Achieving scope in your geographic region

Byline - By Dr. Bekele Shanko
Every month Dr. Bekele Shanko writes to one of our global leaders sharing valuable principles of church multiplication movements.

As we begin 2020, Bekele writes his first monthly letter to Apollos Jabbo, the GCM area director for West Africa, and he is discussing the concept of “scope,” or reaching everybody in an area.

Though written to Apollos, the principles are applicable for anybody working in a given geographic region, such as a city, state, region, country or continent. Please feel free to listen in as Bekele describes what he has been learning about achieving scope.

Dear Apollos,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray and trust you are well and rejoicing in the grace of God.

I am writing this letter in order to share with you five important principles I have been learning regarding reaching every person in your geographic region with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God wants every person to experience His unconditional love.

God has created every person—male and female, young and old—in His own image. Because of His image and unconditional love, God offers every person a gift of salvation that is made possible through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter clearly captures God’s heart when he writes, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise (the promise of the Second Coming of Christ), as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

In response to God’s plan, you will need to have a vision to proclaim the good news to every person in your geographic region.

God desires to establish His kingdom among every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

It is very important for you to know that, regarding every people group, or ethne(every tribe, tongue, people and nation), God has given His church a clear vision.
First, Jesus declared that before the end comes, “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Mt. 24:14). Jesus didn’t say “it may be preached” or “it could be preached.” It is not a probability or a possibility, but rather an absolute truth that “the gospel will bepreached.”
Second, God has already given His church the final picture: people whose sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb from every tribe, tongue, people and nation will gather before the throne of God and worship Him forever (Rev. 5:9-10, 7:9-10).
And third, God has commanded the church to “Go and make disciples of all nations” by baptizing them into God’s eternal family and teaching them to obey the Word of God.

In response, you should find ways to engage every people group in your geographic region with the good news of the kingdom. And in order to fully reach each one, it may be necessary to subdivide the people group into categories such as profession or social status.

God has invited every Christian to be involved in the Great Commission. 

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you,” Jesus told us in John 20:21. Some people may think Jesus’s statement was only relevant to His early disciples. But it is not. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter made this clear when he wrote to all believers, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pet. 2:9-10).
So one of your roles as a leader of Global Church Movements (GCM) in West Africa is to build relationships with church leaders and make sure that every believer in every local church is mobilized for the Great Commission.
They can be involved in various ways including praying for the eternal harvest, sharing the good news with those who have not yet heard or understood, making disciples who are making disciples, investing their resources in furthering God’s mission, and caring for those who are in need. 

Imagine what could happen if every believer and local church were passionately involved in accelerating the fulfillment of the Great Commission!

God wants His light to shine everywhere.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? . . . You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Mt. 5:13-15) As believers in Christ, we give savor to world in need of flavor, and we shine the light of God in the darkest corners of the earth.
For this to happen, a missional and multiplying local church or a community of disciples must be planted everywhere. As you know, this is the goal of GCM: by working together in the body of Christ, we want to help establish a vital church or missional community among every 1,000 people, in every village, neighborhood, high-rise, and digital community.
This can be done by inspiring and equipping existing churches to reproduce themselves, training and sending church-planters to engage unchurched communities with the gospel and church-planting activities, and practicing and promoting the multiplication of disciples, leaders and churches.   

In response, you should always be asking yourself,
How many churches are there in my region?
How are disciples being made in and through those churches?
How can I help every local church to multiply?

God blesses unity and collaboration. 

The language of heaven is “Let us.” When God created us, He said, “Let us make mankind in our image” (Gen. 1:26). When people united against God in rebellion and began to build the Tower of Babel, the triune God responded in unity: “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other” (Gen. 11:7).
The longest recorded prayer of our Lord Jesus is found in John 17, and the essence of that prayer is the unity of the body of Christ: “. . . that they may all be one, Father . . . just as we are one. . . . that the world may know that you sent me” (Jn. 17: 20-23).

When all of us who believe in Jesus love one another and work together for the glory of God, we can do more than what any person, group or church can do alone. When we intentionally collaborate toward fulfilling God’s mission on earth, we experience the favor and blessings of God, we demonstrate the power of unity, and we increase the impact of the kingdom.

In conclusion, my brother Apollos, God has given you this opportunity to contribute to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I pray that you will use it well. I also pray that you will realize how desperately God loves every person and wants them to accept His offer of salvation.

So, make sure that you are seeing what God is seeing, and inspire vision toward these things:

  • Every tribe, tongue, people and nation in your region engaged with evangelism and church planting;
  • Every believer and church equipped and mobilized;
  • A victorious church of Jesus Christ established everywhere—among every 1,000 people and in every village and neighborhood;
  • The body of Christ working together;
  • Every local church planting multiplying churches that are proclaiming and demonstrating the love of God.

Finally, please always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Mt. 24:14).

May the grace of God be with you and with all who labor for Christ,