WOW! Deb and I’s vision has exploded over the last 10 years. Initially, we just wanted to reach a few soldiers for Christ. As Jesus challenged us to grow in our faith we shifted to the entire Army and then to a city and then to the world. We see the same pattern in Jesus’ ministry as He challenged His men. At first, it was very simple;
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4.19)
Their vision got a little bit bigger when He commanded them to go and
“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10.5)
And by the end of His ministry the vision He was casting had expanded to encompass the whole world;
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16.15)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Act 1.8)
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.18-20)
Increased faith means increased vision and increased vision will mean an increased faith. That’s one of the things I love about the NoPlaceLeft vision. But first a little history lesson. When Steve Smith was training missionaries in Asia to use movement strategies to reach the unreached, he used the Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 15.19-24 to cast vision to reach Asia;
“In the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written,
“THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE,
AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND.”
For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spain…”
Now that’s an incredible statement! By the time the Apostle Paul penned the Book of Romans he was a seasoned missionary with some 20-30 years under his belt. He had strategically spread the message of Jesus Christ in such a way that millions of people heard the gospel from modern-day
Israel to Croatia. He was confident that he had finished the task in that region (some 350,000 square miles).
He is basically telling the church in Rome, “There’s no place left in these parts for me to work. I must move on to where the gospel has yet to be preached.” Now, wait a minute! All that happened through the efforts of Paul’s ragtag band of missionaries in that short time?! I’m sorry but I’m dumping any other evangelistic strategy for the one Paul used! (Which, oh, by the way, was the exact same strategy Jesus modeled, Duh!)
Well as Steve was teaching this idea of a No Place Left strategy the IMB missionaries (Jeff Sundell, Nathan Shank, Jared Houk) in Nepal and Northern India coined the phrase as their vision statement for their region and the whole of South Asia. We were sending guys over to observe the movements among the people of Nepal and Northern India and James Harvey brought the vision back and pinned it on a logo. Troy Cooper hashtagged it and started posting it on Facebook. We made logos for cities, states, and regions. The mantra took off. And today there are thousands of people who have joined the NoPlaceLeft vision. All over the world people are being captured by a dream to finish the Great Commission of Jesus in our generation.
But think about the genius of this vision. First, it’s Biblical. It comes out of the pages of the Scriptures as not only as simple statement but one that is loaded with the Master’s Methodology. Second, it’s scalable. We can start as small as “There will no place left in my family. Everyone will hear the gospel.” to NoPlaceLeft my neighborhood, state, country, continent, the world. The NoPlaceLeft vision grows as we grow in faith. And lastly, it’s the Father’s endstate. “The glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
NoPlaceLeft is a big vision. It can be expressed in many ways; 24:14, Finishing the Task, The Joshua Project, Every Person, World Vision, etc… But make no mistake about it, NoPlaceLeft is a vision, not an organization or a denomination. We are a coalition rallied around the vision of reaching every man, woman, and child with the gospel. We are committed to doing this in such a way that we can stay ahead of population growth and are unhindered by resources or extra-biblical traditions that impede the viral spread of the gospel. How do I join the NoPlaceLeft vision? Very simple, share the gospel, make disciples, plant churches, reproduce leaders and abide deeply in Christ. If you’re doing one or all of these things, whether you like it or not, you’re a part of the NoPlaceLeft vision, more accurately stated, you’re a part of Jesus’ Great Commission. 🙂
Have you reached NoPlaceLeft among your family and friends with the gospel? Are you praying for NPL in your neighborhood? Are you praying for your city, state, nation, and the nations? Are you going to join us in prayer and fasting during January 2020 as we beg God to reach the unreached of the world? Are you making disciples and planting churches that multiply? Are you casting a big vision for your Timothys?
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