How is one to measure effectiveness or success in a given job or task? Of course we need a yardstick, some criteria! When it comes to Christian mission, we don’t have to look long or hard. Our Lord spelled out this standard that is etched in the Gospels. We refer to this as the Church’s “Great Commission,” sadly the “grave omission” in our agendas (Matt. 28:18-20)!
A closer look at Jesus’ last command to his followers reveals that our missional task is singular. It is to go “make disciples” (matheteuo) – the only main verb and imperative in the text. Jesus’ mandate is solely about “discipling” unbelievers and must be his Church’s central, vital task and preoccupation until he returns! It’s not optional but mandatory; binding on all believers in all places for all time! Church members come in to worship but don’t “go” to the ends of the earth to be his witnesses! In obedience to God’s word, grounded in the local church and empowered by his Spirit, OTAN is doing what others don’t – “reaching out” to make followers of Jesus.
Having considered the “what” of our task, let’s examine the “why” of our missional target and “where” we employ our energies and resources for this unfinished task. The target is spot on discipling “all nations” (panta ta ethne) literally “people groups,” – definite ethno-linguistic communities with distinct socio-cultural norms. Of today’s 12,000 ethnic groups, a fifth or over 2600 are “unreached” having no access to the Gospel or any Christian witness among them! When we target unreached people groups, we send the light that brings the hope of salvation and fulfills God’s plan for “all nations.” Without undermining the domestic, OTAN’s focus and aspiration is frontier: “to preach the Gospel where Christ is not yet known!” (Rom. 15:20)
Now we may inspect methods, our missional tactic on “how” we can get the job done. Our strategic process must help effectively reach the goal and expedite our global mission. Again, we don’t need to look elsewhere as our Lord outlined this in his commission. We make disciples by going to evangelize the lost, baptize believers, then teach them “to do” i.e. obey all Jesus commanded. Obviously we must start with this one, and the matrix is the church! Missionaries made denominational “converts” or “devotees” but often failed to disciple and train national trainers. Many countries in Asia have closed their doors to western missions threatened by or reacting to our past colonial or crusading approaches. This is where OTAN takes the lead…
In response to Jesus’ Last Command, OTAN serves in restricted and limited access countries where traditional missionaries can’t go. How? The key to closed doors is the national within! By equipping, empowering and partnering with our leaders over 25 years, OTAN is on the cutting edge of global missions! Our missional thrill is in assisting churches and Christians to do what others are not willing, able, or permitted. Join us as we target unreached people groups in resisted access nations and train indigenous leaders create church planting movements! The Great Commission… that’s just what we do!!
Changing Nations, One National Leader at a time! – CG DoT, OTAN