By Jerry and Barbara Gibbs
I’m sure you are familiar with the term Great Commission. If not, you have plenty of company.
A recent survey by the Seed Company and Barna Research reported half of U.S. churchgoers (51%) do not know this term. The Great Commission did sound familiar for one in four (25%), although they didn’t remember what it is. Six percent of churchgoers were not sure they had heard the term at all. Where do those regularly attending a Free Will Baptist church stand?
One of the purposes of IM’s development department is to help our churches better understand what the Bible says about the Great Commission. We provide the means to not only understand God’s command to His people, but also provide ways to participate in His global purpose of seeing all nations come to worship Him. Around 7,200 unreached people groups, representing 3.2 billion souls, have never heard the name of Jesus. How can we as Free Will Baptists close the gap and be effective in reaching people who have never heard the name of Christ?
For several years now, IM has promoted Go Global, a missionary workshop-conference event. Since it started, Go Global has raised missionary awareness in local churches, quarterly meetings, association meetings, and state meetings. An interactive program, attendees are invited into the “kitchen” of IM to see how we operate and why; understand the goals and objectives of the Mission; answer questions of policy, finances, and purpose; and see how we all fit into God’s global purpose.
The first goal of Go Global is to inform, to help the listener understand God’s heart, His plan to bring the world to Himself. Jesus issued a mandate: “As My Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). He launched a movement to take salvation to every people group of the earth. He chose His followers and gave them a strategic, intentional mission. Our mission is to continue the work until every nation has heard the Good News.
Informing also involves sharing the tasks IM has designated and demonstrating how missionaries carry them out in their ministries. Missionaries share their stories, either in person or by video.
This involves the second goal—inspire. It’s a time for “Amen” and “Praise the Lord” as we hear current stories of God at work changing lives worldwide. He allows IM missionaries to be part of building Christ’s Kingdom. It’s exciting to hear from those who understand God’s mandate and seek to fulfill it among a people group with little contact with the gospel.
The third goal of Go Global is to engage. Carl F.H. Henry said, “The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” God has a plan and a place for each one of us. Go Global seeks to help attendees find their place of service, whether in their local church or across the globe. We share possibilities for participation in short-term field ministries such as,
ETEAM, for high schoolers from the end of 10th grade to graduation.
College Missions Program, for any Free Will Baptist college student (regardless of the college/university attended) who want to impact their world for Jesus Christ.
The Hanna Project, an NGO taking help, hope, and healing around the world. Scores of church members have traveled with The Hanna Project and testify to its impact.
Since the Lord has given His people the mandate to reach the world for His glory, we each have our place and responsibility.
Go Global seeks to be a practical resource and help. So, what is the takeaway for attendees?
David Taylor, executive director of Arkansas Free Will Baptists, remarked: “The Go Global program presented at the Arkansas state meeting was outstanding! It was a powerful presentation of the heart of God and how He is building His Church.”
Marcus Brewer, Texas state moderator, said, “It was a real blessing to have IM organize the program for the Texas state meeting. Not only did IM provide the speakers and content for our worship services, but the topics were informative and relevant to our people. They organized two different workshops for our pastors and lay people. They were full of insights on the needs and duties of our missionaries and gave us great information on how to organize a missionary visit to our churches and promote giving to and praying for missions. The worship services were meaningful to everyone, reminding us of a biblical mandate for missions and motivating us to do our part and reach the world.”
Clint Morgan, general director of IM, emphasized, “We want Go Global to become the premier, intensive, mission-focused training program of IM.”
Missions is not an optional accessory to our lives. It is the heartbeat of all we are called to be and do. Our Lord’s life purpose was to bring about God’s glory on earth by accomplishing the Father’s work of redemption (John 17:4). When God’s people are gripped by God’s mandate to take the salvation message to every part of the world, we will seek to find our place in bringing about His glory on earth. Then, everything done and said will have as its goal this glorious fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose. May His name be preached to all the peoples of the earth.
About the Writer: After decades of overseas service, Jerry and Barbara Gibbs transitioned to the States in 2014. They continue serving the Mission as development associates. Learn more: IMInc.org.
Six Simple Steps to Going Global
Use the IM directory or map to adopt a missionary(ies) for prayer and support.
Subscribe to the weekly Hotline email, for the latest missionary prayer and praise news.
Request the free world prayer guide from IM, an invaluable guide as you pray for the world.
Talk to your church leadership about having five-minute missions moments during your services—either in person or by video.
Host a missionary in your church and your home.
Help plan a Go Global event in your church or association.
Contact IM (877-767-7736) to bring Go Global
to your church, quarterly meeting, or state meeting.