Cor 5:19-20; 2 Tim 4:2 3 Acts 14:23; Tit 1:5 4 1 Tim 3:8-10 5 Php 1:1; 1 Tim 4:14 6 Acts 6:1-4; Tit 1:7-9 7 1 Cor 4:2 8 1 Tim 3
    Of course, this doesn't remove the responsibility of Christians to be a light to the world and give a reason for the hope that is in them (Matthew 5:14; 1 Peter 3:15). Believers whether church officers or not should share the gospel to their family, relatives and friends in their general office as Christians.

    The qualifications for elders are found in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Also, what about the term "evangelist"? The NT says to do the work of one, but of the Ephesians list of Apostles, evangelists, pastors/teachers, most would say that only the pastor and teacher is around nowadays. Is the office of an evangelist now expired?
    The Form of Presbyterial Church Government mentions that,

    THE officers which Christ hath appointed for the edification of his church, and the perfecting of the saints, are, some extraordinary, as apostles, evangelists, and prophets, which are ceased.

    Others ordinary and perpetual, as pastors, teachers, and other church-governors, and deacons.
    Last edited by A.J.; 06-18-2009 at 05:09 AM.
    Albert, The Republic of the Philippines
    Deacon, Pasig Covenant Reformed Church
    Pasig City, Metro Manila
    Under the indirect oversight of the Trinity United Reformed Church (URCNA)
    Walnut Creek, CA

    “Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts.” -

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    What about all of Paul's "fellow-workers" in the NT (the sunergois I think is how it's spelled). All seemed not ordained, and some were women. They seemed to travel much and do tasks for the church and cooperate broadly on the field. These seemed almost like missionaries of today.

    How does this relate to missions today?

    Not the main observation that I have, but one of them is this, I am willing to call un-ordained men and men as "missionaries" too as they labor on the field, the women doing wonderful jobs teaching children and women. If we view Paul's co-workers as the first missionaries, then missionary groups that work asa team and incorpate others besides strictly pastors then is supported by the practice ofthe Pauline missionary band. This would also mean that a missionary does not function as a pastor to pastor a chuch but part of a team trying to plant a church.
    Pergamum


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    Wow, very interesting question.

    Personally, I do wish there was a stronger definition of the word. I am rather cynical about anyone who claims to be a 'missionary' because I have seen that word often abused.

    In the circles I grew up in, pretty much everybody wanted to be a missionary. But claiming to be 'called' was often an excuse to do nothing and expect other people to support them. I have known college students who expected their church to pay their college bills because they were planning to become missionaries, but ultimately, they never set foot out of the United States. I have known families living in the USA and doing no ministry at all to expect other people to support them because they were 'missionaries'. And I have known people to live in other countries (such as South Korea or Japan) and do no work, but go back to the United States and claim to have a huge ministry and raise support.

    Furthermore, there is the nagging question of short-term missions that last a week or so and no more. Maybe Fred raises $5,000 for a trip to Guatemala. Fred can't speak Spanish, so when he gets there, there's not much he can do. So the local missionaries put him to work painting the church. Let's assume (best case scenario) that Fred is a nice, responsible guy and he really does paint the church and maybe he isn't horrible at it. Are we seriously suggesting that the missionaries couldn't find anyone local to paint it for less than $5,000? Maybe someone poor who maybe really needs the money to feed his family? Worst case scenario (which I have often seen) is that Fred starts painting, and then realizes that it is hot in Honduras and he doesn't like to paint, so he drops the 'work' after a day or so and goes sight-seeing, so essentially those kind folks back home who supported him just paid for Fred's vacation to Honduras.

    Personally, I'd say the biggest qualifier for being a missionary is that someone has to actually do something, and do something USEFUL. I don't care if they are ordained or not ordained. I'll support missions, but darned if I'm going to pay for someone's vacation or support someone for being lazy. The problem is, of course, that there's very little oversight in far-flung corners of the world. It was easy to see who was working and who wasn't when I lived in South Korea. It's very hard to tell the difference from my house in New York.
    Caroline
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    Great information, Albert! (#3)
    Scott
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Missionary is not a biblical word. What IS a missionary anyhows.

