The Great Commission: What Does It Mean to You?

The Great Commission: What Does It Mean to You?

January 13, 2021


Would it surprise you to find that more than half of churchgoers today admit they don’t know what the term “the Great Commission” means?

In a report released in March 2018, Barna Research found that when asked, “Have you heard of the Great Commission?” 51% of churchgoers said, “No.” Six percent reported they were not sure; 17% said yes, they knew what it meant, and 25% had heard of it but said they could not recall the exact meaning.

What Is the Great Commission?

In Matthew 28:18b–20, Jesus shares what we call the Great Commission:

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


The Great Commission Is Sharing the Good News

If you’ve ever known someone who met Christ in the midst of despair, you probably experienced their excitement. For them, this is the greatest news in the world, and they can’t keep it to themselves! Maybe your own salvation experience was something like that.

The Great Commission Is Making Disciples

The Great Commission doesn’t stop with sharing the basics of the gospel. Jesus said to make disciples, and that means teaching others how to live the Christian life.

The Great Commission Is an Expression of Love

The Great Commandment tells you to love God and to love your neighbors as yourself (Mark 12:28–31). Your heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, loves you deeply. Every single person in the world needs to experience this truth. If we love God, we need to love each other (1 John 4:11–12Ephesians 5:1–2).

What’s Your Part in the Great Commission?

Read God’s Word

You can’t tell others what you don’t know yourself. Think about an activity you’re not very good at. Have you ever tried to teach someone how to do it? How did that turn out?

The more you read God’s Word, the more you develop a biblical worldview. You’re able to relate your everyday experiences to what you read. The more you experience God’s Word, the more likely you are to talk about it. It becomes top-of-mind and flows naturally into your conversations.

The book of Ruth was chosen for translation in South Asia because widows are treated poorly there. And, as often happens, the translators were affected as much as those receiving the fruit of their labor.

One translator was so convicted by the message of Ruth that she left in the middle of a training session to go reconcile with her mother-in-law. Learning about the beautiful relationship between Naomi and Ruth was already bringing restoration, all because this translator was transformed by the Scriptures she was immersed in each day.

Live God’s Word

The great evangelist D.L. Moody once said, “Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred will read you and me.”

A Barna Group study found that the belief that Christians are hypocrites was a barrier to faith for 23% of Generation Z (ages 5-21), 31% of Millennials, 25% of Generation X, and 29% of Boomers.

As a Christ follower, you have to walk the talk. When you’re living God’s Word, evangelism doesn’t have to be knocking on doors or accosting strangers; people in your life will see the difference in you and naturally want to know more (John 15:7–10).

The Ada speakers of Asia have held tightly to a traditional belief in the power of rituals. For example, they have associated a good harvest with first blessing the field by sprinkling it with the blood of a slaughtered pig. But with the coming of Scripture, they’ve begun to question this practice: What is its purpose? What will happen if we do away with it? What does the Bible say about it? 

For the first time, pastors, traditional elders, and village chiefs have met to discuss how their cultural practices line up with the truth of God’s Word.

Share God’s Word

God desires for every person to have Scripture in their heart language. Thousands of people groups, representing hundreds of millions of people, do not have a single verse of Scripture in the language they understand best. Seed Company exists to come alongside these people groups, to help resource the Bible translation process.

There are many intentional ways to share God’s Word. Just a few include:

  • Through personal relationships and evangelism
  • By supporting your church
  • By participating in missions

When you partner in prayer with Seed Company, you join with others across the globe to bring God’s Word to those waiting for it. Only two things last forever: the Word of God and the souls of people. The work of Bible translation creates an intersection between the two.

Bible translation is a very important mission for many reasons, one of which is its impact on the Great Commission. If you’ve ever struggled with knowing how you can share Christ, Bible translation is a very practical, intentional way to share God’s Word.

How Bible Translation Fuels the Great Commission

Life transformation occurs when people receive God’s Word—or even portions of it. That’s the ultimate goal of Bible translation.

People’s lives improve tangibly as they know God more intimately. Bible translation addresses suffering, oppression, greed, and indifference. The Holy Spirit then produces renewal, peace, joy, hope, and perseverance. A new identity in Christ restores dignity and self-confidence as people learn their great worth in God’s eyes. They’re emboldened to share their newfound life with others. Entire communities are impacted.

Now more than ever, people need the living Word of God. When you support Bible translation by praying for the Bibleless or giving financially, you help to fulfill the Great Commission.

Partner with Us in Prayer

Sign up to intercede on behalf of the more than 1 billion people still waiting for a full Bible in their language. There is nothing more beautiful and rewarding than laboring through prayer and celebrating when a people group receives God’s Word.

Read More Stories

[VIDEO] A people group in Kenya celebrates the completion of the New Testament in their language.
August 10, 2019
Oral Bible Storytelling by women for women. The Esther Initiative impacts 26 unique languages and 107 million people.
December 1, 2018
VIDEO: Zapotec pastor helps translate more of God’s Word.
July 5, 2016

Help Reach People Waiting for God’s Word

God’s Word changes everything. And everyone deserves to have God’s Word in the language they understand best. You can help make that happen.

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