"And they went out and preached everywhere..." Mark 16:20
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not something simply to celebrate at Easter. It is good news for all people. This message must be proclaimed everywhere. I love the reality that the Gospel According to Mark ends with these words – “and they went out and preached everywhere” (verse 20).
According to the Lausanne Statistical Task Force:
It took 18 centuries for practicing Christians to grow from 0% of the world’s population to 2.5% in 1900, only 70 years to grow from 2.5% to 5% in 1970, and just 30 years to grow from 5% to 11.2% by the year 2000. Today, there is one practicing Christian for every nine people worldwide who are either nominal or non-Christian.
Yet – it is clear that if all the members of every church in the world were to engage in proclaiming the good news of the resurrection to all their friends and relatives and they were to believe in Jesus Christ – and if they in turn were to share the good news of the resurrection with all their friends and relatives and they came to believe in Jesus Christ – no matter how much time you allowed, the gospel would not be proclaimed everywhere.
To reach all people requires believers actually going to places where the gospel has not yet been proclaimed and churches have not yet been started. According to the late Dr. Ralph Winter – “Forty percent of the individuals in the world live within peoples with no church.”
That’s why the gospel must be proclaimed EVERYWHERE!
The aim of the worldwide church must be loving, obedient disciplemaking communities of believers within every people. Our priority must be that all people have a living testimony of the gospel of the kingdom within their cultural context.
Jesus has given us the commission to go and make disciples of all nations. It is the growing conviction of many Christians around the world that this will only every be achieved by having a church – God’s shop window – within walking distance of every person on the globe. The church – the secret and powerful society of the redeemed – must again become the place where people can literally see the body fo Christ, where His glory is revealed in the most practical terms, hands on, down to earth, right next door, unable to be overlooked or ignored, living amongst us every day.
I believe that this is what Jesus intended when He commissioned His disciples to make disciples. He sent them as disciplemakers with the expectation that every disciple would actually engage in making disciples so that all people on earth would not only hear the good news of the resurrection, but they would see and understand it.
The challenge for churches everywhere is to equip every believer as a disciplemaking missionary where they live, learn, work and play. And to send more and more believers as disciplemaking missionaries who leave their culture to see disciplemaking communities started within walking distance of every person on the planet.
In the US, most Christians are consumers of religious goods and services. They are not living out their calling as sent ones. They don’t even know how to make disciples. They’ve become good church attenders and members.
And the goal of discipling all nations/people EVERYWHERE is yet to be complete.
Today’s Missional Challenge
Commit yourself to the goal of seeing disciplemaking communities everywhere – within walking distance of every person on this planet. Start where you are.
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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.