How Every Christian Can Participate in the Great Commission - Radical

Secret Church is this Friday. It's not too late to join us! 🎟️

How Every Christian Can Participate in the Great Commission

God did not save us and take us straight to heaven. He left us in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need for a finite amount of time, which is why we must give our lives sacrificially for the spread of the gospel. We do not exist merely to coast through casual Christianity on a week-by-week basis; we were created for so much more than that. As Christians, we come together in local churches that exist for the accomplishment of global mission. 

God is saving a people from among all the peoples of the earth for the praise of his name. God is not fully praised when only one type of people worship him, whether that be Jewish people or Anglo-Americans or African-Americans or Latin Americans or Ethiopians . . . or any other people. God is most fully praised when every type of people in the world is praising God for his salvation. God loves all people, and he wants his love known among all peoples. Therefore, this is the purpose for which we live, and it is the purpose for which the church exists.

God is most fully praised when every type of people in the world is praising God for his salvation.

We have taken the worldwide purpose of God and turned it into a compartmentalized program in the church. We say that concern for people who still haven’t heard the gospel around the world is only for the “missions people,” the people who care about the glory of God in the world. But the question we should be asking is, Who in the church does not care about the glory of God in the world? We should all want to see all the peoples of the world enjoying gospel grace and praising our great God. Surely none of us has been saved by the grace of God and filled with the Spirit of God in order to ignore the purpose of God in the world. We exist, as individual Christians and as the church, for the spread of God’s praise through the gospel among all the peoples of the world. 

After hearing about God’s global purposes, some Christians wonder whether every follower of Christ is supposed to move to another country to serve as a missionary. I suppose the Spirit could lead us all in that direction, but God has not commanded us to do this in his Word, and I doubt he is going to call all of us to move to another country. So what does God’s global purpose mean for us?

God wants people from every single people group to be rescued and ransomed by Christ. Therefore, commitment to the Great Commission in our lives and in our churches necessarily involves the commitment of our lives and our resources to get the gospel to people groups that still have not been reached. Consider three ways this should be playing out in the lives of all believers.

1. We all pray for the spread of God’s praise among all the peoples of the world.

Every day we have the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing around the world from our knees. Is a passion for God’s praise among all the peoples of the world evident in your prayer life? Prayer for global mission is not for a select few but for all of us. There needs to be a global component to all of our praying on a continual basis. Every Christian needs to pray for the spread of the gospel to the nations, for the church globally, and for the lost around the world. This is non-negotiable for all of us. 

2. We all give for the spread of God’s praise among all the peoples of the world.

In Romans 15, Paul talks about collecting an offering to help him take the gospel to Spain where people have never heard it. He hopes the church at Rome will help him on his journey (Romans 15:24). The book of Romans is one long missionary support letter that says, in essence, “Here is the glory of God in the gospel—now please help me get this gospel to people who have never heard it before.” 

Commitment to the Great Commission in our lives and in our churches necessarily involves the commitment of our lives and our resources to get the gospel to people groups that still have not been reached.

At the same time, as important as it was to get the gospel to Spain where people had not heard it, and as much as he wanted the church in Rome to give toward that end, Paul tells them of his plan to go to Jerusalem first in order to deliver financial assistance to the church there (Romans 15:25). The church in Jerusalem had experienced a famine and was physically struggling, so Paul had rallied churches all across Asia, including poor churches, to contribute. He had collected an offering to take to a suffering, impoverished, struggling church in Jerusalem. He gives attention to both urgent spiritual needs (the gospel) and urgent physical needs (famine). Concern for both types of need should be evident in our giving as a church.

As an American, I live in one of the wealthiest places on planet Earth. God has given many of our churches an abundance of resources, but he has not intended for us to spend it all on ourselves. He has blessed us for the sake of his name among the nations (Psalm 67). He has given us worldly wealth for his worldwide worship. And as we give toward that end, we should also be asking how we can give to serve the poor, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling and, in some cases, starving.

3. We all go for the spread of God’s praise among all the peoples of the world.

Every follower of Christ should go and make disciples right where he or she lives and wherever God leads. This involves making disciples where we work, where we play, and where we worship. Every Sunday, we send each other out of our worship gatherings on this mission. Going is not just for some of us; going is for all of us. We are all involved in making disciples who make disciples who make disciples, because we know the Great Commission is not just for special Christians. It’s the mission of every Christian and every church. And we must not stop until all the nations – all the peoples and places of the world – are reached with the good news of God’s love for them.


This excerpt originally appeared in David Platt’s book 12 Traits of a Biblical Church and has been lightly edited.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!