Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“The Great Omission” by Garris Elkins

When Jesus gave us the Great Commission he said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.”  The Great Commission has become the marching orders for the Church over the last 2,000 years.

At the end of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples to “Go” in another way.  He said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”  Two verses later in the same paragraph he said, “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe.”  When he uttered these words, Jesus made it clear that the preaching of the Gospel would forever be connected with supernatural ministry.   

We have the Great Commission well defined.  We understand much of what Jesus was telling his disciples in Matthew 28.  In fact, there is a significant industry within the Church relating to this aspect of our calling. You can buy books on the subject, read doctoral dissertations on discipleship and even attend conferences where we are told how to do the Great Commission by some of the brightest minds in the Church. With all of this availability on the subject of discipleship not much of what we are doing is impacting our American culture.

What we don’t have down is the “Go” part defined by Jesus in Mark 16 where he said, “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe.”  Many in the Church are comfortable with the Great Commission of Matthew 28, but get nervous with the sign, wonder and miracle aspect of our commission. 

The commissioning of the Church in Mark 16 has become, even within some historic Pentecostal and Charismatic groups, the Great Omission.  The dictionary defines an omission as something we neglect.  Miracles, signs and wonders were used by Jesus to get the attention of his culture so he could tell them about the Kingdom of God. Jesus did not neglect anything. He used it all to glorify the Father.

The very thing that will get the attention of our unbelieving culture – the supernatural – has many times been omitted from the message we are trying to preach.  We would never actually come out and say this, but there is very little supernatural evidence accompanying the vast majority of what we do within the American Church. I frequently have to ask myself, “What am I doing that requires God to show up in power?”

Our cities and our nation are waiting to experience what I would call, “The Greater Commission.” The Greater Commission melds together the calling Jesus gave us in Matthew 28 and in Mark 16 to become a disciple-making people who walk in the miraculous power of Christ before the cultures of our world.  There is not a culture on earth that can withstand the powerful combination found in The Greater Commission.

1 comment:

  1. Americans are known the world over for writing the best (and, most brilliant) books on missiology, evangelism, church planting, and discipleship while we actually do the least!

    Doing these things requires getting down in the ditches and getting dirty...getting involved in tactical level ministry requires moving in the power of the Holy Spirit as a daily exercise of surrender of agenda, politics, personal preference, and personal success.