USA (MNN) — An event rallying Christians to “finish the task” of the Great Commission just wrapped up in California.
“The idea of finishing the task – that’s not just a function for pastors or a function for the church in general,” observes Rob Myers, President and CEO of DOOR International.
“The Great Commission is a call that God has on every single one of our lives.”
The needs of 1,386 unreached and unengaged people groups were presented to ministry and church leaders from across the U.S. Speakers Rick Warren and Francis Chan encouraged believers at Finishing the Task 2016 to focus their efforts on what matters the most: making disciples of all the nations.
Finishing the Task 2016
As explained here, “Finishing the Task (FTT) is an association of mission agencies and churches who want to see reproducing churches planted among every people group in the world.”
Each year at the Finishing the Task Conference, church and ministry leaders gather to celebrate progress, identify remaining needs, and commit resources to reaching the unreached. Following the 2015 conference, 138 unreached and unengaged people groups received new attention and resources.
“If I could relive my life, I would’ve spent a lot more time focusing on this,” said Francis Chan.
“Among the groups on that list, between 10- and 15 percent are Deaf groups,” says Myers. “Deaf communities around the world that are unreached are part of the ‘final frontier’ of the Great Commission.”
There are 70 million Deaf people worldwide, and less than two percent of them know Jesus as their Savior. As the world’s largest Deaf-led ministry, DOOR International exists to equip and empower Deaf believers to reach their own people for Christ.
“We are so excited to see God moving among Deaf communities around the world. God is raising up Deaf leaders, and God is raising up Deaf ministries. DOOR International is one of those ministries, and we also have several partner organizations that we work with.”
Through workshops and hands-on breakout sessions, Myers taught conference attendees the importance of “best practices” in Deaf ministry. Church and ministry leaders also learned how to equip Deaf leaders and engage in Deaf-to-Deaf church planting.
“DOOR’s heart is Deaf-to-Deaf church planting, so while it’s hearing churches and hearing pastors and I, as a hearing person [at this conference], God uses us as advocates for the Deaf community,” says Myers.
“Deaf leaders need to be the ones doing this work. Our goal is to help churches understand how…if they want to see Deaf ministry happening, that they have Deaf leaders they’re encouraging to reach their own communities for Christ.”
What it all means for you
Partnering with DOOR International doesn’t mean you have to learn sign language. Myers shares three ways every believer can help reach the Deaf for Christ.
“God called each one of us to pray for workers to be raised up in the harvest, and that is a big need in the Deaf community. Pray for those needs and pray that God brings the resources.
“Sometimes, we have people in the field who are ready to be trained, they’re ready to reach their own people but they’re simply waiting on funding. It only takes $21 to sponsor a church planter through DOOR International for a day.
“We would love to see people come alongside our ministry and begin supporting and helping to see local Deaf people trained to reach their own people.”
Finally, “God may be calling you to be an advocate for the Deaf community. You can begin to advocate by getting more information,” Myers shares.
Learn more about Deaf culture and the common misunderstandings surrounding the Deaf community. Then, “begin bringing that awareness to other people in your church, and encouraging them to partner, to be engaged with Deaf ministries.”