Where My Heart Is

Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Uncategorized

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The first week of January, I set aside some time to pray, think and plan. It started slowly, but one morning I awoke at 4 and began to write down some fresh thoughts concerning how I seek to challenge Christians to involvement in the Great Commission. Perhaps this simple outline will be an encouragement and help to you as it is to me.

See

Sometimes, Christians don’t have a good picture of what fulfilling the Great Commission looks like. The may think it only involves the gospel being presented to crowd of tens of thousands, or ministry being done in the context of church services. But a lot of ministry occurs one-to-one, in small groups, by email and text and on Facebook. Often, Christians think of the Great Commission as being fulfilled elsewhere-in some distant land - as opposed to right where they live.

Our job is to show people what it means to “go”, “make disciples”, “teaching them to obey”, etc., in it simple essence. This draws people into close fellowship with God, which is His master plan.

Believe

Another problem Christians often have is that they don’t believe the Great Commission can be fulfilled - at least any time soon. They maybe haven’t heard much about what God is doing around the world today – tens of millions of people coming to Christ in recent years in China and India alone. They perhaps haven’t heard that Jesus is appearing in dreams to unbelievable numbers of people in the Muslim world. So we have the privilege of motivating people with news about the extent of God’s power and the current reach of the gospel around the world.

Own

All of this leads to where we seek to help Christians “own” a piece of fulfilling the Great Commission. It starts with them becoming motivated to be involved. But that has to lead to seeing something specific they can picture themselves doing. Then they need to take some steps of action - to be trained, equipped and deployed into ministry activity.

Part of what we do with Christians is to show them how. That was the original motivation for Bill Bright to write The Four Spiritual Laws booklet - to show Christians how to share their faith with others.

We now have a multitude of strategies, trainings and materials to show Christians how to have a ministry impact on others. Let me tell you an example involving FamilyLife’s The Art of Marriage video seminar.

Jeff Brawley owns a successful welding business in a small town in Missouri. Over time, he and his wife, Sheila, sensed that God wanted to use them to reach others for Christ and make a difference in their lives as they grew in faith. As Jeff started ministering to men, he realized many needed help in their marriages. He and Sheila heard about the The Art of Marriage video training. They organized an event at their church, and 75 couples attended. Sometime later, they organized another event, and 150 couples attended. Five of those couples brought the training back to their churches. One of those events was attended by 50 couples.

In these events, many people have come to Christ, learned how to walk with the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and how to grow in their marriages. All this happened as a result of a couple who thought they weren’t educated enough to be effective in ministry, but just stepped out in faith. We helped them see how they could do that – how they could “own” a piece of the Great Commission.

Involve others

What Jeff and Sheila did shows one more thing we help people do – involve others. We help Christians encourage others to:

1. See and understand what the Great Commission involves.
2. Believe that God is at work fulfilling it through Christians today.
3. Own some piece of all that.
4. Involve others as well.

We have an exciting assignment, don’t we?

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