The mission of God for his people, the Great Commission, is a beautifully intricate reality. To oversimplify it would dishonor its design. That said, the Pray Send Go structure serves only as a basic outline. It doesn't cover all the branching spheres, but it can begin the stirring of your imagination about how to participate in the Church’s greatest calling.
It’s possible to hear thePray Send Go model and hear it as a progression where you start with prayer and eventually end up going somewhere. But in truth, thePray Send Go structure shouldn't be seen as a step-by-step process, but rather as a realistic picture of how the Church advances the gospel in three prolific areas of the Christian life that everyone can (and should) plug into. Let’s take a look.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” –Matthew 9:37–38
Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian. The Great Commission is too. It makes sense then to see prayer as a part of Global Mission activity. Whether a person prays for their missionary friend or for more laborers, there are so many areas in Global Missions that can be touched by prayer.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." –1 John 5:14–15
It's clear from scripture that God's will is for all nations to hear and believe the gospel. When we pray for these things, we are praying in accordance with his will. And, he will act. We should match God’s passion to reach all peoples in our prayer life. There are seemingly endless ways you can do this. Some people have a list of missionaries or missions staff who they pray for regularly. Others pray for unreached people groups to come to faith in Jesus.
“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” –3 John 1:5–8
Sending has often been thought of solely in the sense of financial support. Giving money to missions is monumental! Financial donations ease the strain on agencies and missionaries so they can boldly pursue the work that God has called them to do. Often, the impact that a gift has goes far beyond the physical need it addresses and serves as a bridge for the gospel into the lives of people.
However, sending can go far beyond giving financially. There are multiple levels at which your church can send missionaries in a manner that glorifies God. Your church can equip its people before they go out giving them instruction, accountability, and fellowship even after they've left. Encompass Executive Director Dave Guiles wrote a fantastic resource about this very topic called Mobilizing the Mobilizers.
As a bonus, if your church has missionaries who have gone out to the nations, consider serving as a bridge from the missionary to your church by conveying updates and serving as an ambassador of their work that the missionary is doing. This is an incredible way to serve!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” –Acts 1:8
Generally speaking, everyone is called to make disciples of all nations. But, not everyone is called to go outside of their church community to minister cross-culturally in order to reach the unreached peoples of the world. This may or not be your calling. How do you know if it is? You guessed it. Prayer! But, that’s not all. There are many ways to discern your call.
Encompass Director of Mobilization John Ward recently wrote a resource to help with this process called Discerning Your Calling. In a nutshell, prayer, mentoring from others, cross-cultural experience, and discerning your heart is a good start.
Even if you’re not called to go into full-time cross-cultural ministry, you should consider how to reach the nations right where you are. In just the past century, there have been mega migrations of peoples and cultures because of globalization. God is bringing the nations to your backyard!