State of the Great Commission Report:  Exciting and Troubling
State of the Great Commission Report: Exciting and Troubling

State of the Great Commission Report: Exciting and Troubling

The Lausanne Commission released the State of the Great Commission Report about two weeks ago.  This paper has more than 150 authors, written over several years.  The timing of this report is in preparation for Lausanne 4, the meeting that will be held in Seoul in September.  While you can watch the entire presentation here, I thought I would highlight a few key takeaways.  

(I apologize – there are a lot of graphs in this post and I’m told that not everyone loves graphs – something I don’t understand as a visual learner!)

The first graph titled the “Regional Christian Population” shows that the highest percentage of  Christians was in Europe in 1900; the majority of Christians are now in Africa.  There are not a lot of surprises in this graph, but it’s always interesting to look at the changes over 120 years relating to geography and Christianity.  This graph doesn’t show gender info, but Christianity is made up of more females than males, therefore the average Christian today is an African female.

The second graph titled “Missionary Activity” shows that the US both receives the highest number of missionaries AND sends out the highest number of missionaries. What an interesting position for the US!

The third graph titled “Global Christianity” is rather sorry-looking, showing that the percentage of Christians in the world has not changed in 120 years.  While the number of Christians has increased with the population, the overall percentage has stayed the same.  This graph generates a lot of questions relating to what is working and what is not working, relating to fulfilling the Great Commission.

This leads to the graph titled the “Great Commission,” relating to how Christians view this mandate, in terms of being prepared to share, and viewing it as essential or optional.  More Christians say they are not prepared to share and that sharing is optional. Another graph (not pictured here) shows that most Christians report that they are not discipled in the Great Commission Mandate, which may be the reason for people not feeling prepared to share.

This then leads to my favorite graph (in light of DML) entitled, “Call to Discipleship.”  This graph asks the question, “In your context, when a person becomes a new believer in Christ, do you feel they are then adequately discipled in the following areas?”

The first area is “Biblical and Theological Understanding.”  Most say they do limited discipleship (yellow circles).  

The next is “Christian Integration with Profession.” This relates to the work that DML does, which is why it is interesting to us.  Surprisingly, most say that they do limited discipleship (I would have expected that percentage to be lower), but a significant percentage say they do no discipleship as it relates to the workplace.

This graph is important for two reasons. The first is that it is SO exciting that this question is even being asked!  That tells me that the many ministries engaged in faith/work integration are raising awareness that this is a growing need and opportunity for the global church.  The second reason this is important is that we believe this graph is going to open more demands for workplace discipleship resources for the church.  And DML has been preparing for such a time as this!

DML continues to experience this growing demand (so far this year we have started in Benin, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, as well as some South Asian countries which will remain unnamed), but there are a few more things that we need to get done in preparation for the exposure that will come through the Lausanne 4 conference in Seoul!  

We are thankful for many partners who continue to join us through prayer, encouragement, financial support, and giving of time and talent!  We believe these requests will increase, as the global church begins to recognize the significant potential of fulfilling the Great Commission by releasing every person to be the church every day of the week!

We hope that you will join us as we seek to see the Great Commitment, Great Commandment, and Great Commission lived out in every workplace!  Please continue to pray for this message and for the work of the Global Church to be salt, light, and leaven in every place and space.