To go into the world and preach, teach and baptize (Matthew 28:20) is not a suggestion – it is a command. It wasn’t something to be added to the other things that Christ followers do – it is to be the primary thing. It wasn’t delivered to ministers and church staff – it is the command to every believer. What part of “GO” don’t we understand?
For the past few years I have been a part of a steering committee to carry out the vision of Dr. Bill Bright to start 5 million churches and win 1 billion new believers by the year 2020. A report was recently given that we are at about 88% of the goal in each category! Carrying out the Great Commission is a priority in other parts of the world – sadly it is not in the United States. In fact, the United States is declining in these categories while the rest of the world is witnessing the explosion of the Christian faith!! The U.S. is changing the Great Commission to the Great Omission!
One of my responsibilities has been teaching pastors in Northern and Southern India. Over 3,000 pastors participate. When I ask these young pastors from rural areas in India what they have done in the last six months it is not uncommon for them to reply, “We have started six new churches and baptized 1,000 new people.” Wow!! Those pastors are Great Commission pastors.
One day during a brief break I was talking through an interpreter with about 10 young pastors. I inquired about the work of one young pastor, and he said that he was one of the associates at a church that was only nine years old. I asked, “How many people attend?” He said, “Just over seventy thousand.” I wasn’t sure if I was hearing that number correctly, so I asked the interpreter and he verified it. He also knew about the church. Wow – everybody ought to know about that church!
Recently at Frazer I attended contemporary worship and heard a marvelous young teaching pastor, Brandon Dasinger, preach. He shared the following statistics:
Percentage of people in America who profess to be born again Christians:
• Over 65 years old: 65%
• From 46-64 years old: 35%
• From 34-45 years old: 15%
• From 16-33 years old: 4%
• Percentage of students who attend church and then leave the church after graduation: 75%
65% of Christians are in the last half of the life spectrum. Millennials only comprise 4% of Christians. The Gen Z are here. We older people have failed at the Great Commission, and consequently the baby boomers and xennials have followed suit.
Joshua lamented, “After that generation died another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done.” (Judges 2:10)
The great commission is not something to simply be put in print – but to be put into practice. To paraphrase Brandon’s solution to the problem is that we don’t need more programs or more methods, or cooler personalities. What we do need is for Christians to share your faith – live out your faith, and pray bodaciously for a new awakening in America. Every Christian must share – live – pray! People bring people to Christ and the church. (Tweet that!)
It’s happening around the world. Pray for the Billion Soul Initiative. Thanks for your support that allows me and this ministry to participate! You can also participate by changing the culture and direction in America today.
Are you a part of the Great Commission or Great Omission?