What were the last words that Jesus spoke before He went to Heaven?
He gave us the Great Commission.
“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.”
One of my brother’s favorite lines is that this is called “The Great Commission” not the “Great Option” meaning that this is what Jesus commands all believers in every part of their lives.
Being completely honest, when I was younger, I’d read this Scripture or hear a sermon on this verse and immediately panic thinking, “But I don’t want to go to Africa!!!” (I’m a pretty big fan of running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. For me, camping means a Holiday Inn rather than the Hilton.)
The good news is that most of us are not called to Africa---instead, we are called to be Salt and Light in the places we live to the people in our lives. (Matthew 5:13-16)
We’re called to share the love of Jesus with our families, our friends, in our communities, our workplaces, and all the people we come in contact with during the course of our lives.
The problem arises when we develop the attitude that because we’re not called to go to a far, away, exotic “sexy” mission field, we lose our passion for the Great Commission. Sadly, this loss of passion results in us ignoring our God-given purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission in our little corner of the world.
The truth is that even if you’re not called to be Billy Graham, you are called to share the Gospel with your neighbors, the girl who bags your groceries, and the woman who sits across from you at work.
You don’t have to be Priscilla Shriver to lead a Bible study in your home or teach a class of young girls.
You don’t have to wait for Bethel Music to call with a contract before you can volunteer to sing background vocals on Wednesday night.
Then there’s perhaps the most important truth that 95% of fulfilling the Great Commission features absolutely no limelight at all, but is done by those who are willing to love, listen, and share their testimony of what God has done in their lives.
For most of us, this is the version of the Great Commission that we are called to fulfill.
This is our purpose---until we accept this challenge we will continue to lack the fulfillment and joy that will come with fulfilling this purpose in our lives.
So how do we begin fulfilling our purpose in the Great Commission?
1. Accept the Challenge.
Realize that this is your purpose in life and begin asking the Holy Spirit to open doors for you to share the Gospel. Also, ask Him to open your eyes so that you will see opportunities’ you would otherwise miss and have the boldness to walk through them.
2. Be Willing to Serve.
The Great Commission is in desperate need of people who are willing to serve without getting the credit. The truth is that there is a line of people who are waiting for the “big” positions. They want to be the star of the show. And yet, what is really needed are people who are willing to make sure that the “show goes on.” People who say, “No job is beneath me. If I need to set up chairs so people can hear the Gospel, point me in the right direction. Need someone to hand out flyers? Clean the bathrooms? Carry a box? I’m there if it means that the kingdom of God is advanced.”
Remember: If you feel like the spotlight is having a hard time finding you, volunteer to work behind the scenes. That way whether or not you’re ever in the spotlight, you’ll have played a role.”
3. Develop and Use the Skills Necessary for One-on-one Evangelism.
According to the Institute for American Church Growth, 75-90% of new Christians make a commitment to Jesus through a friend who explains the Gospel on an individual, conversational basis. (William Shay, Share Jesus Without Fear)
Everyone of us can fulfill the Great Commission through these types of conversations.
You may be thinking, “I don’t know if I can do that. How do I start?”
My advice would be to start by reading the book: “Initiate: Powerful Conversations that Lead People to Jesus” by Lee Rogers. In this book the principles of great conversations are explored, taught, and illustrated. Combined with concepts such as earning the right to be heard, the role of faith in evangelism, and understanding how the Holy Spirit is drawing people to God, this book can equip anyone to start powerful conversations. Five conversation models, building upon one another, are included to begin this journey of sharing the Faith.
I highly recommend you read it and then start putting it into practice.
The truth is that we are all called to fulfill the Great Commission. It isn’t an option it is a command. Perhaps the reason that so many are struggling to find their purpose in life is that they don’t realize this is their purpose.
It is your purpose and it is mine.
So my challenge to you: Ask the Holy Spirit how He wants you to start fulfilling this purpose.
Then start doing it.
Don’t wait for the “big door” to open, but begin seeing the incredible mission field that is open to you every day…in your community….at your job….with your friends…and throughout your day.
Find your purpose in fulfilling the Great Commission. It’s what Jesus called you to do.