August 30, 2023 | Michael Rhodes

God isn’t worshiped everywhere.

What a simple yet tragic statement when we consider how overwhelmingly great God is. According to the Joshua Project, it is estimated that over three billion people live in unreached areas, and over 40% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to the gospel. Those stats should not be glossed over and should stir compassion within us as we consider the vast number of people in our world that are “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). While it is incredibly heart-breaking that shepherdless people are dying and eternally separated from God, the ultimate tragedy is that our holy God isn’t getting the worship he deserves from all people in all places all the time.

What is Veritas doing about that tragedy? We are raising up mature disciples and sending out everyday missionaries all for the glory of our God. We want to raise up mature disciples who prioritize gathering together to celebrate all that God has done, utilize resources that help them abide in Jesus, engage in contexts that help them develop theologically, and participate in connection groups to cultivate biblical community and be intentionally shepherded. But this strategy falls short if the end goal is simply someone’s personal maturity. Our maturity should not stifle the gospel’s movement forward but rather do quite the opposite. As we mature, gospel proclamation accelerates because our love for Jesus grows, our compassion for the lost grows, and we begin to minister out of the overflow of the living water within us (John 7:37-39).

Jesus’ final words to his disciples were not “go and grow into more mature disciples.” The goal was disciples making disciples. That was the mission. That’s why our mission at Veritas doesn’t stop at raising up mature disciples. And that’s why our strategy to accomplish that mission doesn’t stop at worshiping, abiding, learning, and connecting, but it is completed by making disciples through investing and going.

At Veritas, “going” practically looks like this: Locally, we want to own the equipping of our people to be everyday missionaries in their homes, neighborhoods, sports teams, workplaces, schools, etc. We want to catalyze strategic ministry partners already doing great ministry work in our community. We also want to bless our people living on mission, even when their work may not clearly align with our strategic ministry philosophy. Globally, we want to own church planting in major university centers across the world, especially in unreached places. We want to catalyze church strengthening in under-resourced communities, and again, we want to bless our people going to the nations to share the gospel, even when it doesn’t involve church planting or strengthening. In addition to local and global sending, we also want to be a multiplying church that plants other churches in our community and in major university cities in our county.

We hope our mission and strategy are clear, but ultimate clarity must be found in our motivation. First and foremost, we want everyone to recognize that God is already at work and has simply privileged us with the responsibility to join him and represent him as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Additionally, we must recognize that “going” is part of who we are as followers of Christ. We are “going” people because our Savior went for us. Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). We are a sent people. It’s our identity, so we can’t help but live that way.

Peter and John demonstrated this beautifully in Acts 2-4. After healing a lame beggar, they continued speaking boldly for Christ. Their boldness led to their arrest and an intense inquiry about why they were doing what they were doing. After being warned to stop proclaiming Jesus, Peter and John respond by saying “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). They weren’t speaking about Jesus because they had to or even because they got to. They were speaking about Jesus because they couldn’t help but do it!

At Veritas, we want to be people who can’t help but speak of Jesus. We don’t want obedience to be the primary motivator, nor do we want the mere existence of opportunity to drive our disciple-making. We want our gospel proclamation to be an unstoppable and overflowing response to all that God has done within us.

This is why we take the Great Commission of Jesus seriously: We can’t help it! We can’t help but invest our lives into the lives of others. We can’t help but go wherever God wants us to go. Over the last few years at Veritas, we’ve begun to say, “Be intentional wherever God has you and be willing to go wherever God wants you.” The question is no longer, “Am I sent to proclaim Jesus here or there?” It’s not an either/or but a both/and. We are all sent every day, everywhere.

The problem with being sent everywhere is that we can use it as an excuse to disobey the Great Commission to its fullest intended extent. We often ignore the spread of the gospel to the nations because we are content living sent lives where we are. At Veritas, we celebrate and praise God for faithful missional living here in our community, but may our missional living never cease to extend to the ends of the earth where Jesus isn’t being worshiped. Live sent lives here, but join God’s ultimate mission by praying for the nations, supporting others going to other parts of the world, welcoming the nations into your lives here, learning about what God is doing around the world, and going somewhere else whenever God commands you to go. Why? Not simply because lost people are dying without access to the gospel, not because you have to, not because you get to, but because Jesus is worth it, and you can’t help but “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). God being glorified to the ends of the earth is the end goal, and that goal has yet to be accomplished at this point in human history. Veritas, you are a sent people, so “go” because God isn’t worshiped everywhere.

Possible ways you can practically grow in the way you go towards others with the good news of Jesus Christ:

  • Take a Veritas Equipping Class that spurs on your missional living.
  • Pick up and utilize the Everyday Missionary Guide.
  • Get involved by serving with one of our local strategic partners.
  • Join with others in praying for the nations on the third Sunday of the month during the 11A service.
  • Talk to a leader at Veritas Church or fill out an interest form if you are interested in being part of a church planting team nationally or overseas.

Michael Rhodes

Discipleship Pastor