Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us a charge to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe the whole counsel of God (Matthew 28:18-20). This charge, better known as the Great Commission has become nothing short of the Great Omission in the lives of many men in the church. What was originally a mission spearheaded by men of God has become a tertiary issue, if even that, in confessing Evangelical churches all across the world. All over we see men failing to comprehend their position as the spiritual heads of houses and leaders in the churches. The apathy of men in our churches has often led to women leading on matters of missional living and world evangelization. This is unacceptable and a trend that must be bucked as soon as possible. Before people jump all over me for saying that women cannot lead out in missions and evangelism let me qualify what I mean with this quote from “Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood”
“We hope that we are not sending men or women to do things that are forbidden at home. We are not sending women to become the pastors or elders of churches. Neither has the vast majority of women evangelists and church planters sought this for themselves. We do not think it is forbidden for women to tell the gospel story and win men and women to Christ…Our passion is not to become the watchdogs of where women serve. Our passion is to join hands with all of God’s people, in God’s way, to “declare his glory among the nations” (Psalm 96:3)”.
God has called men to be the leaders within the home and church. The place for missional living to be cultivated is within the home and church under the leadership of a godly man who is in tune with the Holy Spirit, convicted by the Word of God, and dedicated to caring for the spiritual healthiness of those entrusted to him. It is our privilege and responsibility as men of God to lead others in missional living and in shepherding our churches, families, small groups, and disciplining other young men in this manner so that new generations of Great Commission-minded men may rise up. Missional living in biblical manhood appears to be a simple thing to address with men and fix, but in actuality, it is far easier to diagnose than it is to remedy. Turning to a life of missional living is heart work. It means man must be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the direction of a seasoned man of God who can disciple, instruct, and encourage them.
In this article, I want to highlight three ways men can be missional men by focusing on how they can spearhead a missional lifestyle in the home and in the church.
What We Believe About God is the Most Important Thing
No matter what you must begin by believing rightly about God. A.W Tozer tells us in his classic work The Knowledge of the Holy that “what we believe about God is the most important thing about us”. When men start believing that God is a God of mission, action, and saving lost souls, then they will begin living as such. What this looks like is men’s modeling a godly lifestyle and an increased desire to share the story of God’s redeeming love and mercy to whomever they come into contact with. We must believe rightly about God. To this end, we must pray for guidance and ask that the Holy Spirit reminds us daily to be on mission and to share the Gospel with all people.
Men Are to Shepherd Their Families and Disciple Men
As men of God, we must understand that we have been called to be the heads of our households and leaders in our churches. God has entrusted us with an incredible responsibility to teach and train our families and churches with the Word of God.
While this is an enormous task it is but part of what it means to live missionally. The other critical aspect of this is to bring others alongside you in your own spiritual journey and disciple them so that they, in turn, can make, mature, and multiple disciples. We must pray that God would help us to be humble, available, and faithful to His Word.
The Sufficiency of Christ
As we are seeking to live a faithful missional life before God’s face, we must rely solely on the power and authority of Jesus Christ to direct, guide, and bless our work. While we may be on the cusp of a great movement of God, perhaps even the next great awakening, the only way this can occur is if we desperately seek God’s divine providence, and rely on the power of Christ. We cannot trust in ourselves to do anything, but with God, we are more than conquers. Through the work of the Holy Spirit empowering us we have the authority of Jesus to preach boldly for sinners to repent and turn to God. We must realize that we cannot do this alone, but with Christ being our focus and the Holy Spirit our guide the gates of Hell will not overcome, the Gospel will go forward, and God in His providence will save all who repent.
This is not an exhaustive list on how to live as a missional biblical man. Instead, it is a summarization of ideas I have compiled in my years of sitting under missional pastors, teachers, and men of God. God has called all men whether you are a coach, pastor, plumber, lawyer, or stay-at-home dad, etc. to live your life on mission so that the Great Commission is fulfilled. Lostness abounds in this world, and God has commanded us to share the Gospel to all people. I challenge you to be bold and become a better man of God by God’s grace by living on mission for His glory. Only then will we all be doing the work of an evangelist and ensure that the Great Commission does not become the Great Omission.
James Forbis is a graduate of The University of Arkansas, a former Jr. High and High School football coach, and American history teacher. He is completing his M.DIV at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Great Commission Studies and Expository Preaching. He’s a self-proclaimed sweet tea connoisseur and Tex-Mex addict. Most Saturday’s you can find him cheering on his Arkansas Razorbacks, hiking or fishing, or reading up on his favorite subject, the Revolutionary War, or spending time with his wife.