The Great Omission

Great Commission or Omission

We probably hear Matthew 28: 19-20 recited often. It is a great verse which most of our church vision and mission statements are built on. It gives specific instructions for us to go, make disciples and teach all nations. It is called the Great Commission, but if you look at how often Christians share Christ with others, maybe it would be better to re-name it the Great Omission. Let me unpack that comment. According to George Barna, (Barna Research Group)

Only about half (53%) of born again Christians feel a sense of responsibility to tell others about their faith. In other words, nearly half of born again Christians do not think that it is their personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with those who do not know Christ.  (1999) Robert J Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of stories, Illustrations & Quotes, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers (2000)
— www.lifeway.com/Artlicle/sermon-freedom-4-sharing-christ-in-all-places

Not a Suggestion

The Great Commission is not a suggestion, but a command from Christ to go and build His church.  In the past, the church offered a variety of great programs and events that were easy to invite others to attend.  Then when our non-believing friends came to our churches, the Gospel was presented, and the love of Christ was readily offered to all who came through our doors.  While this can still be true, people are less likely to come to our churches.  Some of this is due to the busyness of life. Most people are exhausted with their own schedules, and no matter how we market our events and programs, they are too tired to give it much consideration.  Also, let’s face it, we are having a difficult time making our events marketable against the other time consuming events screaming for their attention.  While we want to be attractional to others, we still work hard at providing substitutive, Gospel, meaningful and relevant messages, Bible studies and events. That is a tall order especially for weekly event.

Ways to Share

So I want to suggest that there are other ways to share Christ with others, outside of inviting them for our weekly programs, worship and events. God has uniquely positioned each of us in our own areas of influence. Most of us have homes, jobs, schools, doctor’s offices, groups and associations that we regularly interact with. We can take those opportunities and learn to be more intentional with sharing Christ with others where ever we go. This week I would like to share some ideas on witnessing with our neighbors.  We have become so compartmentalized in our lives this is one of the more difficult places to start. If you are anything like me you do not know most of your neighbors, and the ones you do know, generally the relationship is superficial. You may wave, or nod, when they are out getting their mail, but it doesn’t go much from there. Christian Woman’s Today puts it like this: Witnessing to neighbors in our own neighboorhood...

We often don’t find the time – or more often, the courage-to knock on a neighbor’s door or approach them in the yard. Guilty that our neighborhoods seem cold and unfriendly and that we’re not helping matters.  And, most importantly for Christian couples, guilty that our home is not a beacon for a neighborhood full of lost souls.
— www.todayschristianwoman.com/article/2008/september/witnessing-to-neighbors

Here are some ideas online that can help us be more intentional in sharing the Gospel (The Good News) with our neighbors.  

Visit www.vergenetwork.org to find 25 missional ways to be missional in our neighborhoods. 

These are some great ideas, but, even if you think: that won’t work in my neighborhood; the list is bound to make you think of ways of things that might open opportunities to build relationship with your neighbors.

We also have VBS Camps that we offer all summer long throughout our neighborhoods. These camps give us the unique opportunity to let our neighbors know, even if they don’t attend our camps, that we are open to sharing about Christ with others. It is a window to build a bridge of hope and sharing with others. www.navarre.church/vbs.

Omission of the Great Commission is just Disobedience

It is a command that tells us to go... and make disciples. Look around in your neighborhood today… how can you share the love of Christ with those who live close to you? Ask God to help you look for those opportunities and empower you to build those relationship and share His love with others.

Lori Ferguson serves as Children's Director at NUMC, and has been at the church since 2015. When she's not planning or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her grandkids. Read more about Lori here.