The 3Gs of Missions
March 25, 2011 Leave a comment
I recently returned from a four-day mission trip with the youth group at Harvard Avenue Baptist Church that I have been interning with the past few years. Here is a brief outline of what we did on the 3G Mission Trip:
- Monday- worked out at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly Grounds outside of Siloam Springs painting, jackhammering, raking, and more to get the camp ready for the summer.
- Tuesday- drove to Oklahoma City where we packed 20-something pallets of food and school supplies at the Feed the Children Warehouse.
- Wednesday- traveled to Tulsa to work at a Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and then play with and lead a chapel for the kids in the after-school program. After the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, we traveled to the Salvation Army Center of Hope, a homeless shelter in Tulsa, where we led another chapel service for about 30 of the residents.
- Thursday- spent the day filling over 200 bags with leaves and doing general cleanup for senior citizens in Siloam Springs in association with Kind At Heart Ministries.
What’s great about this trip is that it’s cheap and easy to do and allows a lot of students to participate. It is always great to see the students work so hard and hear what all they got out of the trip.
On the Monday night of the trip, we did a worship service to set the tone for the trip. I gave a brief devotional thought on missions from Acts 8:26-40 entitled “The 3Gs of Missions.”
Here is the passage from Acts 8:26-40 (ESV):
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, aeunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.32Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33In hishumiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”34And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
As we can see in this passage, there are 3 “g”s that can be applied to missions:
- Get up (vs. 26-27a)- First off, all believers are called to live life on a mission. For some, this takes place at work and at home; for others, they travel outside of their city, state, or country to spread the Gospel. However, before a mission trip can begin, the person must first get up. When God called Philip to go on mission, he was available to get up. He didn’t ask questions (at least Scripture doesn’t say he did), he didn’t make excuses, he trusted that God had a plan and went where God told him to.
- Go (vs. 27b-34)- Not only did Philip obey and get up, he did so eagerly (see v. 30 “Philip ran to him”). Even though he still did not have a ton of details as to why he had traveled to the intersection of these two roads or why he needed to go over to the chariot, he went anyway. When he got to the chariot, he found the eunuch reading a passage from the book of Isaiah. At this point, Philip was probably starting to understand why God had called him to get up and go to this chariot.
- Give (vs. 35-40)- As the eunuch reads the passage, he asks Philip “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” (v. 34) Philip doesn’t hesitate with an answer and is able to give a clear outline of the Gospel to the man using Scripture. When Philip left his house, he probably didn’t know he was going to evangelize to someone, much less someone as important as this Ethiopian eunuch. Philip was ready to give the good news anyway. He understood Scripture (which at that time would have referred to the Old Testament) and the Gospel well enough to explain it to the eunuch, which led the man to repent, believe, and then ask to be baptized as a sign of obedience following his salvation.
The importance of this passage is that, as Christians, we need to be prepared and available to be used by God at any time in any place. To be prepared, we must know the good news of the cross and how to communicate it to others “in season and out of season” (1 Tim 4:2) or as the Apostle Peter puts it in 1 Peter 3: “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” So, fellow believer, study the Bible, take it to heart and learn how to articulate its truths. You never know when God will call you to get up, go, and give. Will you be ready?
Learn It. Love It. Live It.