Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Disciples: Someone who is learning the ways of Jesus and teaching others to do the same. Paul follows Jesus’ example of discipleship (Matthew 28:19) by instructing Timothy to do the same (2 Timothy 2:2).
Church: A gathering of Jesus followers, not defined by the education of its leaders, its size, or the specific roles played in the community, but defined by its ability to express the person and presence of Jesus (Matthew 18:19-20; Roman 12).
Multiply: To increase or cause to increase greatly in number or quantity. Many Christians today are not known for making disciples. We have developed a culture where a minister ministers and the rest of us sit back and enjoy “church” from a comfortable distance. This is not what God intends for His church. Every Christian is called by God to minister. Every Christian is a ‘missionary’ and has a responsibility and part in God’s global mission to the ends of the earth. You are called to make disciples and multiply His kingdom.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to go and plant churches. We are told to go and make disciples of Jesus to all nations. Upon making disciples, we’re to baptize them into a community of Christ followers. Inherent in disciple-making is a process of gathering together in community. It’s this community of Jesus followers that’s been the greatest agent for change the world has ever seen.
Jesus promised His disciples that it would be to their benefit for Him to go, “greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). We can go because He has already gone.
We can change the world because He has changed us and created us into a community bearing His image, which is why we are called the body of Christ. The greatest societal transformations have come through the church. It was the church that saw the need to protect and care for orphans. It was the church that, witnessing human suffering, decided to create hospitals. It was the church that began the movement to abolish slavery. The list goes on.
Therefore, if we are seeking obedience to Christ’s commands, we must prioritize making disciples and gathering them into communities. It stands to reason that making disciples and planting communities of Jesus followers is the greatest thing we can do to advance the Kingdom. Maybe this is why it’s called the Great Commission.
Throughout the New Testament we see the model of the gospel reaching an area, people coming to Christ, and then organizing into local churches. These local churches then reach out to those in their community with the Good News of Jesus and work to multiply the Kingdom.
This New Testament model is exactly what our missionaries have in their hearts as they go into these unreached villages of the Himalayas. The goal is to introduce people to Christ and see them gather into local churches with a heart to reach out to those around them with the gospel.
Let’s pray that God will make every provision so we can facilitate a church planting movement of indigenous, self-propagating churches in each Tibetan Buddhist people group. As this happens, the name of Christ will be glorified, and He will receive the praise He is due from every tribe, people, and language throughout the Himalayas.
One of the 23 UPGS in the Himalayas
The Sherpa people are the famous inhabitants of the valleys leading to Mt. Everest. They have labored for years as guides and porters alongside climbers attempting to summit Mt. Everest. The Sherpa people are Tibetan Buddhists, and 90% practice some form of Buddhism. However, few do little more than recite scripture and have a Buddhist statue in their home.
In 1985, a young Sherpa boy had a vision in which Jesus visited him. This young boy’s conversion eventually led to the conversion of his extended family. When he grew up, he went to Bible college and returned to his village to pastor the local church in his village. Reports suggest that there may be as many as 500 Sherpa believers in Nepal.
- Pray specifically for the unbelievers of the Sherpa people group. Pray that they would come to know Jesus and the freedom He gives.
- Pray that the church planting efforts in the Himalayas will be successful to reach the people with the Gospel.
- Pray for The Nations mission trip to the Himalayas, planned for October 2019. On this mission trip people will go, see, and participate in this work firsthand. Pray that God will form this team and mobilize those He is calling to go.
- Mediate and pray on Matthew 28:18-20. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what this means for your daily life now and how it connects to your life’s purpose.