God’s Global Vision for a Global Church

 
 
 

God’s Global Vision for a Global Church

 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

 

Are disciples of Jesus commanded to evangelize the world in one generation? The vision above laid out by Jesus was a plan for the disciples to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and then take the life-changing gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth! Is God’s vision our vision? Do you realize you have been called by God to have not just personal change, or a local communal impact…but global impact. How was it that a small group of fishermen from Galilee multiplied into a world-wide church? This was God’s vision and it would result in a global church that rocked the first century Roman Empire! How did the early church gain this vision?

 

God has always desired the earth to be filled with his message and people. Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). After violence, sin, and rebellion corrupted the earth, God repeated the command to Noah and his family after judging the world with a flood (Genesis 9:1). The people of Shinar came together to build the Tower of Babel in order to stick together directly disobeying God’s command to fill the earth. God scatters his people through the earth by confusing their languages (Genesis 11:1-9). Since God promised to never judge the world again in a manner similar to the flood, he chose Abraham in whom he promised a nation would come from. This nation would be a light to the world that all peoples on earth would be blessed through (Genesis 12:1-3). The heart of God in the Old Testament was for all nations to know him. Jesus was ultimately the offspring of Abraham whom through all nations would be blessed through “spiritual Israel” the church (Galatians 3:26-29, 6:16).

 

Jesus chose twelve men to train and disciple in order to build a church that would impact the world. Twelve was significant as there were twelve tribes of physical Israel, the message was clear, Jesus was starting a “spiritual Israel” with the apostles. He put this global vision into these twelve men in order to build a global church (Mark 3:13-19). In one of Jesus’ most famous sermons “The Olivet Discourse”, Jesus calls attention to the temple buildings claiming that it would be destroyed one day! The disciples ask Jesus when it will happen (Matthew 24:1-3). After going over many things that must happen before the temple is destroyed he says And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). Later, Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened (Matthew 24:34). The prophecy is clear, the world must be evangelized first and then the end, referring to the end of temple worship (Judaism) would come. We know historically the Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70 fulfilling Jesus’ words. Amazingly, the apostle Paul writes in AD 62 In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world- just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace…This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant (Colossians 1:6b, 23b). The disciples had a global vision that led to the world being evangelized in their generation and we need to have the same vision for this generation.

 

To evangelize the world doesn’t mean everyone becomes a Christian. In the Roman Empire, everyone under heaven in the known world had heard about The Church whether through good report or bad. A local autonomous church won’t get the mission accomplished. Only through a collective group of churches working together and sharing their resources can the world have a chance at being evangelized. The Boston International Christian Church (aka #BostonDisciples) is a non-denominational congregation that is part of a global movement of churches that share God’s vision of an evangelized world. In ten years time a small group of disciples has grown to a global church now on every populated continent of the world. What is our role here in Boston?

 

Being in the intellectual “Athens” of our day, we believe God has called us to evangelize some of the world greatest colleges which will produce future Christian leaders who can impact the world for God. Already we have seen people converted at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Berklee College of Music, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Bunker Hill Community College, UMASS, etc. Phase 1 of our New England Revolution plan is almost complete. We will start working on Phase 2 to regionalize the church to expand through all of New England. The churches impact is already being felt by the sending of members to continue God’s work in Syracuse, Miami, Los Angeles, Eugene, and so many different places. How will this vision be accomplished and what can you do to have a global impact for Christ? Here are a couple opportunities our congregation offers:

 

  1. Discipling- “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- Jesus’ plan was to disciple and train twelve men who would disciple and train others. Every new Christian is commanded to be discipled (taught to obey). Do you have a spiritual mentor? Someone you can confide in, confess sin to, pray with, and learn to be more effective in the ministry from. Discipling is God’s plan to propagate the gospel to all nations. To disciple others, you must first be discipled (Luke 6:40). Decide today to do our personal bible study series with the friend who brought you out to church and learn about God’s plan of discipleship.
  2. Bible Talks/Small Groups- “…He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Acts 19:9-10. Just as Jesus had a small group, the apostle Paul had one as well. He took his disciples to a lecture hall and by working together, the province of Asia (modern day western Turkey) was evangelized. Our Bible Talks model Jesus’ ministry. We must walk with another person in discipleship and learn form each other (1 Corinthians 11:1). Consider joining one of our small evangelistic Bible Talks to learn more about how to effectively share your faith with an unbeliever in our community.
  3. International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM), Lion’s Den, Bible Talk Leaders Meeting- “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15- Are you called to lead in God’s kingdom? In the Bible, men and women did not learn to lead by going to seminary or formal education in our modern sense, but through walking with another evangelist or church leader in discipleship (Acts 4:12). Formal training is not bad and actually encouraged, but we understand that real discipleship takes place on the streets, at the job, on the college campus, etc. Our congregation has many opportunities to receive the training needed in order to lead effectively in the church. Sunday afternoons we have an open meeting that teaches how to lead a fruitful small group that can evangelize your community or college. “Lion’s Den” is our preaching class that instructs disciples of Jesus how to communicate the message of God in a way our modern society can receive. Finally, ICCM is our formal college of ministry that was accredited in 2013 to be able to award Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees in Ministry. Excitingly, the Boston extension will have their first graduates at the 2019 Global Leadership Conference. Both with ICCM and Lion’s Den there must be a proven effectiveness at leading a small group in the congregation and faithfulness to Christ, in order to be selected to be invited to come.

 

Bottom line, we believe in God’s mandate to evangelize the nations in our generation. We are praying for men and women who don’t want to live the status quo life. We are a people who have been called out of mediocrity, denominationalism, and lukewarmness in order to live life to the full (John 10:10). Join the New England Revolution…the Boston Disciples…and take a radical leap of faith to be trained in order to maximize your impact for Christ! To God be all the glory!