“This is my son, whom I love, listen to Him.” These words from Mark 9 are a challenge to us today. When we pair this directive from God the Father to that close subset of disciples with the words of the Great Commission in Matthew 28, we get the distinct sense that Jesus’ invitation to “…go and make disciples of all nations…” is not really optional. Not that we ever really believed it was.
But, if we are honest, we’ve all had seasons where we treated it as though it was. Most often, I think, that’s because we don’t feel equipped. We aren’t sure where to start. We are worried about how we’ll be received. We don’t feel like we are able to do this massive task. Perhaps, we don’t think we have the opportunity to do so. Maybe our social circle is predominantly fellow believers. The list of possibilities is practically endless.
As a child growing up in a conservative Christian bubble, I remember getting the distinct impression that the Great Commission was the reason we gave money to missionaries. They were the ones that fulfilled the Great Commission and we fulfilled it by giving our money to support them.
That notion was never really challenged for me until I was on my year-long seminary internship on a secular university campus as a chaplain. With no real office space, I frequently set up in the food court of the University Center – where I had access to plenty of Tim Horton’s coffee. Never before in my life had I been exposed to so many different worldviews and religions. I remember walking the Atrium on Sikh Awareness Day and during the week-long celebration of the LGBTQ community and being challenged to love those who were worlds away from me. I remember conversations with students who appreciated some things about Buddha and some things about Jesus. I remember feeling totally lost, until I began working alongside some of the Christian groups: InterVarsity, Campus Crusade, and Navigators. I was learning from the students I was supposed to be mentoring about how to engage and love those who were different from me and who did not accept Christ as Lord, or had never heard of Him.
Suddenly, the Great Commission didn’t seem like an insignificant after-thought of being a Christian. It seemed a whole lot more like the core. Jesus’ words take on new meaning in that context, “Repent and Believe! The Kingdom of God is near!”
I confess that after 17 years of ministry within the Church, I need to get back to this central tenet of our faith. The Triune God has entrusted us with the message of the Kingdom, that the world may know Him. If you need a refresher course on how to share your faith or if you have never shared your faith and wouldn’t know where to start, it is time to engage with this part of God’s call on your life.
Would you join me on the journey of developing this important part of our faith? The Multiply book study promises to help us engage with this oft-avoided aspect of being a follower of Jesus. For the Church to move forward, Christians must be putting Jesus’ words into practice. This means facing our fears and doing what Jesus said we were to do.
Don't forget to email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. We have a book for you and trust that whether you meet up with a group in person or online or you choose to work through the book and videos on your own; you will be blessed as you seek to follow Jesus.
Blessings as you pursue Him!