Barna Group recently released research which revealed that 51% of churchgoers don’t know of the Great Commission. Umm what? Honestly I was even surprised at that number. If you haven’t read that article yet please take the time to read. There are a lot of details in the article that keeps it balanced because some of the numbers are quite shocking. ‘Churchgoers’ as defined by Barna Group is someone who has attended church within the last 6 months. Only 17% of churchgoers knew what the Great Commission meant. When presented with five different passages and asked to choose which one was the Great Commission, 37% identified correctly while 33% didn’t know which verse was correct and 31% answered incorrectly.
Before you laugh or make fun of those numbers, answer this question. Where is the Great Commission located in Scripture? If you don’t know the location, could you explain what the Great Commission is?
And Y’shua came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
I’ve said this before. There are lots of ministry opportunities out there right now. If we could just get our real MISSION into focus. I long for the day the Body of Y’shua grows weary of being camped around Mount Sinai talking about what this or that means. I long for the day when we as a Body finally get the MISSION into clear focus. Mount Sinai was set up as a learning facility where upon ‘graduation’ the children of Israel were to ‘go’ apply what they had learned. Not only apply it to one another but to those around them who weren’t in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Notice I said apply and not argue, debate, and force upon someone what was learned.
I want to encourage you as individuals and fellowships start looking for ways that you can live your faith with those around you. It doesn’t matter if those around you believe the way you do or not. Start living your faith through your actions with those around you. That is ‘how’ you do ministry. You don’t need a degree or some holy water sprinkled on you to live out your faith with those around you.
People are tired of politics and politicians. They are also tired of religion and preachers. Most millennials and Gen Z’ers view politicians and preachers much alike. A lot of talk and not much action behind the talk. One way we can help these generations see that not all ‘religious’ people are politicians is through our actions. It’s that simple.
Complaining and being critical of the world falling apart around us isn’t going to do much to fix the problem. Let’s not discourage people around us from stepping up and standing out for the Creator of the Universe due to our complaining and being critical of the world growing darker. We have a golden opportunity to positively and spiritually shape the future for the generations to come through our knowledge, experience, and relationships. It is going to take a discipleship movement like never before, but if Y’shua, our example I might add, started with twelve and made history that is still talked about over two thousand years later… I’m just saying. Who are you discipling right now?
Discipleship isn’t necessarily about a certain approach or using a certain curriculum. It’s about moving in a certain direction and that direction is moving closer towards Y’shua. If He is our example, one of our goals should be to act like Him, talk like Him, walk like Him, and have a ministry like Him. Discipleship is helping others come to maturity in Y’shua. Part of being a mature disciple entails sharing your faith with others. Not sharing with others making it about what “I” know verses how little you might know. It’s about sharing in love. Once we come to maturity, we can really start carrying out the mission. When was the last time you shared your faith with someone?
Charles Spurgeon in one of his sermons said this about a missionary. “Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that you are either trying to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus, and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean, by that, that those who use the pen for Christ are silent; they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well; but I mean this,—that man who says, ‘I believe in Jesus,’ but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor.”
The Great Commission is just as relevant today as it was when our Messiah spoke the words. You and I are “missionaries”. We’ve been given a mission to fulfill. I say this a lot but it is because it is true. You don’t have to travel to a foreign land to “do” missions. You have a ‘mission field’ in front of you every day of your life. Whether it is at work, the
mall, home, grocery store, on a plane, a restaurant, a school, a college, or the children’s after school event. Again, the ‘mission field’ is right in front of us daily. Our mission is to be image bearers by spreading the Good News in love and being obedient servants in His Kingdom to bring glory and honor to His name.
I want to encourage you today. Fall in love with purpose and mission. If you love something, it becomes dear to you.
You value it. When you fall in love with purpose and mission, it encourages others to do the same because they can see the value.
Everyone has an important role to play. The methods and tools we use may differ and that is fine. What is most important is that we are all doing our part in fulfilling the Great Commission. There are opportunities all around you where you can make a difference. You just have to step out in faith and take the initiative. The things that you lack, He will compensate for that. If you initiate, He will participate.
In what ways could you use your gifts and talents to help fulfill the Great Commission?
In what ways could you use your gifts and talents to disciple others?
Please think about those and write down your ideas and put them to prayer. The fields are truly white for the harvest. The laborers have been scarce. Yes, even though you think you are a nobody, you have a huge role to play for the Kingdom of YHVH. Because in His Kingdom, you are a somebody! Blessings.