Our eternal God commands that the gospel be proclaimed to all segments of human society, and that every segment be discipled. But to achieve this end, a radical transformation of theological education is required. At present, theological education worldwide is devoted primarily to maintaining existing congregations and denominations. Yet every person studying to become a preacher, pastor, or minister must learn to see the wonderful mosaic of mankind that makes up the global community. He or she must know the various methods by which the world’s peoples may be discipled, and must hear God’s command that all the lost be found.

Our Task Reviewed

The New Testament is full of passages that teach that God wants every piece of the mosaic incorporated into his body, the church; panta ta ethn (“all the nations” in the Great Commission, Matt. 28:19) means “all the pieces of the vast human mosaic.” This is made clear in Revelation 7:9: “… a great multitude which no man could number, from every ethnos, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne.… Thus at the end, before God, there will be multitudes of ethne, peoples, segments of society.

However, of the five billion (soon to be six billion) human beings on the planet, 3.5 billion (soon to be 4.5 billion) are not Christians. Of those who call themselves Christians, the majority attend church only now and then—if ever.

When I was in Finland a few years ago, I asked a top Lutheran authority how many Finns are Christians. “Oh,” he replied, “94.6 percent are Lutherans.” “How many are in church on Sunday?” I asked.

“Well,” he replied, “less than 5 percent.” ...

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