So, now that we have discussed who, what, and where of fulfilling the Great Commission, we come to probably the hardest question: just how do we fulfill such a huge mandate as “Go into the all the world”? The answer is complex yet simple; we take it one person at a time. So does that we get a master list of the world’s population and send mailers? No, we simply unite to engage them where they live and then teach them to multiply.
For too long, we as the body of Christ have been content to raise up disconnected, well-meaning projects that accomplish just enough for some churches to grow and others to stand back and receive pats on the back for “making a difference.” Meanwhile, the evil around us has increased and more people are unreached today than ever before, even though we have at our disposal the use of the greatest technological advances in human history. Change must come to how we reach people. This is the year we begin our strategic advance.
It all starts with each believer committing to discovering from God their spiritual gifting and passion. Then they team up with pastors and church leaders who will give them both the guidance and flexibility to obey God. Together, the bankers engage bankers, the farmers reach other farmers, and so on. Next, after we see where the new believers live that the original core of disciples have reached, we go to their neighborhoods and with the blessing of a local, begin going street to street engaging in ministry projects. You learn names; you let them know that Jesus loves them.
After that, glaring holes will begin to emerge. Not every neighborhood will have a witness but most in developed countries will have a church. Assist these churches in taking responsibility for their neighborhood. They go street by street and the holes in coverage shrink.
All the while, we train the new believers in the Word. God begins to lay things on their heart to do; come alongside them to help. The Church will be seen not as a place where dreams die, but instead, as a place where dreams are developed. This will help with the retention of young people. They will be less susceptible to the devil’s temptations if they are happy and grounded in the Word and in doing things for the Lord out of a joyful heart and not grudgingly.
While we develop strong home missions, we develop a foreign missions strategy that focuses on training nationals to start the same types of projects described above. They also send missionaries and fill in the holes so that someday, no one on Earth is unreached. Some Christian, somewhere, is strategizing how to reach them. Also, we must map our progress so that we can target individual neighborhoods one by one.
We must be willing to put aside the things that divide us and work together to reach everyone. When someone asks “Are the Wolof immigrants on the west side of New York City being reached”, we need to be able to say we are or that we have a plan to reach them. Do we have a gospel witness on Lafayette Street in Nashville, the Champs Elysee in Paris, the northern districts of Lagos, Nigeria?
In the upcoming weeks, this blog is going to explore more in-depth about how to fulfill the Great Commission. Together, we will unite and reach the whole world one neighborhood at a time.