Tuesday 20th January, Can We Finish The Great Commission In Our Lifetimes?
The North American Call2All Congress, Dayton, Ohio, officially opened this afternoon with “a call to consecration”. Three hundred leaders were challenged to prepare their hearts to listen and learn from each other and to get ready to make changes and commitments in working together to see the Great Commission God gave us to be fulfilled.
Mapping The Great Commission
To see this happen, we need to go “where the church is not” which is why mapping the current activity of the Body of Christ in the earth and exactly where the unreached are is so key. 4K mapping and omega zones is a new way to map the earth and accurately track this kind of need and activity. Loren Cunningham, Founder of Youth With A Mission introduced this to the delegates.
Different methods of evangelism were the focus for the rest of the afternoon. Marcus Key of the Global Short Film Network shared on films that open spiritual conversations: "The films that I show are not the Gospel story they are artistic narrative films – and they are a bridge to the Gospel. I show movies and we talk about the story of the films and you share your story, I share mine and then we share the Gospel story. The films are not the gospel they give you permissions to hear others stories, tell yours and then tell God’s story."
Completing The Great Commission
The evening began with the installation of Devi Titus as the new President of the Global Pastors Wives Network. Vonette Bright and Becky Hunter, the out-going President of GPWN joined in commending Devi Titus to the role by video link-up.
The session centered on the big question: can the Great Commission Be Finished In Our Lifetimes?
To which Steve Douglass, President of CCCI with over 40 years experience across the globe focused on this and Loren Cunningham, Founder of YWAM both said a resounding yes!
Steve Douglass went on the record to say: “Absolutely, from the way God is moving today, even without some terrific eye of faith, I have been persuaded it will be fulfilled in our lifetimes and I personally think in the next decade.”
He went on to give 10 reasons he believes this:
1) God intends to fulfill the Great Commission. This is why Jesus came. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
2) Because God has commanded us to fulfill the Great Commission. Mt 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
3) He offers us the power to fulfill the Great Commission. Mt 29:18-20. If God would give a command, the intention and the power why wouldn’t he get around to it? The question is why now versus later?
4) God is moving today. Douglass says: “I’ve watched God operate through the years and I’ve seen him do incredible things and much more incredible things in the last 5-10 years. The trend – is not a little up, it’s up a lot. For example, Fact 1 – India, in 2001 had 2% baptized believers, in 2005 it is up to 7% baptized believers, i.e. 50million more people in a four year period than thought and now it’s probably 10-12%. In India it is difficult to declare yourself a Christian. It is estimated for every baptized person there may be another one who has not made it public. So it may mean India has way over 100 million who’ve come to know Christ in recent years. China has 1.3 billion people, when the communists took over there were 2 million Christians, latest figures show there are 130 million Christians in China now. The Body of Christ is growing! In the Middle East, it is very common for people seeing Jesus films to say “that’s the man that appeared in my dreams.” He is doing an intervention in the Middle East. So in three of the most unreached sectors in the world, God is moving dramatically. God is moving today! God has chosen this moment in time to find people and ways to get it done.”
5) His people are praying. The substance and character of prayer that is rapidly developing. From the Global Day of Prayer, bringing of 200 million praying Christians together in one day, to the Houses of Prayer opening across the world, prayer is growing.
6) His people are planning. They are getting together, e.g. Amsterdam 2000, the Call2All and in many other arenas and planning ways to get it done.
7) His people are more at one now than they’ve been in my lifetime.
8) New breakthrough methods of reaching people. Oral methods are overcoming the problem of illiteracy and two thirds of the world is illiterate. There are new training plans that can take and grow new believers to senior pastors without ever needing to read. What does seminary training look like for them? It’s being solved in our generation.
9) Scripture translation is expanding rapidly. The number of years it takes to get enough scripture to start a church in a new language has moved from 13 years to 2 years. They are dreaming that by 2525, that every language that ever needs it will have some scripture translated.
10) Very fruitful ministry methods have and are being continually developed. For example the Jesus film has been translated into 1000 languages. It’s been shown in all countries, every country on earth. There have been 6 billion exposures to the Gospel as a result of just that one tool. Douglass continues: “Can you believe God uses texting for evangelism? Internet witnessing is growing massively with over 3 million decisions for Christ through the internet last year, and they’re projecting 5 million next year...it didn’t even exist 10 years ago. God is not stuck in the past.”