Inspiring among all peoples an overflowing joy in God through Jesus Christ
Evangelism and Missions, Is There a Difference?

What is the commission of the Church?

Jesus commissioned His Church to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Fulfilling this commission requires a clear understanding of our task.

What are we supposed to do?

Jesus told His Church to make disciples. A disciple is a student who seeks to learn all he can from a teacher and who seeks to model his life after that person. We are to raise up disciples of Christ who trust Him, follow Him, and who seek to live in obedience to Him.

Among whom are we supposed to do this?

The Church was told to do this among all nations. The word “nations” is another word for “people groups.” A people group is a group of people who have their own culture, language, and identity. There are thousands of people groups scattered throughout the world. 

What does accomplishing this commission demand?

Making disciples requires evangelization and training in the Scriptures, which is best done through local communities of believers. Doing this among all people groups requires strategically sending believers into unreached people groups with the purpose of making disciples and establishing the Church in those groups.

What do you consider “Local Evangelism”?

Local evangelism (“local outreach,” “outreach to our community,” or even just “evangelism”) is sharing the Gospel with the desire to see others become devoted disciples of Jesus. This is something every believer can and should do wherever they are. While godly lives are essential to authenticating our message, evangelism requires using words about Christ. (Mk. 16:15; 1 Pet.2:9).

What do you consider “Global Missions”?

Global missions (“frontier missions,” “global outreach,” or even just “missions”) involves all that is required to see the Church established among every people group so that each people group has trained believers who can then reach out to their own people through evangelism while demonstrating Christ’s love (Rom. 1:5; Rev.7:9). Completing this task involves many roles, tools, and gifts—and is also something toward which every believer can and should contribute.

Why do we need to make this distinction?

Although clearly related, maintaining a distinction between local evangelism and global missions is helpful for several reasons:

  • Since all believers should be committed both to reaching out locally and to seeing the Church established among every people group, using different terms for these two tasks helps to keep them clear in our minds.
  • Thousands of people groups remain unreached, leaving hundreds of millions of people cut off from the Gospel. Reaching them demands intentionality.
  • We need to seek to use the limited resources with which God has entrusted us in line with His goals. Clearly defining our God-given task allows us to be strategic with how we allocate these resources.

So, does NCAC care about both?

Absolutely! We believe that every individual and every church should be deeply committed both to local evangelism and to global missions—both for the glory of our great God and for the lasting joy of all peoples.