6. Churches tell members to do the Great Commission without teaching them how. Most churches are guilty here. We tell folks to share the gospel with their neighbors but seldom train them to do so. We speak about discipling others yet expect members to learn on their own how to do it. Likewise, we challenge folks to go to the nations without adequately assuring them of training and support. When we tell without teaching, we shouldn't be surprised when our churches only talk about the Great Commission.
7. Church members fail to see the world around them. The world is among us—as our neighbors, our co-workers, our store clerks, our teachers—but we fail to see them as sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). Somehow, we hear the words of the Great Commission without recognizing the opportunities around us to develop gospel-centered friendships. At a minimum, seeing our neighbors with God's eyes should cause us to pray for the world represented among us.
8. Church members don't know missionaries. We know that mission work matters— after all, the Bible tells us so—but many church members have never "put on a face on" that work. They know no international missionaries. They seldom even think about "missionaries" serving in North America. Thus, they know few stories of the amazing work of God around the world. Frankly, I lay this responsibility at the feet of church leaders as well: Great Commission pastors will introduce their church to Great Commission people.
9. Churches confuse "sheep swapping" with the Great Commission. Transfer growth among churches is not always negative, but it is seldom Great Commission growth. If a church is not reaching non-believers, baptizing them, teaching them to obey Jesus' commands, and taking the gospel to the nations, they are not doing the Great Commission. They may, in fact, be only talking about it.
Which of these reasons most reflects your church? What other reasons would you add?
For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.
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