A couple weeks ago my team and I met with the organization that is, as far as I know, the single most evangelisticly fruitful organization in the country. They’ve seen more locals brought into the Kingdom and discipled than any other group I know of. About half of all local Jesus-followers in country can trace their coming to faith back to this organization in one way or another.
As we talked with some of these guys, I was shocked by some of the things they shared. They had a well developed discipleship path for people who didn’t have access to a local-church, and they’re regularly sending out hundreds and hundreds of Bible’s to new seekers.
In fact, they’ve almost tripled the yearly number of New Testaments that they’ve been able to send out to new contacts since 2016.
Last year, they sent out almost 20,000 New Testaments to people around the country. In a country where there are only 6,000 Jesus-followers, that’s massive!!
It was such an encouragement for our team to see so much work being done in a country with so much hunger and comparatively so little being done.
However, when I got thinking about it, I was quickly humbled…
It’s so exciting seeing what is being done. More people are coming to faith in this country than any other time in history. That’s intrinsically exciting.
But, there’s still SOO much to do.
There are over 80,000,000 people in this country.
If we continued sending out 20,000 New Testaments a year, it would take OVER 4,000 YEARS before everyone in the country had a Bible!
On the one hand, it feels like there’s so much being done. This team is running beyond their capacity. They literally can’t get Bibles printed fast enough to keep up with the demand. In spite of being just a small team of volunteers, they’re sending out hundreds and hundreds of packages with Bibles and discipleship material every week.
But, they’re still meeting only a small, SMALL fraction of the kingdom need in this country.
That’s humbling to me.
While praying about this, there’s three things that have stuck in my heart that I wanted to share with you:
We, as Followers of Jesus, Need to Dream Bigger
Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do immeasurably beyond everything you could ask or imagine.
If He’s able to do beyond what we ask or imagine, I can’t help but think that He wants to do those things, in my life and yours. How often do we settle for less than He has for us?
Take something you’re asking Jesus for right now… the salvation of a friend, the healing of a loved one, a greater level of intimacy with him, a better job… whatever that thing is… what would it look like if you multiplied that thing by 10x? or 100x? Does it seem like something beyond what you could ask or imagine?
Good. God is able to do that… and immeasurably more.
We need to dream bigger.
God’s dreams are bigger than ours
We need to Multiply. Not just Add.
The first command that God gave to humanity (and all life, actually) was to be fruitful and multiply.
Before we were told not to eat the fruit… before murder and theft and lying were even on the table, we were told to to be fruitful, and to multiply. There’s a ton to be said about fruitfulness (John 15 is a beautiful study on it). It’s vital and core to who we are.
However, I feel like we as the Church have missed the multiply element. When you look at the book of Acts, movements of God resulted in peoples (groups) coming to Jesus. Usually it wasn’t just individuals, but whole groups. Families, extended families, followers of an iconic figure, ethnic/religious/social communities in a city.
It was rare for only one person to come to faith in Acts.
It almost always was whole groups. It almost always was multiplication.
I don’t think we can settle anymore with just addition – with just seeing one more person come to church on Sunday, or one more person brought to our small-group.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful for those individuals and what God does in their lives. When I’m with one person, they’re the most important person. And I’m so thankful for what the local church, and what it has been for me in my life.
But I believe he wants us to aim bigger.
What would it look like to make disciples in your circles, in such a way that your peers grew to love, follow, obey, and share Jesus, even if they’d never actually enter a Church building?
What would it look like to see entire communities turn to Jesus in your city? Not just one or two of them, but multiplying groups of them, turning to Jesus in 5’s, 10’s, 50’s, and 100’s, committed to learning, obeying, and sharing Jesus’ teachings?
There’s places in the world where there’s literally people coming to faith so fast that there’s no hope of building church buildings for them.
Their communities came to faith, and then they went and shared with and discipled other communities, which in turn saw dozens of other other communities turn to Jesus.
I think that’s what we need to be aiming for.
Tithing to the Great Commission
I heard this idea years ago, and it’s stuck with me.
There’s over 2.5 billion Christians in the world.
That’s… a lot.
There’s hundreds of millions more that live in unreached places (over 3 Billion), but there are a lot of us, too.
Let me ask you a question.
What if every church in the world committed to give a tithe (1/10th) of their people to pursue the Great Commission full time?
What if 10% of the people in every church were trained, taught, and sent out to make disciples of all nations?
Estimates say that only about 0.001% of the money that Christians earn around the world every year goes to reaching the unreached.
That’s about $1 out of every $100,000.
Imagine what that would look like if we all got behind actually obeying Jesus’ command to disciple the nations?
The Church has roughly 3,000 times the financial resources and 9,000 times the manpower needed to finish the Great Commission. If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to missions we could easily support 2 million new missionaries. – Source – thetravelingteam.org/stats (emphasis added)
I believe every Jesus follower is supposed to live a lifestyle of mission. But what if a tenth of all of our young people and families committed themselves to giving their lives to discipling nations full time? And what if the rest of us 90% got behind them, committing to do what we can to launch them and equip them, financially, in prayer, in encouragement, etc.?
I humbly suggest that, were we to do that, we would see the nations reached in our lifetimes.
We’ve waited 2,000 years for that. I think it’s worth it.
The weight of the task Jesus has put on our laps is really heavy.
In just my country alone, the 20,000 Bibles a year being sent out would take over 4,000 years to be able to share with everyone.
It makes me want to weep that millions of people in this country will die without hearing about Jesus, if something doesn’t change.
And that’s just a small, SMALL fraction of the unreached world.
But, He doesn’t leave us as orphans. Holy Spirit is with us, to empower His church to see the nations reached.
He’s commanded/commissioned us with a difficult task… but it’s one that He’s also equipped us to be able to do well together.
It is doable.
So lets go after it!
Great thoughts Josh. Have you read Heromaker? If not, it would be a great AND timely investment for you. Blessings my friend, I believe in you and your call. Get after it Josh, keep dreaming!!
Thanks Larry! I haven’t read it yet, but it’s been on my list for a while… I think since you recommended it last year! Planning to read it soon! 🙂