White Unto Harvest

Missionary Work in the New Testament Churches
M.C. Kurfees

(From part of a series of lectures delivered at Abilene Christian College Lectureship in 1920. Originally appeared in Gospel Guardian, vol. 2, #33, p. 12)

The purpose of this address is to examine the New Testament record and see how New Testament churches conducted missionary work or the work of evangelizing the world. We shall see that, in the execution of their divine commission, the matter of supervision, management and control was in the local churches, where God himself placed it, and was never transferred to a general board. The authority divinely invested in the local church was everywhere strictly respected, which effectually blocked the way against the entanglements which have always marked the history of general ecclesiastical organizations in religion. We can see an exemplification of the work in the apostolic days by noting a series of facts.

I. The Jerusalem church, as such, sent Barnabas as a missionary and defined the territory of his labors.

(Point II. skipped in original)

III. The Philippian church, as such, sustained Paul as a Missionary in Thessalonica.

IV. The Thessalonian church, as such, sent the gospel to other parts of Macedonia, to Achaia, and to the region around.

V. In these examples, it is distinctly and necessarily implied that two or more churches, if need be, may cooperate in the work.

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