Only 17% of the Church can explain what the ‘Great Commission’ means!
83% of the Church does not know what it means!
As we focus on the Remaining Task of the Great Commission in 2024, we noted that the main obstacles to fulfilling it is the ‘Great Ignorance’ which results in ‘Great Indifference’ to it.
The deliberate delaying of fulfilling of the Great Commission.
A popular statement often mentioned in many platforms is “To Champion the Cause Of The Local Church.” This reflects the passion of Church leaders of maintaining the churches’ existence and to do whatever it takes to keep them going. To do so, they focus on keeping their ministries active, staff well trained and busy, programs well scheduled, and keeping Sunday worship services dynamic by raising level of excellence. Yet, these are not the ‘cause’ of the local Church.
The true ‘cause’ of the Church is to understand and fulfill the purpose of its existence – the Great Commission. The greatest danger to any church is its striving for self-existence instead to striving to fulfill the real cause why they exist – to fulfill the Great Commission
Any Church which gives priority to its maintenance above its purpose of existence is an ‘indifferent’ church.
We call this the ‘Great Indifference’ – a hindrance to the Great Commission.
It is the Church’s priority to champion the Cause of Missions!
Sadly, this has been relegated to a few Missions organizations and it is not the heart of the Church today.
a survivor of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel said: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.” The Churches’ attitude towards the millions of lost people and denying them the Gospel is nothing but ‘indifference.’
What does Indifference Mean?
There are few definitions for the word ‘Indifference’ in Merriam-Webster dictionary:
a. “marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something.” “Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.”
b. It is also defined as apathetic: “having or showing little or no interest, concern, or emotion.”
c. As being mediocre – “being neither good nor bad’; “of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance.” Or, ‘absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another.’
The Laodicean Church was condemned by Jesus for its mediocrity:
“that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:14-16
Could we say that 83% of the Church today is ‘Laodicean’ in attitude when it comes to the ‘Great Commission’ due to their ignorance and indifference? As we mentioned about ignorance in the last post, indifference is not a mere weakness or a passive attitude. It has a strong negative influence against the fulfilling of the Mission of God.
1. Indifference is Deliberate Disobedience.
Indifference is a deliberate disobedience to the Great Commission. There is no neutral ground once a command is given by the highest Authority Christ, to the Church. The Great Commission is not an ‘option’ for the Church – it is a command that must be obeyed! While millions of Christians express their worship to God every Sunday, maybe He is saying: “If you love me, keep my commands,” (John 14:15) Therefore, an indifferent church is a ‘disobedient’ Church.
2. Indifference is a deliberate Delaying of fulfilling God’s Mission.
The Children of Israel’s disobedience in believing God’s promise caused them to delay in possessing the inheritance of the Land. This Disobedience is what caused a delay that turned 40 days to 40 years!
For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’Numbers 14:34.
3. Indifference is deliberate Neglect of the Mission of God.
Although most Churches are involved in fulfilling some aspects of the Great Commission such as Evangelizing, Baptizing and making disciples, they are not focusing on the areas or people that should be reached with the Gospel. While the purpose and outcome of such activities should be to mobilize the whole Church for God’s Mission, it has somehow become inward focused.
This is where the Church has failed to understand the Mission of God.
The Mission of God is not the Church. The Church is on God’s Mission of restoring the lost humanity back to God. The Church is God’s instrument of HIs Mission!
Reaching the lost who are beyond the reach of the local Church involves sending missionaries out from the Church to those who have no access to the Gospel. We call them the ‘Unreached People.’ There are almost 2.5 billion people who fall into this category. To reach them, the Church must fight what Elie Wiesel thought it equally important to fight: the indifference and the attitude that says “it’s no concern of mine”.
- Father we pray for the Church today that you will open their eyes to see their indifference to the Great Commission.
- Forgive us for our attitude of thinking that the lost people ‘are no concern of mine.’
- We pray that you will open opportunities for Pastors and Leaders of Churches to be aware of the ‘Remaining Task’ of reaching the lost people on earth.
- We pray that every Church will embrace the Great Commission as the purpose of their existence and look beyond their busy schedules to understand the lost-ness of people without the Gospel.
- We ask your Holy Spirit to bring conviction to the Church of the need to be more committed to Your Mission on earth.
How to Overcome the Great Indifference?
The best way to overcome this indifference is to keep the Mission of God in our hearts continuously.
We must overcome Apathy and being Mediocre and overcome ignorance by becoming more aware of the Mission of God.
Paul’s focus on God’s Mission helped him to overcome Indifference.
Although Paul had done significant work in planting Churches and raising leaders in many of the regions of Roman provinces, He was still driven by the passion of reaching the unreached people.
So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15: 19)
Yet, Paul decided to focus his Mission and Ministry on 3 key factors:
Evangelism is not focusing on areas and people already has access or heard the Gospel. It was to go beyond to those who have never heard the Gospel.
1. Places Where Christ is not named.
And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation. (Romans 15:20)
Although Paul travelled extensively to many cities and regions to preach the Gospel, he considered it a priority to go to areas where the Gospel had not yet reached.
2. People who have Not Heard.
“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
And those who have not heard shall understand.” (Romans 15: 21)
Paul made ‘those who have not heard’ his priority in Mission.
While there are Churches in almost every human habitation today evangelizing their own communities, still there are people who have never heard the Gospel. It is estimated that out of 2.5 billion unreached people, almost 80% of them will never meet a Christian in their life time.
So what is the solution? Paul gives it in Romans 10:
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?Romans 10:14-15.
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
It is this concept of ‘Sending’ is what Missions is about. The Church’s primary responsibility and priority is to ‘Send’ missionaries to those who have NOT heard.
It is said that: “A Church is not measured by its Seating capacity but by its Sending Capacity!”
3. Focus on where the Task is Not completed:
Paul had a clear understanding where the Gospel is already preached and did not want to continue to work there. He wanted to go beyond. He recognized that once the Gospel in preached in an area, it is the responsibility of the people to respond to it. His responsibility was not to convert everyone! The Gospel is giving the opportunity for everyone to hear clearly and respond to it.
Paul’s responsibility was not to go back to them again, but instead to go to those who have Not Heard!
Therefore he said: “No more room in these areas” and I want to go to Rome and Spain!
But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you. (Romans 15: 23)
Paul gave the priority to the ‘Remaining Task’ instead of focusing his endeavor on already reached and heard people.
Shifting our Priority.
We encourage prayer in 2024 that the Church worldwide will shift the ‘priority’ to the Unreached Areas and Unreached People of the World. Over 33% of the World’s population of 8 billion people are considered ‘unreached’ – meaning the have ‘not heard’ and they live in communities where ‘Christ is not named.”
- Father we pray that our focus will be shifted from those around us to those who have not heard the Gospel.
- We ask you to help us to shift our focus on places where ‘Christ is not named.’
- We pray that our Evangelism will be given priority to ‘those who have not heard’ the Gospel.
- We pray your Holy Spirit will awaken our churches to hear to call of Missions to ‘send out’ those who can preach the Gospel to the lost.
- We pray that every Church will shift their focus from areas already preached the Gospel to territories where Unreached People are.
- Help us to Understand the reason why the ‘Unreached People Groups’ are important to finish the remaining task.
Thank you for Praying for the Remaining Task