Two thousand years ago, Jesus commissioned his disciple for ministry. That commission wasn’t just for them but for all who follow Jesus. But at the same time, it can be challenging to identify how to live it out in our current contexts.
What does it mean to be part of the Great Commission today?
Let’s dive into answering this critical question to discover how God might be leading us to be a part of the global story he is writing.
What is the Great Commission?
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
- Matthew 28:18-20
This passage is often referred to as the Great Commission. It comes right at the end of Matthew’s gospel before Jesus ascended into heaven, not long after he died on the cross to bear the sins of mankind, and then three days later, rises from the dead.
Jesus is now saying to the disciples, you see that I’ve conquered death, you know life is found in me. You know I have power, and you know I have life. Know also I have authority, and you will always have my presence.
This is the good news!
In light of this good news, Jesus says to make disciples. Essential telling the disciple to take what they’ve experienced and pass it on to others.
Luke records a similar commission.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
For millennia believers have gone, baptizing and preaching to reach the far ends of the earth, learning new languages and cultures to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
So what does that mean for you and me? How do we make an impact as part of the Great Commission?
How do I live out the Great Commission?
There are many roles we can each play as we follow Jesus’s command to make disciples. Jesus specifically tells them to make disciples by going, baptizing and teaching. We are to initiate toward others, help them to place their identity in Jesus and learn what it means to obey him.
Jesus’s words in Acts show what it might look like to go. He says to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Let’s look at each of those.
- Jerusalem: They are just outside the city when Jesus says these words. Jesus is inviting them to be a witness where they currently are.
- Judea: This area surrounding Jerusalem is geographically and culturally close to the disciples Jesus is speaking to. Jesus is saying to take this good news down the street.
- Samaria: This is where things get interesting. Samaria was geographically close to Jerusalem but culturally very different. Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along. This is why Jesus’s disciples were always shocked and uncomfortable when he interacted with a Samaritan. Jesus is telling the disciples to take the good news to the other side of town to those different than you.
- The ends of the earth: Now Jesus is inviting them to cross both geographic and cultural boundaries so that everyone may hear the good news.
As followers of Jesus, we should take the words and ask him to show us how he wants us to go today. It could be down the street, across town or around the world. It may change over time. It will likely be scary, but remember, just as Jesus promised his disciples, he is with you.
Just a few decades later, Paul writes to Christians in Rome, reminding them, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” - Romans 10:13-15
Sending can take many forms like praying, funding, helping, advocating and encouraging. As believers today, we have a role to play in sending.
Mission and technology
Technology has always played a role in missions. Paul benefitted from the Roman technology of roads that allowed him to bring the good news more extensively. Over the past few centuries, boats have been the transportation of choice for most missionaries.
It’s only in recent decades that planes have made mission trips accessible to the point of the modern-day short-term mission trip.
And now, in the 21st century, technology is again opening new mission opportunities to us as believers. What the airplane did for missions a hundred years ago, the smartphone is doing today.
Serving in the Great Commission is now more accessible than ever before. Not only can you get on a plane and serve anywhere in the world for a week. Now you can pull out your phone for an hour and make a tangible global mission impact.
This shift is opening the door for new kinds of Great Commission engagement.
A new way of going and sending?
What if you could go on a one-hour mission trip?
Would you say yes?
There are missionaries around the world asking to connect with someone like you.
There are missionaries worldwide who have questions about topics like IT, education, construction, marketing, business, accounting, HR, parenting, and so much more.
But they don’t know who to ask.
So they end up wearing too many hats trying to tackle the challenges life and ministry throw at them. This often leads to burnout, especially in under-resourced areas of the world.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
God has called the whole body of Christ to the Great Commission. And that includes you and me.
The world has changed.
And we have a role to play.
Switchboard is a platform for connecting believers globally, so those with needs and those who can help know each other. We match everyday believers to the mission field so that everyone can bring their best and make a Great Commission impact.
Consider just a few possibilities.
- Are you an accountant? You could help someone doing business as missions improve their bookkeeping skills.
- Do you enjoy writing? You could help a missionary on the field tell the story of their ministry.
- Are you a builder or structural engineer? You could help a ministry discover what options to consider when building a new dormitory at an orphanage.
When you create a Kingdom Consultant profile, you'll share your skills, talents and experience.
And then Great Commission Organizations or Individuals who need that kind of help can reach out to schedule a 1-hour conversation and move the mission forward together.
It's super simple.
And the next step is being available.
Take a few minutes right now to create your Kingdom Consultant profile.
Imagine serving a local church in Liberia, a missionary family in Chile or a Business as Missions in Thailand. All without getting on a plane or even leaving your house.
Thank you for being part of reaching the world for Christ.