“Then Jesus came to them and said,
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to
me. 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.’” –
On a mountain in Galilee, a
resurrected Jesus Christ met with His eleven living
disciples. The only one who was not among them was Judas,
who had committed suicide in despair over his betrayal of
Christ. Jesus spoke to them the words above, in a passage
that has come to be known as the Great Commission. It is
this commission, spoken not only to the eleven, but to all
disciples of Christ, that leads Christians to evangelize.
With those words, our mission to reach the world for Jesus
Christ was put forth.
Evangelism can be a delicate act.
Many missionaries risk their very lives by evangelizing in
countries in which it is a crime to do so. Other Christians
face charges of “divisiveness” and “intolerance” for
following the orders of our Savior. Many choose not to take
the chance, and they ignore the Great Commission in its
entirety. I want to share with you how one group of
ordinary people has taken this mission seriously, and with
Springfield, Illinois is a city
with slightly more than 111,000 people living within its
limits. On West Carpenter Street, the First Assembly of God
Church meets with the vision “To Win Souls & Make
Disciples.” They call themselves the “More Lord” church,
and they have been following the Great Commission in places
far from the comforts of home. Making an average of four
mission trips per year, members of this church have been
spreading the gospel in places such as Korea and Guatemala.
In October, Associate Pastor Todd
Vance led a group of ten members on a mission trip to
Belize. The team hooked up with Don and Janice Scheske,
missionaries assigned to this tiny Central American
country. For nine days, according to team members Dennis
and Judy Coy, the team traveled to a different village every
night, braving temperatures nearing the century mark, and a
relative humidity almost as high. The “Springfield Ten”
would distribute tracts in the various villages, and invite
people to come to their nightly services.
The first nightly service was held
on October 6th, and out of 75 people in
three surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ.
Attendance at these services grew rapidly, and so did the
hunger for Christ. By the end of their nine days, the
Holy Spirit had used this team to reach more
than 325 people for Jesus Christ!
“It was awesome, the hunger that
was in those little children and adults as well,” beamed
Judy Coy. “Janice and Don will follow up with all of the
new Christians. And they have some village people that are
so dedicated to helping them.”
The disciples who walked with Jesus
2000 years ago, were a snapshot of ordinary people.
Yet Jesus did wonderful works in them and through them.
The Apostle Paul was an ordinary man who answered a calling
from Christ Jesus, and became perhaps the greatest
missionary the world will ever know. Ten ordinary men
and women from the “More Lord” church in Springfield,
Illinois, committed themselves to following the Great
of Jesus Christ. Ten people, who yielded themselves to
the Holy Spirit, were instrumental in “making disciples” of
325 people in another nation.
Are you willing do submit
yourselves to the work of a disciple? God uses ordinary
people to show Himself to the world. Are you willing
to be an instrument of Jesus
and let Him be seen and known
through you? Are you willing to draw upon the Lord for
your strength, and to be a contender? If
the Lord used ten ordinary people from Springfield, Illinois
to claim over three hundred souls in nine days, think of
could happen if we all showed the
same resolve and dedication to following the Great