People sometimes ask “How will we know when the Great Commission task is largely complete?” While we understand that Christ Himself will be the ultimate evaluator of progress at His coming, there are clear indicators God is increasing the reign of His Son as promised in Isaiah 9:6-7.
GOALS AND MILESTONES ARE:
- For every tribe or people group on the planet to have a beginning witness in their heart language of our Father God’s plan for their salvation, accompanied by demonstrations of Kingdom Power and the New Commandment – Loving as Christ loves – Mark 16:14-20 and John 13:34-35.
- For every people group to have a church where all can participate in worship and growing as disciples of Christ. Note: as of this blog, these first two milestones are much nearer to completion than ever before: in 2019, most unengaged people groups were adopted for mission and announced as such at Saddleback church at a conference entitled “Finishing the Task,” and resources were dedicated. Very good news indeed for completing the Great Commission in our generation.
- For every neighborhood around the world to have a believing church within walking distance. As most of the world lacks affordable transportation for longer distance travel, this goal is important.
In many places, Christian leaders are developing movement strategies that process, and create many churches work with a LOCAL FOCUS, which keeps costs low, and allows for everyone to participate. We are targeting neighborhoods still without a church, and reporting when churches are started. Note: A rule-of-thumb
‘ONE CHURCH FOR EVERY THOUSAND PEOPLE’ is often used to evaluate the progress of church planting. This has greater value for close-packed urban areas. See Matt 28:18-20.
- For areas of society to be influenced by Christ followers in ways that bring KINGDOM TRANSFORMATION. This begins with families, then extends to spheres of influence in human societies. Our “oikos” spheres, which include broad relationships in our world, provide an open door to healing and transforming Kingdom practices. Communities and cultures can change for the better. We have examples that show what can happen through the work of God’s Spirit in missions. William Carey, known as”Father of Modern Missions,” was instrumental in ending barbaric practices such as widow-burning, and the building of hospitals and other institutions that included common people in India, largely changing that nation for the good, along with making disciples of Christ, in movements that continue until now. The Kingdom spheres of social transformation, commonly referred to as “The 7 Mountains of Influence,” continue advancing around the globe.
- For multiplying streams of Church Planting and Discipling movements to progress around the world at a speed that can surpass world population growth. These rapidly growing movements may allow for the nearing completion of the Great Commission in our time. Referring to 2 Timothy 2:2, Jesus Christ deserves our best efforts to work for multiplying movements based on discipling, starting with a “micro” level, as with Timothy’s young church, then, expanding to “macro” level movements that involve thousands of personal discipling networks.
- For healing and reconciliation among tribes in conflict. In some parts of the world, regional tribal conflicts cause great suffering, and a diminishing of Christ’s impact in places where people groups have begun to do discipling and church planting, We must apply the practices of forgiveness and reconciliation that Jesus demonstrated and taught. See the well-known prayer in Matthew 6:9-15. These are core teachings, on which peaceful societies can be built. More money given to end poverty will not be sufficient unless causes of poverty such as tribal warring give way to reconciliation that comes through and Christ and His peacemakers.
- For the dismantling of witchcraft and sorcery systems, as well other evil-based systems in the world. Many societies in the world are bound by fear, curses and diseases due to organized witchdoctor/sorcerer systems. The organizational structures vary, but have similarities, often characterized by shamans doing a business of casting curses, proposing to remove curses, and doing “healing” rituals. Money or gifts are usually given to the shamans.
We are currently witnessing the dismantling of these systems around the world in many parts of Africa, Haiti, and Southeast Asia. I am expecting we will see more of this occurring, especially in Muslim-dominated areas that are also shamanistic, and in areas where forms of Christianity have coexisted with animistic practices.
Many have turned to Christ after people were delivered and healed, even before the Gospel was fully explained.
In summary, we will continue to disciple and train workers all over the world to do the work of the Kingdom, so that Jesus will receive some of the glory He deserves, and people may experience the peace and joy of His Salvation. We have all the Power and Authority needed to complete this all-important commission.