No Small Dreams
While our congregations do many things very well, we are significantly deficient in this act of developing disciplemakers.
Our new EFCA vision is to see all of God’s people become not only true disciples but also disciplemakers—men, women and young people who are actively engaged in impacting others with the gospel. Over the past decade, we have become increasingly aware that while our congregations do many things very well, we are significantly deficient in this act of developing disciplemakers, even though it’s a crucial part of our role in His Church (Ephesians 4:10-12).
That’s what Jesus means in His Great Commission, when He commands us to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20).
All of this has an exponential impact, which is why we are praying that together we will touch millions with the gospel. Amazingly, there are 7 billion people on the planet today. In 1900 there were fewer than 1.8 billion.* With globalization it has never been more possible to reach more people with the gospel than today.
Whether it is China and India, where the gospel is exploding, or the Middle East, where the soil is more difficult—we are seeing an amazing spread of the gospel in our day. We absolutely believe that God can use our movement to touch millions with the gospel as we live out the disciplemaking paradigm that Jesus gave to us.
The final piece of the vision statement involves asking God to allow us to have an impact on not simply our neighborhoods but also entire cities and regions. A biblical example of this is the planting and growth of the church in Ephesus (Acts 19), where the entire area of Asia Minor heard about the gospel.
Historically, the EFCA has participated in such efforts in Congo, Hong Kong and Venezuela. And this is what ReachGlobal is still doing today. For example, we are partnering with Together With Berlin (a coalition of German ministries) to see a gospel presence arise in every one of Berlin’s hundred-some neighborhoods. This requires us to place the Bride of Christ (His Church) above our particular brand (the EFCA) in a cooperative effort to see Jesus become well known and His presence lifted high in this influential city. And at the core of that strategy, again, is the making of disciples who will in turn be disciplemakers.
Similar strategies are taking place today in the United States, where gospel-centered churches are working across denominational and theological lines to reach their city or region.
Can you imagine all 1,500 churches in the EFCA focusing on the making of disciplemakers, who are focused on reaching their corner of the world and beyond with the gospel, and who are also cooperating with other likeminded churches to see God do more than any one of us could do alone? Add in the international efforts and the schools of the EFCA movement, and you soon have a powerful set of waves that God can use to transform individuals, communities, and cities and regions.
It is our prayer and hope that all EFCA churches will join together in seeing this happen. I think we can safely paraphrase: “The world has yet to see what God will do through a whole movement committed to the gospel of Jesus.” We would like to be that movement.