    And how do you become one?

    What does one do?

    What are his and/or her qualifications?

    What is his and/or her job?
    The dictionary says the English word mission comes from a Latin word which means to send. Romans 10:13-15 says,

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    Romans 10:14-15 (cf. Acts 13:1-4) is cited as a prooftext in The Form of Presbyterial Church Government (1645) when it discusses the nature of ordination of a minister of the gospel.

    NO man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word without a lawful calling.

    Footnote: John 3:27. Rom. 10:14,15. Jer. 14:14. Heb. 5:4.
    It may be said then the job of a truly sent missionary is the job of the preacher/pastor. Ministers of the word are tasked to bring the message of the gospel to all the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Doing missions Biblically understood therefore presupposes a lawful calling on the part of the missionary. This also explains why Reformed believers consider ordination as essential to Biblical church government (1 Tim. 4:14). The Form of Presbyterial Church Government also says,



    The Belgic Confession explains,



    Of course, this doesn't remove the responsibility of Christians to be a light to the world and give a reason for the hope that is in them (Matthew 5:14; 1 Peter 3:15). Believers whether church officers or not should share the gospel to their family, relatives and friends in their general office as Christians.

    The qualifications for elders are found in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Also, what about the term "evangelist"? The NT says to do the work of one, but of the Ephesians list of Apostles, evangelists, pastors/teachers, most would say that only the pastor and teacher is around nowadays. Is the office of an evangelist now expired?
    The Form of Presbyterial Church Government mentions that,

    THE officers which Christ hath appointed for the edification of his church, and the perfecting of the saints, are, some extraordinary, as apostles, evangelists, and prophets, which are ceased.

    Others ordinary and perpetual, as pastors, teachers, and other church-governors, and deacons.
    How would we define and welcome those who are not ordained but ae functioning on evangelistic teams overseas? The definitions you give seems to limit the missionary to an ordained elder-qualified male? If we do not call females missionaries, what should we call them and how should we use them so as not to restrict their use overmuch on the field?

    Also, what is your view of "a call" - many preachers get a call from a church that is already in existence, but missionaries are called to help the church come into existence in regions where there is no church or opportunity to administer the sacraments for a very long time.

    It appears that if we clump a missionary into the definition of a pastor, that we need to still distinguish them from other pastors in that his calling is different and his life will look very much unlike pastoral ministry where a church is alreeady in place.
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    -- David Livingstone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    How would we define and welcome those who are not ordained but ae functioning on evangelistic teams overseas? The definitions you give seems to limit the missionary to an ordained elder-qualified male? If we do not call females missionaries, what should we call them and how should we use them so as not to restrict their use overmuch on the field?

    Also, what is your view of "a call" - many preachers get a call from a church that is already in existence, but missionaries are called to help the church come into existence in regions where there is no church or opportunity to administer the sacraments for a very long time.

    It appears that if we clump a missionary into the definition of a pastor, that we need to still distinguish them from other pastors in that his calling is different and his life will look very much unlike pastoral ministry where a church is alreeady in place.
    I am one of the regular attendees of a Reformed church plant in one of the cities of Metro Manila. Our pastor is an ordained Reformed minister of the Word and the Sacraments, and he is living in the country with his wife and his daughter. (His three older sons are residents of California. Two are already married.) He is a missionary sent by his church. But since the work of church planting involves the help and cooperation of his wife and daughter in activites like paying bills, preparing food for the members of the small congregation, and regular correspondence with and visits to members and prospective members, I think that the wife and the daughter are in this sense also "missionaries."

    Your second paragraph accurately describes the situation of my pastor. He received a call from a church that is already in existence, but was sent to work as a missionary in this part of the Philippines. As far as I know, there is no other Reformed church in the city where our congregation meets.

