Missions Blog

What's The Great Commission?

In 2017, a survey conducted by Barna Group showed that only 37% of Christians could accurately identify the Great Commission. As an organization that’s laser-focused on making disciples in India, we were shocked! If Christians are unfamiliar with the Great Commission, it’s tough to pursue this final command from Jesus together.

Along with many other missions-minded believers, this statistic left us asking, where do we go from here?

To figure out answers to this question, we partnered with Barna Group—a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture—to dig further into U.S. Christians’ perspectives on missions. We asked questions like, What’s the right way to do missions work? How valuable are global missions efforts? How urgent is it to reach the unreached?

Throughout this research conducted by Barna CEO David Kinnaman’s team, we’ve been heartbroken to learn that, not only are Christians unaware of the Great Commission; they’re apathetic toward it. Among the many data points, we learned that only 33% of U.S. Christians “strongly agree” that American Christians have a responsibility to share the Gospel.

Clearly, U.S. Christians have become very disconnected from Jesus’ call in Matthew 28:19 to “make disciples of all nations.” But that’s not the only disconnect we discovered: Churchgoers and pastors differ in many areas when it comes to their views on global missions. For example, 85% of pastors believe missions is a mandate for all Christians, compared to 25% of U.S. Christians!

These numbers may be surprising if you’re a believer who’s committed to making Jesus’ name known. But together, we can view these statistics as a great opportunity! Our prayer is that, together, we can approach this data with grace and view it as a launchpad for more effective missions efforts within our churches. As of April 2022, Joshua Project reports that there are over 7,400 people groups in the world (out of 17,440 total people groups) that are unreached by the Gospel. If the U.S. Church can reclaim its heart for the Great Commission, just imagine the impact we can make as the body of Christ!

Click here to download a free copy of Barna’s report, The Great Disconnect, and use it to encourage your church toward a more engaging, effective global missions strategy!