According to Barna Research, over half of American Christians have never heard of the Great Commission, and over 37% of those polled couldn’t identify the Great Commission out of a list of various Bible verses.
Just in case you’re in that lower 50%, the Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:18-20 and it’s where Jesus says:
“Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”
So, why is it that so many American Christians have no idea what the Great Commission is?
Well, the most obvious reason is that it’s because our churches are not focused on making disciples, and most alarmingly, our churches are not filled with people who consider themselves disciples – or followers – of Jesus.
Our Churches today are largely focused on providing goods and services, light Christian entertainment, inspirational sermons, emotionally-charged worship sets, and a variety of programs designed to keep families with teens and young children coming back week-after-week.
I’m not exaggerating.
The bottom line is: Christians are not disciples. This is why they’re unfamiliar with the verse where Jesus commands us to make disciples.
FYI: You can’t make a disciples unless you first become a disciple yourself.
So, if we’re not following Jesus, we’ll never be able to help anyone else follow him either.
If you want to read all the other gobbledeegook from various Seminary professors and mega church pastors about why Christians can’t identify the Great Commission, head on over to Barna Research and knock yourself out. But the simple fact is this: If we are not disciples, we can’t make disciples.
The survey says what most of us already know: Christians are more interested in arguing and dividing over doctrine than they are in following Jesus and putting his teachings into practice in their daily life.
It’s also why the church in America looks so little like Jesus and so much like a religious franchise.
Once you know the problem, fixing it should be pretty easy.
**Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.
His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean.
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