The Importance of Believing in the Great Commission

by | May 16, 2018

Stories about outrageous and extravagant generosity inspire me. Just a few weeks ago, an older woman told me how excited and privileged she felt about giving a generous gift to her church’s capital campaign. Vera went on to say, “The truth is Scott, I probably won’t live to see the results. I’m not going to be around much longer.” For Vera, the importance of her gift was not in its impact during her lifetime, but rather the impact it would have on the church in the future. The gift Vera gave would empower her church to act on The Great Commission.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20.

She was giving an outrageous, extravagantly generous gift for one reason and one reason only—so her church could reach people for years to come with the good news of God’s love and grace. Imagine what our churches would look like if they were filled with people like Vera who believed so thoroughly in the mission of the church—given to us in the Great Commission.

51% of churchgoers have never heard of the Great Commission.

 

A recent poll by Barna Research asked churchgoers, “Have you heard of the Great Commission?” Here are the results:

 

It may be surprising to see that 51% answered, “No.”  It is hard to understand why the majority is unfamiliar with the core mission of the church. However, the research points to a potentially more significant and troubling question--Do churchgoers believe their church makes a lasting and eternal difference in peoples’ lives?  If we truly believe the church and its teachings make a difference, then we are inspired to share our faith and the Great Commission has meaning.

If we don't believe the Church matters, then the

Great Commission makes no difference.

I met with a church group that was considering a building project. The church told me they were packed with no room for growth. Space was so tight, they decided they couldn’t advertise or invite people to church. The group had called me there to help them decide whether or not they should “do something” about their overcrowded space.  I asked the group, “What would you think about a person who knew the cure for cancer and decided to keep it to himself?” With great indignation, they replied, “That would be criminal!”

 

Then I asked them, “Do you or do you not have the cure for a hurting and broken world? If you do, how can you keep it to yourselves?”

 

Outrageous and extravagant generosity occurs when we truly believe we have the antidote for the diseases that afflict our world. The Great Commission matters when people believe in the importance of sharing the good news of God’s love and grace with the world.

 

So what do we do?

  • Continually and consistently tell stories of how your church’s ministries are making a difference. In every church communication, including your bulletin, newsletter, website, and Facebook page, tell stories of how people’s lives are being changed by your ministry. And if you can’t come up with life-changing stories, it’s time to take a hard look at your ministries and evaluate the quality of your response to the Great Commission.

 

  • Consider a Bible study or sermon series on the book of Acts. Explore the birth and explosive growth of the early church as they lived the Great Commission.   One small church in West Virginia experienced an amazing revival when they spent six months reading and studying the book of Acts. By the end of the study they passionately believed that although they were small, their community desperately needed what they had to offer. And guess what … giving exploded.

 

 

Would you like to experience outrageous extravagant giving in your church? Rather than talking about spreadsheets, budgets and bills, focus on how your church is responding to the Great Commission. How is your church reaching people to share the Good News? How do your ministries demonstrate your mission of sharing Christ with the world? Be willing to ask, “Do we really believe we have the answer to a world that is broken, hurting and afraid?” If the answer is yes, tell your story and get ready for outrageous, extravagant giving! If the answer is no, start looking for the for sale sign.

 

7 Comments

  1. One of the most important articles horizons has ever written.

    Reply
    • Kristine Miller

      Bill,
      This is a high compliment. Thank you so much.
      Blessings, Kristine Miller

      Reply
  2. Right on target. Well done

    Reply
  3. Great word, Scott. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. This was a serious call to spiritual arms. Powerful and concise. I will be presenting to our Church this Sunday as co-lead of our Generosity Team and this article really energized me. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Kristine Miller

      Jeff,
      So glad this was helpful to you! Blessings to you as you lead your team.
      Kristine Miller

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything you need to inspire generosity.

RECENT Posts

Who Should Know What People Give?

Clif Christopher, Horizons’ Founder and author of Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, discusses the most argued-about stewardship topic in the church today.

 

In this newest video from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Clif shares his perspective on who should know what people give to the church and why it’s important. If your church leadership has ever disagreed about who should have access to the church’s giving list, this brief video will provide insights and answers to this controversial topic.

 

 

The Power of Thanks: Four Practical Ministry Funding Impact Strategies

The Power of Thanks

One of the most powerful tools you have for growing giving is saying thanks! Contributors to your church’s ministries should know you are grateful for their support. Saying thanks expresses gratitude, grows giving, and makes you feel good. It only takes a few minutes to say, “Thanks for giving!”

Four Practical Strategies that Will Significantly Impact Your Ministry Funding

Watch The Power of Thanks to learn four practical strategies that will significantly impact your ministry funding from Horizons’ Managing Partner, Joe Park.

 

 

To access more of Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click the Giving365 logo below.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

25 Big Ideas for Growing Church Giving

Take your church’s giving to the next level and start the new year strong. These 25 big ideas from Horizons Stewardship will help you get there. If giving was flat, the number of church donors has declined, or your ministry for 2019 is not fully funded, these 25 ideas offer the strategies you’re looking for.

 

Engaging and keeping givers is a huge struggle for most churches, and the competition for charitable dollars continues to be fierce. If you want to grow giving and see your vision become a reality, 25 Big ideas offers the help you need in this free download.

 

 

To download this ebook and other resources, click the logo below to subscribe for free.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are already a Giving365 subscriber, click the user icon   at the top right of the menu.

OUR NETWORK

Follow Us

PO Box 627
Cabot, Arkansas 72023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This