The Great Commission Responsibility Is Ours

May 2011

Acts 1:8 (NASB) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Last June the Southern Baptist Convention called for a new emphasis on the Great Commission among Southern Baptist churches. Since then, we have seen a number of changes being proposed at the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Some of these changes will bring a fundamental change in the relationship between NAMB and state conventions. They will also bring changes between NAMB and local associations. It remains to be seeenb whether these changes will improve our ability to accomplish the Great Commission.

For Kansas and Nebraska churches, one thing is certain. For us to see a true resurgence of the Great Commission among us, we must make a renewed commitment to our “Jerusalem” and “Judea.” The organizations created by Southern Baptist churches are designed to serve in accomplishing the Great Commission. The International Mission Board (IMB) serves our churches in reaching the “remotest part.” NAMB serves our churches in reaching our Samaria (North America).

But our local associations and KNCSB were created to serve our churches in reaching our “Judea” (Nebraska and Kansas) while our churches individually pursue the lost in their “Jerusalem.” IMB and NAMB cannot do what our churches, associations and KNCSB do. We live in our “Jerusalem/Judea.” We know the culture. We know the people. No one is better prepared to reach our “Jerusalem/Judea” than we are.

If we focus only on “Samaria” and the “remotest part,” we will not fulfill the Great Commission. We will sin against God by limiting His “Commission.” The Great Commission begins right outside the doors of our churches. It extends to the large cities of eastern Kansas and Nebraska. It extends to the small towns and crossroads of western Nebraska and Kansas. This is the special area that God has placed in our hands because He put us here.

We cannot assume that NAMB will somehow reach our “Judea.” We cannot assume that Arkansas Baptists, Oklahoma Baptists or Missouri Baptists will reach our “Judea.” We welcome their help and treasure their partnership, but the Great Commission responsibility is ours.

Let us not sin, but rather, let us recommit ourselves to make Christ followers of the lost in Nebraska and Kansas.

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