The Church has never been in such desperate need of a mission reset. Divided by nuanced theological differences, at each other’s throats over politics and current opinion pieces, fixated on power and influence, few bodies of believers resemble the mission and authority of the New Testament church.
Simply put, where have we gone wrong?
There’s actually a remarkably simple answer. Let’s go back to our resurrected Jesus’s ascension into heaven. Jesus gives a clear and concise mission to His followers. This mission was given to hundreds of unique disciples with diverse backgrounds and gifts, men, women, and likely even children. His words made sense of His departure and gave hope and purpose to their lives. We see the effect of these words in the way that those who heard Jesus’s command went on to live, and even in their willingness to die for Christ.
Every book of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, include this mission, commonly referred to by Christians as the “Great Commission.” And the rest of the New Testament is a clear roadmap for how followers of Jesus ran with this mission. Everything following Jesus’s ascension echoed His parting commission. The call wasn’t just for missionaries or pastors. Throughout the New Testament, we see men and women from diverse parts of society, in a multitude of roles saying yes to this calling. Some did it through giving, and others through spreading the word. Some focused on teaching, while others were called encouragers. There were those hosting, helping and serving, and all gave themselves to prayer. Regardless of where they lived, their day jobs and talents, the New Testament is filled with a diverse representation of people from every walk of life who, after encountering the joy of knowing Jesus, shake the world with His message.
As they discover God’s fervent and unfathomable love, they are compelled to share that love with family, neighbors, and strangers, no matter how near or far. Paul made it his obsession to take this news to places that had never heard. He couldn’t get over the emotions in Jesus’s heart to draw all people to Himself! And Paul encouraged and taught new believers how to join this mission, whether or not they ever left their hometowns. Loving Jesus and receiving His love was always meant to result in a radical harvest of hearts.
But today, while practicing faith on our terms, we, the Church, have largely forgotten this mission. Our world has shrunk and technology now makes it possible to take a comprehensive message to every region of the world in less than a year. Resources can be translated, and people can travel anywhere in just a few days. Yet still, 3.2 billion people have never heard the message of Jesus– the Good News Jesus told us to tell the whole earth. That’s over 40% of the planet.
So why is our mission urgent?
- Experiencing Jesus’s love for people fills us with an urgency that they should receive His invitation to have a reconciled relationship with God. We long for every heart to know what it is to be free from the power of sin and death and to know the joy of Jesus!
- Jesus says in Matthew 24:14 that when this Gospel is preached in all the world, then the end will come.
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Jesus’ return to right every wrong, establishing His rule and reign, and eradicating the power of death and sin is tied to every people group hearing the Good News! He has promised that people from every single tribe and tongue will be singing the salvation song around His throne. Our longing for Jesus’s return is inextricably linked to our passion for taking this message to every nation. No wonder this mission to go to all nations and people with the Good News was what Jesus spoke of right before He ascended!
- For the first time in history, we know that finishing the Great Commission could be completed in our generation. The staggering reality is that while we know there is much work to be done, with over 40% of the planet still needing to hear the Gospel, missiologists believe that this could be completed in one lifespan. We have all the resources, technological advancements, and tools to accomplish this. What is lacking is a church on mission— A church that understands her calling. A church ready to say yes and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. And a church that appreciates that every person has a unique role and assignment within this grand calling.
At Guidelines, our passion is to see every person hear this call personally, experiencing its profound meaning and urgency! We want to help show you how your unique gifts, skill sets, and talents will allow you to play an essential role in reaching the unreached. This calling isn’t just for some; it’s for everyone. But for everyone, the call will look different.
Here are two tools you can use to begin living on mission:
Adopt a Language– Every tribe and tongue needs to hear the Gospel in their language! We work in partnership to translate and share the Good News in 26 languages, most of them spoken in unreached regions. Pick a language and region to sponsor, champion in prayer, and sow into! Your giving creates audio resources for millions, many of whom have no other way of hearing.
Take the Mission Multiplier Assessment by Guidelines– Discover your role in mission. What makes you come alive? How do you love participating in the stories and adventures of God? As you learn about how God made you, you also realize your purpose and role in a bigger story- the Great Commission!