7 Ways to Follow the Great Commission from Home
By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs
The Great Commission sounds great, but how does it work if we don’t move to the other side of the planet as a missionary?
If every person who follows Jesus is really supposed to be making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), there must be some way to do this without signing up for seminary or moving to another country, right?
God certainly doesn’t call all of us to uproot to another location to tell people about Him. Actually, God can sometimes use us best right where we are. Here are seven ways we can practice the Great Commission from home (in addition to the usual options of praying and donating money).
- Invest in your own family and friends
After Jesus freed one man from an evil spirit, the man wanted to follow Jesus with the other disciples. Jesus said, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The verse adds, “So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”
By simply sharing what God has done in our own lives, we can help change the lives of others in ways that will change the world.
- Support missionaries from a distance
Just because God hasn’t called you to Kenya doesn’t mean you are unable to help people there. Almost every church supports missionaries in other countries. Discover which missionaries your church supports and find ways to help them.
Most people first think of sending money. While this helps, we can also regularly pray for our church’s missionaries, communicate by mail, phone, or online, gather supplies, assist them with writing a newsletter, or offer many other forms of volunteering.
- Challenge others to consider the mission field
During my years as a local church youth and college pastor, my “mission field” was my group of students. Yet I impacted many other nations as well. How? I regularly challenged my students to consider serving in missions. Many did.
Don’t underestimate the power of your influence in the lives of others. If you encourage one person who steps beyond his or her comfort zone and takes the gospel to an unreached people group, you are part of reaching those who have yet to hear about Jesus.
I’ve even seen one person with a map on his wall who marks all the countries where those he has helped are serving. He was supporting people in over 20 nations in a variety of ways—all without leaving home.
- Shop strategically
Did you know your purchases can help make disciples? For example, many non-profits are part of organizations like Amazon Smile where your purchases help support their mission work.
In addition, you can also directly shop for fair trade products from Christian fair trade groups like Worldcrafts.
- The Great (Social) Commission
Social media offers easy ways to share information with anyone in the world—including the gospel. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other tools, we can talk about our faith across borders and barriers unlike any previous generation.
Where to begin? Start with one person. Open with a question or a story that leads to a discussion about Jesus. See where it goes. When appropriate, share our video on how to pray to accept Jesus or encourage others to listen to an audio Bible.
- Meet practical needs
James 1:27 teaches, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” If we’re helping those in need, serving the poor, or assisting widows and children, people notice.
When they ask why we are committed to helping those in need, we have an opening to talk about Jesus that would not otherwise exist. Every community includes people who need help. Find someone—even one person—and start. You may not “make disciples” right away, but consistent effort will lead to many opportunities to discuss your faith.
- Live It
Without living out the Christian faith personally, we lose our credibility to share it. The last part of James 1:27 adds “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” What does this mean? We must pay attention to living a pure life if we expect to help change the lives of others.
This convicting principle encompasses all of life—the words we speak, the media we consume, and the actions we take. Though the most difficult challenge of the seven in this list, a pure life is also the area with the greatest impact. When people see we are different because of Jesus, we become the person they turn to when they are ready to live differently.
Remember, the Great Commission is for everyone. You don’t get to opt out because you aren’t called to another country. Instead, seek ways to transform lives around you where you live. God will take care of the results, fulfilling His perfect plan through your daily walk with Him.
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Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.