We (Caleb & Esther) are millennials, and God has given us a fresh millennial perspective on the Great Commission. Namely, that the word of God as highlighted by this Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) is historically the first documented offer of equality for the people of all nations. Much concern and criticism is expressed regarding our millennial generation and much accusation is leveled at the Church for its lack of racial inclusiveness. However, true to His word and character, Jesus is doing a brilliant job building His Church all across the world, including raising up diverse young leaders around the planet to take up the baton from those who went before. Through working with Wycliffe for over a decade, we have developed an in-depth understanding that the state of the Great Commission is such that it needs much greater collaboration from the full spectrum of the born again Bible believing Church. We are now in essence into the Churches third millennia, and yet while huge progress has been made to date, the majority of the people on earth today do not realize that the benefits of this multi-millennial mandate are available to them as a free gift from God – why should they wait any longer? Over recent decades many have highlighted the reality that the fulfillment of the Great Commission needs ALL of the Body of Christ, however there remains considerable scope for increased collaboration. We have identified 5 ALLs from the Great Commission itself to underscore that this multi-millennial mandate collaboration needs to happen;
- All authority; Jesus said all authority is given in His name and we now know that the Bible being God’s word is; historical, legal, statistical, archaeological, textural and prophetic fact which underscores the authority of God’s word. Thus, together God and His word provide a double portion of full permission to every born again Bible believer to play a part in making this multi-millennial mandate reality. Furthermore, Jesus - Himself the ultimate Commander in Chief, has ordered us to do so.
- All Nations; There are three keynote elements to the Great Commission. The first of these is the command to disciple all nations. To be a disciple is to continue in God’s word, and thus discipling all nations requires having the Bible available in every tongue. Currently there are 7009 living languages with over 90% not having a full Bible, including more than 2,000 not even having one verse started. Every true disciple has a heritage in the nations to take hold of and the nations themselves have eternal purpose, as indicated in Revelation 21:24-26 where it tells us the New Jerusalem will be full of the glory of the nations. Discipleship is the process and glory is the purpose: having the Bible available in every tongue will enable the people of all nations to look into the mirror of God’s word as they behold Jesus the God the nations and be transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ by the spirit of the Lord, generate glory for their nations, and through their good works glorify our Heavenly Father.
- All things; The other two keynote elements of the Great Commission are; baptizing disciples in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, plus teaching them all things that we have been taught. In essence and in detail, both of these factors are outlined in the full counsel of the word of God, Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21, thus again to take hold of the all things requires having the whole of God’s word available to the people of every kindred, tribe, and tongue, in a language they can fully comprehend. There is a common perception that Bible translation is just one of many mission options, however having the Bible available to all people groups is vital to all aspects of their discipleship. It has been said “Give a man a fish; you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” We are adding to that and saying “Give a man God’s word and teach him how to fish for men; feed him and his people group for eternity”.
- All of us; While some are called to lead as; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, ALL born again Bible believers are called to be Church in a manner that fulfills Jesus' prayer that through our oneness the world would know Jesus has been sent by the Father. We call this unity with purpose. Integration is vital to achieving such unity and God commands blessing where such unity exists. There is an important place for compartmentalizing, accordingly all manner of endeavor is needed to see the Great Commission come to pass including; intercession as a joyful house of prayer for the nations, church planting, short & long term mission, training, Bible schools, aid, creativity and so much more. Overall, the goal is disciples that thrive in their relationship with God and one another. Paramount to this relational goal and all the things we do to achieve it, is God’s word in every living heart language - without Bible translation, none of this will be fully effective. Furthermore, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and wisdom says greater unity with purpose generates greater impact through dynamics and economies of scale. Great things are being done by the Church today, however there is huge scope for substantially increased unity. For example there are over 30,000 denominations/steams/networks across the world, all of which no doubt have their reasons for being a separate entity, however differences are a major factor in this proliferation of separate endeavor. The Great Commission is surely reason enough to look past these differences and proactively explore every way possible to work together through integrated mission, ministry and master-craftsmanship.
- Always; Jesus chose to have His body broken, blood shed and gave His very life to; honor His word, cover our sin, and pay for the exceedingly great rewards available in the gift of eternal life. So we can trust His promise to be with us always. Indeed just as God is eternal and gives His Holy Spirit without limit, there really are endless ways in which God can and does work with us. No matter what the; family, spiritual, cultural, traditional, political, intellectual, emotional or physical opposition, Jesus will never, never, never, never, never leave us or forsake us, and if Jesus is for us then who can be against us? Going viral is very much a millennial and younger generation thing. Worldly fame and stardom can come and go in even as short as 15 seconds. Going eternal is so much better. From Daniel 12:3 we see that by living out God’s soul winning wisdom and leading many to the righteousness of faith in Jesus, whomsoever chooses to do so can be an eternal star that doesn’t fade but goes from glory to glory. When stars combine, a galaxy is formed with magnified light being shined. As eternal stars we can together magnify the glorious light of the gospel and be a galaxy of H.O.PE (Heaven On Planet Earth).
Partners with Answers
God Himself: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is a living eternal model of partnership and this Multi-Millennial Mandate: The Great Commission, is God’s partnership strategy for bringing the good news of the Gospel to the people of planet earth. With more christians alive at one time than ever, around 2,000 years of Church experience to draw on, and the enhanced global communication potential technology provides; we live at a time where we have unprecedented capacity to partner across the full spectrum of the born again Bible believing Church and fulfill this mandate!
When it comes to the online, including social media, much emphasis throughout the Body of Christ has been placed on the very real dangers, and sadly it is also being used by Christians to publicly voice their beef with the Church, leaders and other Christians that they don’t agree with. Despite all this, if we took charge and got invested, we could create an alternative as a platform for eternal kingdom purpose to fuel one another’s good works and celebrate what the Church is actually doing all across the earth. Such a platform, a website with social media and app/s, could strategically integrate all the elements of this within fingertip access. Some examples of what this could include are;
- The state of the Great Commission including regularly updated facts and stats on people reached with the Gospel, Bible translation, practical aid, funding needs and the likes
- Collaborative targeting between churches, like-minded entities and individuals of unreached, Bible-less and people groups in general
- Shared wisdom, experience and local knowledge
- Making Christians in their hearts, homes, schools, gatherings, neighborhoods, nations and in general the most informed people on earth about what is really going on in the nations, especially from God’s point of view
- An interactive digital network deliberately moderated to empower a generation to discover that life with God, His word and His church ROCKS