International (MNN) — Before ascending to heaven, Christ gave His followers what came to be known as the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20 reads, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
The Great Commission has become a bigger task than ever before. According to Worldometers.com, our world currently holds more than 7.6 billion people. Pew Research Center reports that an estimated 5.3 billion belonged to a religion other than Christianity in 2015.
Furthermore, approximately 32 million people have no way of even learning about Christ. They have no believers living among them, and no churches or agencies who are trying to reach them with the Gospel.
To “finish the task” ahead of us, is it better to send church workers overseas? Or should we equip local Christians to do the work?
“There is somewhat of a false dichotomy between sending or coming alongside to support a local indigenous Christian population,” notes Chris Lang, the Director of Mobilization for Frontiers USA.
“I don’t think the call that Jesus has on the Church has changed. We are called to go and make disciples of all the nations. Regardless of where we are, regardless of where the Church is…the call remains the same.”
How to reach Muslims for Christ
As described here, Frontiers is helping bring the Good News to Muslim people groups, one of the world’s largest unreached and unengaged people groups (UUPGs). They’re concentrating on groups in six regions: Northeast Africa, the Caucuses, the Arab Gulf, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia.
“There are over a thousand unreached, unengaged Muslim people groups today,” Lang notes.
In order to reach Muslims for Christ, Frontiers employs both sending and equipping methodologies.
Frontiers partners with local believers in places where a local Church body exists, Lang explains. They help support and equip those Christians with theological education and training.
“Part of what I think we bring to the indigenous Church worldwide is vision – vision to finish the task; vision to engage all of the unreached people groups that remain,” he adds.
However, in many instances, there is no body of believers to support.
“Throughout great swathes of the Muslim world…[there is] just not a local Church that can engage that population.”
Your role in the Great Commission
As a Chadian pastor recently described to Lang, the task of the Great Commission is too large for a single church or organization to accomplish alone. The task also requires more than one approach or methodology.
“He said, ‘Don’t just send us your money,'” Lang recalls. “‘We need people because the task is so big, it’s so great that the African Church can’t accomplish it on its own.’
“They’re asking us to come alongside and to help,…to be in the role of co-laborer with them, and I think that’s what we need to do as a sending entity in the West.”
Just as the approach differs by organization, the role you’re called to play in the Great Commission may vary as well.
“As individual Christians, we need to continue to advocate for missions in our local congregation. Let’s put together prayer meetings so that we can pray for the nations,” Lane suggests.
Some people “may be hearing that still, small voice calling them out to something beyond themselves, something beyond the work in their local congregation….
“I would encourage [readers] to pay attention to His leading because they might be called not just to pray, not just to send others, but to go themselves.”
Visit Frontiers’ website to learn how you can enter the mission field.
“We still need to send, we still need to ‘go and make disciples’ until Matthew 24:14 is accomplished, ‘til all the nations have heard.’”
(Header image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)