A Biblical Philosophy of MIssions - Acts 13 A sound philosophy of missions is based on the Word of God. Acts 13 relates the call  and commissioning of Paul and Barnabas to missionary service. A study of this passage  denotes six essential elements vital to Biblical missions. I. A Local Church  The “church that was at Antioch…” was Paul and Barnabas’ local church. The church  recognized God’s call upon their lives, commissioned them, supported them, and later  rejoiced with them as they reported what God had done. There are five aspects of the  local church’s involvement:   1. The place from which God calls missionaries. 2. The commissioning agent. 3. The source for prayer and financial support.  4. The entity to which missionaries are accountable. 5. The model for churches to be planted on the field.  II. Faithful Servants  Several faithful servants are described in verse two. As they “ministered to the Lord,…”   God chose two of these active, faithful men for a special assignment. Paul and  Barnabas demonstrated two critical characteristics for missionaries. First, they were  already serving the Lord in their local church. Second, they were willing to obey God’s  call to leave their church and minister elsewhere. III. The Holy Spirit  The Holy Spirit was the one who said “separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work  whereunto I have called them.” The vital role of the Holy Ghost in missions can be seen  in their call and missionary service. 1. He calls. 2. He guides. (Acts 16:6-10)  3. He empowers. (Acts 13:9)  4. He gives fruit. (Rom. 15:13)  IV. Prayer Before commissioning Paul and Barnabas, the church fasted and prayed. Through  prayer, God’s people call upon the One who empowers his servants to do the work of  the Gospel. The ministry of a fruitful missionary will be characterized by a fervent prayer  life. Prayer support is the fuel behind missions. V. The Word of God  Once on their way, verse 5 tells us that Paul and Barnabas “… preached the Word of  God…” Later, on Paul’s third missionary journey, he declares to the Ephesian pastors  his unwavering commitment to the Word: “But none of these things move me, neither  count I my life as dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the  ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of  God.” Without the Word of God, biblical missions cannot be complete, for “Faith cometh  by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)  VI. A Savior, Jesus  The entire objective of the Great Commission is introducing lost souls to the Savior, Jesus Christ. In verse 23, Paul’s gospel message introduces his audience to “a Savior, Jesus.”  In John 14:6, Jesus himself declares why this is so vital: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” A philosophy of missions excluding any of these 6 elements is flawed. Convenience may  tempt one to bypass them, but it will render ineffective the missionary endeavor. A wise  pastor used to say, “Do it God’s way, or don’t do it at all.”