The purpose of the Great Commission Society of the NALC is to mobilize disciples for the work of the Great Commission. Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is in desperate need of the Good News. We propose to do this by networking congregations and individuals who have a passion for the proclamation of the Gospel and a commitment to the calling of the Great Commission.
The Great Commission Society continues to fulfill its mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and networking those who have a passion for living the Great Commission. In 2020 and 2021, GCS has continued to connect with mission districts and leaders as the Mission Connections team called every mission district dean or district mission team leader. We make these calls not to push an agenda, but to listen, encourage, and pray leaders. These calls offer a connection and provide opportunities to hear the fantastic stories of the Holy Spirit at work and moving in our congregations and to gather ideas and inspiration to share with others and enable us to foster connections between like-goaled leaders. These calls are an excellent way to not only hear of God’s faithfulness but also become more aware and see the present joys and challenges happening in the field.
Last spring, the team heard the expressed felt need for connection, so we offered a six-week digital book study, just as a time to gather and find community with other leaders. At the end of the study, participants asked when the next one would be, so we began researching books and offered another study in January/February 2021. We added devotions led by NALC staff and leaders and a dedicated time for prayer for each other. Again, participants requested another book study, so we are finishing up our third book study at the time of this update. The studies have grown each time. They have grown in the number of participants, in the depth of discussion, and in community. They have been a blessing, and we will continue to explore this ministry offering as long as participants are hungry for a virtual community that is grounded in God’s word, prayer, learning, and exploring how to lead and live as ambassadors and agents of God’s grace.
The other new project the Great Commission Society accepted in 2020 was offering a digital missions conference, UNVEILED. Again, led by input the Mission Connections team received from their calls, we designed a three-day online conference experience that offered daily worship and biblical teaching, mission stories, mission engagement tools, prayer, and even a time to gather virtually with people in live-time during post-conference coffee hours hosted by different NALC leaders and mission partners. UNVEILED had two goals- raise money for the Great Commission Society grant fund and offer community for mission driven leaders. By the power of the Holy Spirit and a team of 60 experts and volunteers, the goals were met. We had more than 120 participants and raise $5,000 to give to mission leaders in grants.
In 2021/22, the Great Commission Society will continue to provide the background structure support for connecting those seeking to partner with others preaching and living out the Gospel Jesus Christ shared; we will continue to call and listen and be guided by what is shared by deans and congregational leaders; we will continue to be available to coach leaders and teams as they discern and take on their own missions, and we will continue to seek ways to support and invite community among those living the Great Commission.