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What’s So Great About the Great Commission?

July 28, 2022

As Jesus’ final directive, it’s greater than you think.

The Great Commission represents Jesus’ parting words to His disciples and followers (including us) before ascending to heaven from the Mount of Olives, 40 days after His resurrection from the grave. These last words that He shared during his incarnated time on earth are arguably the most important moment for His disciples.

However, a 2017 Barna poll in the United States found that 51% of the Christian respondents did not know what the Great Commission was about.
Another 25% said they had heard of the Great Commission, but did not know enough to discuss it.

Older Christians aged 51 and older knew the most about the Great Commission, while younger Christians between 20-50 knew the least about it.

How did the church in the United States, which remains the top missionary-sending country in the world, become so callous to the Great Commission?

Consider what Jesus said at the time of His earthly departure:

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)

Clearly, Jesus never meant for His church to be so ignorant of what He intended to be our responsibility after His ascension. That responsibility is the Great Commission and nothing could be simpler or more straightforward.

The disciples were looking to their Lord for political change and social justice. It never occurred to them that Jesus meant to empower them (and us) to change the world for God’s kingdom. The disciples wanted a physical, political, and social kingdom. However, God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom calling for the disciples to go forward as follows:

  • The Christian’s role – We are to “witness” to others a personal account of our experience with God.
  • The Christian’s target – Everyone in the world, beginning with those closest to us and then radiating out from there.
  • The Christian’s Process – We are to Go, Baptize, and Teach.

And don’t forget! In His Commission, Jesus made obedience possible for every Christian who desires to follow as commanded, by providing the divine enablement of the Holy Spirit.

Also, importantly, God delayed the end of the age so more Christians (Like us) would obey His Commission and more people could be saved (2 peter 3:8-9).

The World Mission Centre confronts the problem exposed by the 2017 Barna poll through partnerships with local churches. Especially with Live School, a comprehensive missions training and discipleship program for indigenous believers in rural and urban areas of the world.

Live School expertly delivers 27 separate courses through 242 sessions by 19 lecturers from 13 different countries.

Six major themes are woven throughout the curriculum to assure that Live School graduates are steeped in:

  • Character Development
  • Foundational Theology
  • Foundational Missiology
  • Ministry Skills (e.g. preaching, church planting, leadership)
  • Research Principles
  • Acts of Kindness (Farming, Community Development, Community Health, Starting a business)

Live School focuses on the essence of the gospels and a gospel-centered life as held by evangelical believers.

The business of this time in history, in God’s eyes, is the Great Commission. The most important thing we will ever do is advance God’s agenda. To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). It’s the greatest Commission you’ll ever receive.

Click here to know more about how you can get involved with Live School and be equipped to reach those who haven’t had the opportunity to know Jesus Christ.

“Live School had really changed my life both spiritually and physically. My character, point of view in life, and how to apply and share Biblical principles. It showed me who I am, the art of church planting, as well as mission(s). Not only that but also dealing with every level and class. of people in this world.” – Bosco, Zambia


Coming Soon: What does it mean when Jesus commanded us to “Go”?


Missio Dei is a publication of the World Mission Centre

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