Three fields of activity continue to be crucial to fulfilling the Great Commission task largely in our generation:
- UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS AROUND THE WORLD WHERE FOUNDATIONAL LEVEL ENGAGEMENT AND EARLY EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLING NEED TO BEGIN. The good news on this is that, FOR THE FIRST TIME, most of the remaining unreached peoples have now been engaged, as of 2019, and many missional groups are working on logistics for the field.
- PLACES WHERE THE CHURCH HAS ENOUGH DEVELOPMENT AND RIPENESS FOR HARVEST. Workers can be mobilized into the harvest as instructed by Jesus. See Luke 10:2. More workers are needed at harvest time than during the initial sowing of seed. Local movements of leaders and churches and broad based collaborative geographical movements can be catalyzed in order to disciple, activate, mobilize, and multiply workers. See John 4:35-38.
- POST-CHRISTIAN PLACES, LIKE MANY PLACES IN EUROPE AND THE MIDEAST, NEED RE-EVANGELIZATION. Strategy for rekindling the fire of true faith in Christ must be done, followed by needed action such as healing and power ministry that Jesus and His disciples modeled for us. The cold remnants of former Christian strength must be rekindled by Holy Spirit power as well as biblical teaching.
WE HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES WE NEED TO LARGELY FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION MANDATE IN THIS GENERATION AS WE WORK TOGETHER PRAYERFULLY AND RECEIVE HIS POWER TO BE WITNESSES. See Acts 1:8.
Consider these factors we have observed which slow down work for the Great Commission task in our generation:
A.) OUR MENTALITY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS.
Many believers see the task as something to do in piecemeal way or In small projects. BIG VISION IS NEEDED.
B.) PROFESSIONAL MINISTRY FOCUS.
Some view the work of evangelism and discipling others as mostly a job for vocational ministers. In these settings, believers are not rapidly mobilized and equipped to do the work. Therefore, no rapid movements or multiplication is possible.
C.) EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP ARE SEPARATE FOCUSES.
Jesus modeled a seamless process of evangelizing and disciple making, institutionalization and specialization, however, create a separated approach that is slow. Jesus’ pattern: Model, Assist, Watch, and Launch- “MAWL,’ works effectively to raise up disciples.
D.) PAROCHIAL APPROACHES.
Christian traditions and denominations work independently rather than in cooperative unity, thus limiting the impact of their work and their reach. No portion of Christ’s Body can do everything that is needed.
E.) OVERRELIANCE ON PROMISED REVIVAL.
Some believe that when revival comes it will fulfill the Great Commission automatically.
F.) FATALISTIC ESCHATOLOGY.
The expectation of very negative end-time events causes some to lose the proactive/optimistic approach that is needed to do “all-out” mobilization with energy and resources.
G.) DEVOTIONAL FOCUS ON INTIMACY WITH GOD, “BEING” RATHER THAN DOING.
Some believers with this orientation accuse those moving forward for the Great Commission as being in bondage to “works” and warn us of being too “busy.”
H.) POWERLESS MINISTRY WITH HEALING AND DELIVERANCE-CESSATIONIST THEOLOGY OR PREFERENCE.
The Advance of the Kingdom is thus limited. See Mark 6:15-18.
BECAUSE THE FULFILLING OF THE GREAT COMMISSION WORK MUST BE FULFILLED, AND THE OBSTACLES TO THIS ARE MOSTLY IN OUR ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS, WE NEED TO EXAMINE THE BARRIERS I HAVE OBSERVED AND BRIEFLY DESCRIBED, THEN DISCARD THOSE BELIEFS AND PRACTICES THAT HINDER OR DELAY OBEDIENCE AND FULFILLMENT OF THE GREAT COMMISSION TASK, SO THAT JESUS CAN RECEIVE THE WELL-DESERVED REWARD FOR HIS SACRIFICE.