Perhaps we have a growing awareness of and passion for the billions of people who do not currently have access to the good news of Jesus and what He has done. Perhaps in light of that great injustice, we find ourselves unable to sit still. With people being born, living their entire lives, and then dying without ever having met a Christian witness who could make Jesus known to them, how can we go on without doing something about it? But with so much need, where do we even begin?
Consider this analogy from profound mobilizer Dr. Ralph Winter. If you were made aware one night that there was a house fire blazing next door to you, what would you do? Grab a bucket, fill it with water, and go throw that on the burning building? Or sound an alarm to awaken the neighbors and alert the hundreds of sleeping firemen? If you truly desired to see the fire extinguished, you would take the extra time required to awaken others… because a fire of that scope demands more than one person’s efforts to make an impact.
Missions mobilizer Wesley Tullis has described mobilization as “any process by which God’s people are awakened and kept moving and growing until they find their place for strategic involvement in the task of completing world evangelization.” And just like in the analogy of the sleeping firemen, mobilization is absolutely essential in the work of seeing the Great Commission fulfilled. Jesus didn’t commission a singular follower in Matthew 28:19-20; He commissioned His followers corporately. And we must recognize that God’s call to engage in the expansion of His global Church is not just for us individually, but for us corporately.
In 2018, Barna published the sobering findings that 51% of American churchgoers didn’t know the Great Commission. Now, Christ’s command to “go therefore and make disciples” was not given to the American church, just as it was not given to an individual follower. The command was given corporately, and it is for Christ’s followers globally. But mobilization in our current context and location is where we must start. If we intentionally craft a lifestyle of mobilization, made up of various seemingly small habits, then we will be investing in the essential work of awakening the sleeping firemen… until all have heard.