We Don’t Care About the Great Commission!
Do we, as the American Church, care about the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20?
As I write these words, I imagine that many of you reading, whether you’re a pastor or a committed Christ-follower, are thinking about foreign missions when you hear about the Great Commission. And you should.
At Transformation Church, where I serve as one of the elder-pastors, by God’s grace, we’re planting churches in China through the Underground Church. We’re planting churches among an unreached people group in Southeast Asia, and we’re also partnering with missions organizations in Haiti and South America to fulfill the Great Commission.
And in our local church context, God has blessed us to see nearly 800 ethnically diverse people commit their lives to Jesus and His Kingdom since we launched Transformation Church on February 7, 2010.
I’m humbled, constantly in awe, and energized by what the Lord has done in and through us.
Here are Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) that declare the Great Commission,
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I want us to lock in on the word “nations” in this important passage. In the Greek, “nation” is ethnos. Ethnos means ethnic group. Jesus didn’t suggest to His 1st-century disciples, nor does He suggest to His blood-purchased Church today, but He commands His people to go make disciples of all ethnic groups.
And Jesus’ command isn’t just to make disciples of ethnic groups across the sea, BUT ALSO ACROSS THE STREET!
Sunday morning in the United States of America is still the most segregated time of the week!
This Sunday, take a moment and look around the congregation where you worship and see if these words are true.
Sadly – and it brings me to tears – the most segregated institution in America is the Church of the living God.
93% of all churches are ethnically segregated.
95% of Protestant churches are ethnically segregated.
Churches in America are 10 times more ethnically segregated than their neighborhoods and 20 times more ethnically segregated than their schools.
Ask yourself a question: Does your church reflect the ethnic diversity of the schools in your zip code?
Do we care about Jesus’ Great Commission to reach all ethnic groups (black, white, Latino, Asian, or whoever lives in the zip code of our local churches)?
Are we being intentional about trying to reach the ethnically diverse people in our local church context?
Does the leadership team at your local church represent the ethnic diversity that you’re trying to reach?
Does the presence on stage reflect ethnic diversity through music and message of the ethnic diversity to you are trying to reach?
Jesus is so committed to ethnic diversity that around His throne in the New Heavens and New Earth is a community of redeemed ethnically diverse people (Rev. 5:9).
How long are we going to place our preferences over Jesus’ passion, called the Great Commission?
Listen to theologian John Piper,
There are many churches that are not concerned in the least with pursuing ethnic diversity and harmony. It’s not even on the radar of their consciousness... The cost of diversity was the blood and life of the Son of God. The issue of racial and ethnic diversity and harmony in the church is not small, because the price God paid precisely for it was not small. It was infinite. Bloodlines, pg. 109.
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