Lance urges messengers to believe Great Commission is possible

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

The Great Commission might seem out of reach at times, but it’s not an impossible task, said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

To drive that point home, Lance walked on stage to begin his Nov. 13 report to the Alabama Baptist State Convention in a pair of Tom Cruise-like sunglasses while the “Mission: Impossible” theme song played.

“I want to take a refreshed look at what we call our one mission — the Great Commission,” he said. “Let’s think about mission impossible being made possible.”

Lance noted four defining factors of the Great Commission:

     1. Intentional

The first charge of the Great Commission — found in Matthew 28:19–20 — is to “go therefore.”

“You can’t take the ‘go’ out of the gospel or the Great Commission,” Lance said. “As you go, make disciples. There’s an intentionality about the Great Commission as we seek to share the risen Christ.”

     2. Missional

Believers in Jesus Christ have the unique imperative to share Him with the world, Lance said. “This means that we are to go out and make disciples — the Great Commission spells that out in concrete language.”

As a church minister it’s easy to end up spending all of your time with other Christians, he said. “There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but we intentionally need to be seeking out that one person — and more than one — as we look forward to be missional for the cause of Christ.”

     3. Directional

The Great Commission extends to all people and all nations, Lance said.

“It’s for all peoples, all nations,” he said. “You and I do not have to be reminded that the nations have come to our neighborhood.”

     4. Celebrational

Before Jesus gave the command to go and make disciples, He started with a promise — that He would be with us always. That’s worth celebrating, Lance said.

And God is at work in ways that are also worth celebrating, he said. Churches are being planted and revitalized.

“Our theme is being faithful to the Great Commission,” Lance said. “As long as God gives us breath, may we be that kind of people, now and in the future.”