ACTS108 begins with a set of values but includes also a system of methods for doing missions. The name comes from the Acts 1:8, where the resurrected Jesus says to his disciples (and by extension, to all of us) “You shall be my witness, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world.” The principles below are extracted from that passage:
The Spirit of Jesus is working in this world, to extend the Kingdom of God, which is, wherever God is at rule and reign in a human heart. One of Jesus’ most compelling statements is that “the Kingdom of God is near you,” meaning that it is both partially here and not yet here. But the opportunity and responsibility is assigned us to be his witnesses. A “witness” in this context is someone who “tells what they have seen, experienced, and know to be true, through word and through deed.”
The “Great Commission” expresses it this way: as you are going, make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have taught you and baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”Matthew 28:19-20
In this sense, any believer can participate in the Great Commission by employing their own gifts, talents, and skills. Believers of all ages and temperaments do this in a wide variety of ways described in detail in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4.
Most Believers can fulfill their calling in a context of a local church or a pare-church organization as volunteers. The term volunteer comes from a Latin word that speaks of volition, of simply being “willing” to serve. These are workers who serve without receiving pay; their reward is intrinsic to the service – they do it because it is who they are, in Christ.
A smaller number of believers are called to serve and minister in a context that is “vocational,” from a Latin word meaning “they are answering a call” to do this. These are people who engage in paid employment kinds of ministry. Pastors, Worship Leaders, Educators, and Missionaries often make a “career” from their calling. In 1 Corinthians 9:14, we read that “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.” Often we think of these people as professionals (people who have received training and have certain certifications and accreditations).
Between the volunteers and the professionals, stands another group – in the middle- who are more than volunteers but less than “full time professionals.” The number of these people is HUGE, and Servants of Christ exists to serve and equip these people who are in the middle.
These are people whose ministry calling and expression requires financial support. This could be in the form donations that the worker sends to an international partner (such as an orphanage, a church, or a school) or it could be financial support for travel expenses to the mission field, or it could even be a part-time salary (taxable income) for the worker
Servants of Christ, through this ACTS108 emphasis, seeks to provide, under certain terms and conditions, “missions administrative service” to these people. We are a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt non-profit corporation, operating in accordance with the associated legal requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. And we have been doing this since 1987.
The people who qualify and succeed in this arena of independent faith- funded (and usually part-time) missionaries, typically hold these beliefs and have these competencies:
These people also believe that fundraising is a form of disciple-making – that to enlist donors to support their mission is to help those donors grow as “stewards,” which is a vital discipline for all believers. These workers believe they are “ministering TO their donors” as the donors are equipping them financially to do the work. They believe that God will reward the donors in some form or another, both here and in the hereafter (see Mark 10:28-29).
These workers do not see themselves in “sales,” but rather are like detectives who follow clues and leads to see who God has already called to support this work. In the timeless words of pioneer missionary Hudson Taylor, “God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s support.”