Did you know that the term “the Great Commission” is never found in the Bible? It was a moniker developed by missionaries in the late 18th Century. I’m sure it sounded very hip then but, heck, so did the King James Version.
Thou knowest tis true.
The missionaries who coined the term “the Great Commission” developed it to infuse interest in it in the hearts of their audiences. They wanted to use a term that would attract people to join Jesus in the greatest mission of all time to tell the greatest story ever told. They hoped that this term would recruit more givers and goers when it came to missions work, especially when it came to young people. They succeeded. The term was used to recruit thousands upon thousands into foreign missions.
The problem with TGC term is that, whenever we use it, teens scratch their heads in confusion, youth leaders’ eyes glaze over, and pastors robotically nod their heads in agreement (because they know they are supposed to). The term has lost its panache with today’s culture.
A new generation lies waiting to be challenged to accomplish the ultimate mission, and we are using an ad campaign from a few centuries ago to motivate them. Imagine if companies were still using the same commercials from twenty years ago to get people to buy their products. (”Yes, we know tricks are for kids…let it go! We like your cereal, but we hate your commercials!”) We’d call these companies crazy and then watch them go bankrupt.
So why are we using an ad campaign for Christ’s last and lasting mandate developed by Europeans from the late 1700’s who wouldn’t know an iPhone from Ichabod to motivate people to go and make disciples? Don’t get me wrong, commission cereal is still delicious, but we need a new and improved commercial.
It’s time to rebrand the Great Commission for a postmodern generation. I propose we call it THE Cause. Why? Because people are into causes today, especially young people (if you don’t believe me, you need to sign up for Facebook…after your first hundred or so cause invitations, you’ll change your mind). And the ultimate cause is the timeless command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” Here Jesus is calling his young followers to invade and persuade, to make disciples who make disciples until every nation has heard the good news.
This is THE Cause of causes. While there are some good causes out there that we can be involved with, some goofy causes that we should avoid, there is one cause that we must all embrace. It is THE Cause that Jesus left us with before He ascended into heaven. We are to spend the majority of our time, talent, and treasure making disciples who make disciples.
So let’s harness the cause-centric mindset of the next generation to accomplish THE Cause. By the way, our vision for THE Cause at Dare 2 Share is to mobilize teenagers on every one of the 67,342 high school and middle schools in America who will relationally and relentlessly make disciples who make disciples.
Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, he told his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Immediately after he reminded them of THE Cause they were supposed to be doing, “he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9)
Jesus reminded them of what they were called to do and then floated away. I love what happened next, “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:10-11)
So why are you sitting here reading this blog (and why am I sitting here writing it, for that matter?) Let’s get on it. Let’s accomplish THE Cause before Jesus comes back! But before I go, I have to ask you one more question…
WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR THE CAUSE?