• Mike Dominick

An Acts 1:8 Church

This week at Dayton UM Church we held our Global Impact Celebration missions conference. We have deepened relationships with our missions partners and we have been challenged, blessed and inspired by their sharing with us both what God is doing in their ministry and how we are called to bring Light to the darkness of our broken world.

We have a specific strategy for our mission partnerships that intentionally goes and inch wide and a mile deep, rather than an inch deep and a mile wide. We keep the number of our mission partners small so we can bless them in big ways. Our strategy also includes aligning ourselves as an Acts 1:8 church. What does that mean?

In Acts 1:8, just before He ascends to heaven, Jesus speaks one final word to His disciples:

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The commission of a disciple - a follower of Jesus Christ - is to be His witnesses. Our lives are to be witnesses of the transformation Jesus works in a human being. Our words are to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, telling others what Jesus did on the Cross, and what He has done in our lives since we put our faith in Him. Our deeds are to witness to the love and grace and joy of knowing and following Him.

The power of the disciple is the Holy Spirit. Jesus was explicit in telling us, "...apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Only by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, living in our lives and transforming us into His image can our lives be concrete, living examples that are used by God to bring others to Jesus.

The scope of the commission of a disciple is breathtaking. We will be His witnesses (notice Jesus does not say should be or might be) in Jerusalem (our home town), in Judea (beyond our home town to our state and nation) and Samaria (nearby, but across cultures), and to the ends of the earth (beyond our own nation).

So our Acts 1:8 mission strategy has led us to have just eight mission partners, and to support them significantly. They are:

  • Phil Gabriel, Executive Director of Trinity Life Ministry (Jerusalem - local)

  • Bill and Stacy Spencer, Directors of Narrow Gate Foundation in Tennessee (Judea - the wider area)

  • Missy Bowman, Director of Central Indiana Teen Challenge (Samaria - nearby, but across culture)

  • Cameron and Anne Gongwer, medical and literacy missionaries with TMS Global (Ends of the Earth)

  • Wes and Joy Griffin, Directors of International Leadership Institute (Ends of the Earth)

  • Peter and Esther Pereira, Directors of Global Hope Partners (Ends of the Earth)

  • Les and Rita Peters, Directors of Impacts Ministries of Guatemala (Ends of the Earth)

  • Joseph Otsin, evangelist and church planter with the Methodist Church of Ghana (Ends of the Earth)

Through our Global Impact Celebration missions conference, these mission partners are not just names and faces on a poster in the hallway. They are friends and co-laborers in the work of the missio Dei (Mission of God). This week we have dined with them. We have worshipped with them. We have prayed with them. We have blessed them and they have blessed us. Truth is, if you are part of our congregation and you missed the events of this week, you missed a great blessing from God. I invite you to find someone who participated and ask them what God did in their life this week!

As long as we have breath - until we die or Jesus comes to take us home - we will share and extend the amazing love of God and the awesome truth of who Jesus is to those in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the Earth. Like an old chorus says:

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Who Jesus is

I am honored to be the Pastor of an Acts 1:8 church. I joyfully embrace this commission of Jesus Christ to be a witness to the Light of the world in the darkness all around us. Because everybody ought to know who Jesus is!

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