Jesus’ main purpose, besides his death and resurrection, was to train enough workers to carry on his
global mission. If he didn’t do this then the world would never have heard of Christianity, and I would not be writing this blog 2,000 years later. So, how did he do it?
Basically, he followed the following pattern:
- I bring heaven to earth while you watch
- I watch while you bring heaven to earth
- I leave and you take keep doing what you learnt from me
The Gospels tell this story at length, but the specific instructions are in Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 9-10, and Matthew 28:18-20. They are arguably some of the most important passages in the Gospels as relating to the future of Jesus’ mission and the global church. For hundreds of years the early underground church faithfully followed the pattern Jesus gave them.
The passages above basically say the following:
- I give you authority to do what I did.
- First, go first to the lost sheep of Israel
- Heal the sick, raise the dead, tell them they can now be part of the Kingdom
- Travel lite and don’t ask for money, give the Kingdom away freely
- Stay with persons of peace, godly people who will open up their home and village
- Don’t fear the opposition that will come
- Second, go to all the world and make disciples of them too following the same pattern
- I will be with you all the way till the end of the earth
And he didn’t just train 12 to do this. He trained another 70 in the same skills as well (Luke 10:1-1). Jesus was seriously training leaders because he wanted the whole world discipled. Using his methodology these well-trained leaders quickly turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).
But then Christianity became so successful it went mainstream in country after country, beginning with Armenia, then Rome. Other jurisdictions followed across the Middle East and Europe. It was a spiritual disaster. Pagan cultural practices slowly began to overtake Jesus’ mission and methodology. The compromise has been with us ever since. So many pagan practices are now part of modern Western Christianity that we have forgotten both his original mission and the specific methodology Jesus gave us to achieve that mission.
Fortunately, most Christians now are no longer Western. They are not bound by our pagan church practices. They are re-examining scripture and ditching what they inherited from the West that is not in the book, while starting to do what is in the book that is missing from Western church practice. It is exciting times. This decade will see the arrival of their dynamic, Jesus-centric mission and methodology back in Western culture. It’s going nuts in developing countries and has already started to arrive in Europe and the US with amazing results.