“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
The mission of the local church is: Preaching and teaching; Making disciples; Fellowship; Worship; Missions and evangelism; Maturity of the believer; Ministry in the home; Ministry to material needs.
Preaching and teaching:
In Mark 16:15, Mark records that Jesus commanded the Church to preach the Gospel and in Matthew’s account, He emphasizes the teaching mission of the church (Matthew 28:19-20).
We can see in the book of Acts that the Church did what Jesus told them to do – to both preach and teach:
• Acts 5:42 NKJV – And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
• Acts 2:42 Kenneth S. Wuest – And they were giving constant attention to the teaching of the apostles and to that which they held in common with them, and to the breaking of the bread and to the gatherings where prayers to God were offered.
• Acts 11:25-26 NKJV – Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
• Acts 15:35 NKJV – Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
• Acts 18:11 NKJV – And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
• Acts 20:20-21 NKJV – How I kept back nothing that was helpful, buts proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Acts 28:30-31 NKJV – Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.
Preach means to herald; to proclaim; to publish. Preaching serves to both recruit and motivate the hearer. Through preaching, new babes are born into the family of God. Teach means to disciple, to instruct; to impart skill, knowledge or comprehension to. Teaching is the maturing ministry of the Church. Through teaching, the babes grow up and are matured from drinking milk to eating strong meat.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NKJV
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
The Greek word translated “teach” is matheteuo, from mathetes, which means “disciple.” The Church is commanded by Jesus to teach – or disciple – all nations. Discipling involves teaching, but is more than just teaching – it is setting and leading by example. You can tell someone how to do it, but showing them is so much more effective. People learn a little by what you say, more by what you do and the most by who you are! Those who merely teach, have pupils, but those who disciple, make followers.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 NKJV
The Church must teach God’s word, live God’s word and demonstrate God’s word. This requires that they personally submit themselves to the Word and the Spirit and allow God to do a work in them and through them. Always point people to God and His word, not to yourself; lift Jesus up; glorify the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Disciple by word and deed:
• 1 Timothy 4:12 AMP – Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
• 1 Corinthians 11:1 AMP – Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
• Ephesians 5:1 AMP – Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
• Philippians 3:17 AMP – Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.
The local church will be strong when its members – under a Spirit-filled ministry – learn from one another, grow together and strengthen one another.