Pastors who aren’t Committed to the Great Commission
One of the reasons that I started this blog was after 20+ years of full time ministry, I have been surprised how many well-meaning church people don’t seem to really know or believe that the Great Commission is a command that Jesus gives for all Christians. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why these people thought of me as the Great Commission ‘professional’ and themselves as neutral on the topic. Over the years, I think I’ve figured it out. I think while many Churches talk about the Great Commission, not many are doing much to help their congregations to fulfill it. And that responsibility begins and ends with the Senior Pastor. In most churches, he’s the main vision caster and direction setter for his flock.
So why are these pastors not committed to the Great Commission? Here’s a few key thoughts:
1. Pastors will never say they are not committed
My observation is that no pastor will never actually say they aren’t committed to the Great Commission….. after all, it’s in the Bible, right? The reality is though that a lot of church leaders and pastors in particular proclaim the message without a deep burden to obey the command. They have not allowed the words to change their behavior.
2. Churches whose Pastors aren’t committed will never see much activity
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had discussions with church leaders who have disagreed with what I think is a immutable truth: I have never seen a church that is great at Great Commission activity not led by a pastor who are deeply committed to the task of the Great Commission. In other words, if the pastor doesn’t have a deep heart for his city and the nations to know Christ, the church he leads will not live out this burden either.
3. Great Commission fulfillment is hard
Finally, too many times, Pastors settle for the easy path as it comes to leading their church. In order to see real Great Commission fulfillment, a number of things need to take place:
*Work has to be done to determine where the church will be involved around the world
*Committees may need to be trained and supervised
*Faith need to be exerted, trusting God for Big Things in unfamiliar lands
*A pastor not committed to the Great Commission may see this new work as a interruption to the work he is already doing, but as David Bosch, the influential missiologist said, “If the Church is ‘in Christ,’ she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence.” In other words, the missions should not be some side program to think about running, it is the purpose of the church.
Without a pastor that has a deep heart for both people living around the church and around the world, his congregation will find themselves confused about the Great Commission, sometimes being told to share the Gospel without being shown how. They will fail to see the lost and dying around them, will not see the opportunities around them and will not ever know any missionaries personally to put a ‘face’ on the work happening around the world.
How about your church? How well would you grade your pastor in their heart for the Great Commission?