Monday, May 25, 2020

I Am a Missionary

The New Testament teaches three offices:  pastor (pastor-teacher, bishop [overseer], elder, preacher), deacon, and evangelist.  From my purview, most people are messed up on the third.  The evangelist has turned into what best might be called an itinerant revivalist.  The evangelist is much closer if not identical to what people call a missionary today.  An evangelist in the Bible really is a missionary.  When Paul and Barnabas were sent out in Acts 13, they were evangelists or missionaries.

1 Timothy 3 says pastors do the work of the evangelist.  It's a requirement.  Pastors are not evangelists, but they do evangelist work.  What is that?  It is preaching the gospel to the lost.  That is in the word 'evangelist."  "Eu" means "good" and "angel" means "message."  The two together are "good news," which is "gospel."  The evangelist takes the front end of a church starting.

The pastor does the work of the evangelist, and the missionary, the evangelist, does pastoring. Paul and Barnabas, neither were pastors, but they both did pastoring.  Scripture lists official qualifications for the office of the pastor and the office of the deacon.  They are slightly different, because they are different offices.  The evangelist should have qualities characteristic of someone who would do that job.  Barnabas was a missionary.  The basis for his being in that position was the following traits (Acts 11:24):
For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.
That list is similar to what we read of Philip, who was an evangelist, and Stephen, who probably was too in Acts 6:5:
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip.
Philip, who we know was an evangelist (Acts 21:8), was full of faith and the Holy Ghost,  Then Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.  The unofficial qualifications for a missionary are a good man, full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.  It's obvious he also should be doing the work of the evangelist.  This is a man who should be especially gifted as an evangelist.  There is no spiritual gift of evangelism, but when I say someone is gifted, I mean something like Acts 14:1:
And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
I'm pointing to two words there:  "so spake."  Someone can "so speak" that more believe.  What is that?  There are qualities that would result in biblical evangelism.  I see two characteristics of successful New Testament evangelism.

First, since New Testament evangelism is an oral work, those who speak, Peter says (1 Peter 4:11), should "speak as the oracles of God," which means evangelism needs to be scripture.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This is the spiritual weapon to pull down strongholds in people's minds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  1 Peter 4:11 says that "the oracles of God" are what glorify God in spiritually gifted speech.  Paul said this was the basis of evangelism in 1 Corinthians 1-3.

When Paul wrote to Timothy about perfecting saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11), a major part of which is evangelism, it would have been the knowing scripture to the extent someone could use all of it.  A good example of this are all the evangelistic sermons from Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament.  Emulate those.  They are filled with scriptural quotes and allusions.

Second, evangelism that will succeed must be bold.  When the Holy Spirit fills someone, he speaks the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).  This was what Paul asked the Ephesians and Colossian saints to pray for him (Ephesians 6:20, Colossians 4:4),  If Paul needed that, every believer needs that.  This is a prayer I pray every time I evangelize.

When my wife and I came to California in 1987, I started as an evangelist and became a pastor.  I'm becoming an evangelist again in 2020.  I am a missionary again.  The church I started in 1987 in the San Francisco Bay Area is sending my wife and I to Jackson County, Oregon to evangelize.  We want to reproduce our church.  I'm leaving someone I trained to pastor.  He has helped me train other men since then.

Upon a church starting, a man trained and ordained as a pastor by our church will pastor that church.  Our church has two pastors.  Hopefully by November our church will have two more pastors.  My wife and I (and also my dad and mom, who live with us) are moving to Oregon, Lord-willing, at the end of June, next month.  Pastor David Sutton will pastor our church.

Our church, Bethel Baptist Church, will support us financially, but we are looking for other support.  I've started a church and trained several pastors.  If you are a pastor or really anyone from another church, will your church support our evangelism of Jackson County, Oregon with the true gospel?  Let me know if you are interested in being a part of this work.

I can guarantee you this.  I will work hard at evangelizing this whole area.  I will work at preaching the gospel to every creature.  That's why we are going.  We want to reproduce our church and we hope you could be a part of it.  We will be true missionaries.   We want to do this and we're excited about it.

What if a church is started?  If people are saved and a church forms, then we will move somewhere else to start a church.  Right now, when we're done here, we want to go to England to start another church.  This might sound like an odd combination.  My wife and I took a trip to England two years ago and we are concerned for England in a unique way.  England is hemorrhaging churches.  We want to go there and do something about it.  We want to go there with the rest of our life and preach the gospel, train someone else, and start a church there -- but first, Jackson County, Oregon, where 220,000 people live in Southern Oregon on Highway Five just outside of California.

I would be glad for you to call us, encourage us, pray for us, and support us.  Our midweek service is on Thursday night. This first year, I am open either in a virtual way or traveling to your church to present this work.  This will be worth the money your church can give to missions.  You can trust what we will do.  We will do what I've described in this post.  Maybe you would just take us on, sight unseen, and some day we can meet in person, so we can get started right away.  If I heard what I was saying, and I was assured it would occur, I would want to support it.

I am a missionary.


Jim Peet said...

Good for you! A needy area

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Jim!

Daniel said...

Praise the Lord! We are excited for your church. We will be praying for you and your family. I will make our church aware of your need for support. I know my pastor would want you to come by, but Oklahoma is a long ways away from you! You don't have to publish this comment. Just wanted to relay those things to you.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Daniel. I'm glad you're excited. We are too. Thanks for your letting your church know. We'd like to raise as much as we can from those who would agree to support us. Thanks. I hope others can be the same way about it. I'll be sending out some letters to churches soon.

John Mark IB said...

Can I send you a donation to Bethel Baptist Church in your name or for the Brandenburg Mission? I could probably never give you as much as I've gotten from your sites and knowledge but I can at least give a bit back to help spread the Gospel! It would be a pleasure and a great honor if I can do so! May GOD bless you and your family with health love joy peace always in Jesus name and May He bless your Missionary work with much fruit for His Glory in Jesus name amen!

Kent Brandenburg said...

John Mark,

This shouldn't replace your tithe through your church, I need to say, but over and above that, you can give through our church, Bethel Baptist Church. 4905 Appian Way. El Sobrante, CA 94803. If you are in a church that would support our church's endeavor to preach the gospel and start churches, maybe you could let them know too. And perhaps give through your church to our church for our support.