    Like other Reformed congregations, our congregation also started with a core group of lay people which participated in Bible studies held by our pastor. After several months, he started conducting Lord's Day worship services. In this sense, I think lay people (both men and women) not only assist the missionary pastor but in one way or another also help in the fulfilling of the Great Commission.
    Albert, The Republic of the Philippines
    Deacon, Pasig Covenant Reformed Church
    Pasig City, Metro Manila
    Under the indirect oversight of the Trinity United Reformed Church (URCNA)
    Walnut Creek, CA

    “Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts.” -

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    How would we define and welcome those who are not ordained but ae functioning on evangelistic teams overseas? The definitions you give seems to limit the missionary to an ordained elder-qualified male? If we do not call females missionaries, what should we call them and how should we use them so as not to restrict their use overmuch on the field?

    Also, what is your view of "a call" - many preachers get a call from a church that is already in existence, but missionaries are called to help the church come into existence in regions where there is no church or opportunity to administer the sacraments for a very long time.

    It appears that if we clump a missionary into the definition of a pastor, that we need to still distinguish them from other pastors in that his calling is different and his life will look very much unlike pastoral ministry where a church is alreeady in place.
    I am one of the regular attendees of a Reformed church plant in one of the cities of Metro Manila. Our pastor is an ordained Reformed minister of the Word and the Sacraments, and he is living in the country with his wife and his daughter. (His three older sons are residents of California. Two are already married.) He is a missionary sent by his church. But since the work of church planting involves the help and cooperation of his wife and daughter in activites like paying bills, preparing food for the members of the small congregation, and regular correspondence with and visits to members and prospective members, I think that the wife and the daughter are in this sense also "missionaries."

    Your second paragraph accurately describes the situation of my pastor. He received a call from a church that is already in existence, but was sent to work as a missionary in this part of the Philippines. As far as I know, there is no other Reformed church in the city where our congregation meets.

    Like other Reformed congregations, our congregation also started with a core group of lay people which participated in Bible studies held by our pastor. After several months, he started conducting Lord's Day worship services. In this sense, I think lay people (both men and women) not only assist the missionary pastor but in one way or another also help in the fulfilling of the Great Commission.
    Yes, I do think that many who become reformed begin to think that they need to minimize the role of un-ordained Christians in the work of the Great Commission.
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Yes, I do think that many who become reformed begin to think that they need to minimize the role of un-ordained Christians in the work of the Great Commission.
    A related issue has been the subject of discussion two months ago. See the following threads.

    A Biblical Defense of Lay-Ministry and Lay-Evangelism

    A Biblical Defense of Lay-Ministry and Lay-Evangelism, Part 2

    A Biblical Defense of Lay-Ministry and Lay-Evangelism, Part 3

    Yes, there is disagreement on this point between the paedobaptist Reformed and the Calvinistic/Particular Baptists. Actually, I became aware of this difference only several months ago. This is seen in the teaching of the respective groups' confessional standards.

    The WLC asserts,

    Q158: By whom is the word of God to be preached?
    A158: The word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted,[1] and also duly approved and called to that office.[2]

    1. I Tim. 3:2, 6; Eph. 4:8-11; Hosea 4:6; Mal. 2:7; II Cor. 3:6
    2. Jer. 14:15; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4; I Cor. 12:28-29; I Tim. 3:10; 4:14; 5:22
    But the 1689 LBCF says,

    CHAPTER 26; OF THE CHURCH

    Paragraph 11. Although it be incumbent on the bishops or pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the word, by way of office, yet the work of preaching the word is not so peculiarly confined to them but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved and called by the church, may and ought to perform it.24
    24 Acts 11:19-21; 1 Pet. 4:10,11
    Albert, The Republic of the Philippines
    Deacon, Pasig Covenant Reformed Church
    Pasig City, Metro Manila
    Under the indirect oversight of the Trinity United Reformed Church (URCNA)
    Walnut Creek, CA

    “Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts.” -

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    What's the differences between preaching, evangelizing, witnessing, explaining the Gospel, teaching, announcing, praying for someone, etc, and what are the gender and status roles for the fulfillment of each activity.

    There seems to be freedom enough in this work for all to be involved in some capacity.
    Pergamum


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    -- David Livingstone

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