It is common in mobilizing for cross-cultural mission to focus on mentoring one or two people who may have a leaning in this direction. Maybe someone went on a short-term trip or has some exposure to a friend or neighbor from a different cultural background.
We have tended to take an individualized approach to mobilizing. In doing so, we have overlooked the big-picture nature of the Great Commission in the redemptive purpose of God. It is not just for a few specialized believers, but for every born again follower of Jesus.
Instead of taking a one by one mobilizing approach, what if every local ministry saw it as their primary calling to mobilize and equip the whole of their ministry to grasp and care about the Kingdom of God’s outworking among every ethnic people group?
What if local churches, campus ministry organizations and Bible Schools didn’t merely periodically mention cross-cultural mission, but made it an integral part of their ministry’s focal points on an ongoing basis?
Local ministries mobilizing and equipping their own are one of God’s primary strategies in fulfilling His Great Commission. As we look back through the history of the Church and mission movement we find the most impact coming through entire ministries taking this calling seriously by envisioning and empowering their members.
Today is no different.
Individual local ministries all over the world becoming educated, inspired and activated in the Great Commission is the key to bringing about the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Instead of Jesus’ global commission being sidelined as a department of a local ministry, it is meant to fill the hearts and grab the imaginations of every believer within that ministry.
This does not mean every church member will become a cross-cultural message bearer (alternative term for missionary) but it does mean every believer will identify their role in the Great Commission, engaging that role with all of their heart.
Local ministries are meant to provide teaching, preaching, and an environment of devoted prayer, discipleship and fellowship which builds up every member toward spiritual maturity, preparing them for their destiny of faithfully embodying their role(s) in the Great Commission.
Admittedly, this can sound unrealistic and is only so because we have generally given such a low priority to the Great Commission in our local ministries. It is an afterthought whereas it is meant to be on the forefront of our hearts and ministry plans and strategies.
“Great Commission Ministries” are individual local ministries around the world choosing to do something about this negative trend. They are aligning with Jesus’ Great Commission through committing to the following action points:
(1) Cultivating abandoned devotion for Jesus among disciples under their influence
(2) Implementing four core components for mobilizing and equipping their members
(3) Developing and executing a sending strategy to unreached/ unengaged people groups.
In addition, they hold the following three purposes:
(1) Educating every disciple with a passionate understanding of God’s heart in the Great Commission
(2) Inspiring every disciple with a vision of ordering their lives around the fulfillment of the Great Commission, even if they never leave their hometown
(3) Activating every disciple in their God-given role(s) in the Great Commission.
At least six crucial roles in the Great Commission have been identified. Every believer is called to at least one of these and most will operate strongly in two or three.
(1) Extraordinary Praying
(2) Extravagant Giving
(3) Surrendered Going
(4) Impassioned Mobilizing
(5) Anointed Advocating
(6) Open-Handed Welcoming.
Each of these roles, with millions of believers from around the world effectively functioning in them, is absolutely necessary in the big picture vision of Jesus. We have mistakenly put much attention on those who go, apart from equally emphasizing the other priorities in order to effectively see unreached people groups experiencing the Kingdom of God.
Without believers faithfully walking out all six roles, at the highest degree of commitment and anointing, we will continue to see little progress of the Gospel.
A primary way a local ministry influences its members are through four core mobilizing tools that have been used by God throughout the generations in awakening His people with His heart for the nations. They are not something new or trendy. In fact, God is calling His church to return with faithfulness to the basics of our faith and discipleship.
These four can be implemented and reproduced in any local church, campus ministry fellowship and Bible School in any part of the world. They are simple, user friendly tools. Great Commission Ministries are using these tools with perseverance, and over time, will see fruitfulness as a result of their implementation.
(1) Great Commission Bible Studies – Small groups within a ministry encountering God’s mission heart and passion form Genesis to Revelation.
(2) Global Prayer Teams – Engaging in intercession with God’s heart for harvest among the unreached and unengaged.
(3) Mission Forums – Monthly or quarterly meeting providing crucial information about aspects of the Great Commission that we usually aren’t very aware of.
(4) The GO Declaration Commitment – Making faith-filled, Spirit-led commitments for long-term ministry among the unreached and unengaged.
We need a paradigm shift in our local ministries related to the Great Commission if we are going to cooperate with Jesus in His big picture vision. It is necessary to put a Great Commission emphasis right in the middle of our ministries and let it speak into who we are becoming as a local ministry.
Is your local ministry becoming a Great Commission Ministry? To join thousands of other like-minded ministries from around the world in moving in this direction, find out more info here.
Let’s arise and work to see a whole local ministry mobilized and equipped to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission purposes, not only a few individuals.