I wonder if you ever thought about the definition of an “engaged Great Commission” worker. We usually have other titles that we would use to describe someone like that – “M’s” with a variety of terms is just one of them.
Is everyone that witnesses for Christ to someone, in whatever environment, classified as an “M”? In general terms, that is a very logical and Biblical perspective. After all, the Acts of the Apostles chronicles the lives of everyday men and women who lived out their witness in some very challenging situation. Many of them served faithfully in ethnically and linguistically similar contexts. If you are one of those committed believers who is actively engaging in everyday witness in your professional and social community, I applaud you and admire you for your faithfulness. Please don’t stop doing that! Please don’t consider that to be a “lower calling”. It is praise worthy.
I think that, for practical reasons, it is important to distinguish between the ordinary, everyday, hard work of evangelism and witnessing to people in whatever context we face as part of our daily life, AND the intentional efforts by groups of people (not just individuals) to take the message across significant cultural and linguistic barriers. We are talking about the purposeful encountering of significant challenges and barriers that will need to be overcome with careful study and preparation before significant impact on the people group might be realized. We are talking about the work of cross-cultural discipleship that will entail significant language learning challenges and worldview challenges that are not necessarily considered part of normal every day ministry of every believer, though maybe in some cases even for our local impact, such issues should be considered. Generally speaking, for that purpose there will be some special training and preparation required.
My main point here is to give huge kudos to those believers who are doing every day work to bring relevant, impactful, Gospel discipleship to the world around them AND to challenge us that, without purposeful cross-cultural engagement, there will still be many places where the Gospel does not easily flow. The intent of the Great Commission is to continually challenge our hearts with the realities of cross-cultural barriers to the message so that we are alway looking for the means and resources to move beyond the natural flow of the message to those places where intentional, cross-cultural, linguistically different, and ethnically challenging proclamation of the message and hands-on discipleship is needed. When we look at the map of Gospel influence, it becomes obvious where some of those places are and it seems reasonable that the Church worldwide would be compelled to work together to influence the Gospel influence map.
Don’t you think we have that responsibility?