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My unpublished mission statement is to take the gospel to every human on the planet and live twenty-five years after I die. This statement captures, identifies, and explains why I do what I do. The first part is self-explanatory: I want to take the gospel of Christ to every human on the planet.
Because of how the Lord has gifted me, what I’m speaking of is more about the practical message of Christ pertaining to our sanctification. I’m not opposed to evangelism, and I desire to tell anyone about their need for regeneration. I would never withhold from speaking about the human condition that requires a second birth (John 3:7).
But due to several specific situations and many shaping influences, the Lord’s writing of my life’s narrative bends me toward helping people with practical, everyday life issues. Though salvation is the fountainhead for any subsequent changes, there is a need for someone to be there when the believer needs help putting off their former manner of life, renewing their minds, and putting on Christlikeness.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
The reason to live twenty-five years after I die is because of the enormity of the first part—to take the practical message of Christ to the world. I must extend my life beyond the grave so that those who have yet to receive our help can. My prayer is that the Lord will accommodate my passion and desire.
Jesus is the example and pacesetter for this type of vision. Though He only lived thirty-three years, His work continues today. There are lesser mortals like Dale Carnegie, who died in 1955, but his work continues to live today through those who have received his training. It’s not like what I hope to do has no precedent.
To pull off my unpublished mission statement, I implement two key elements to make it happen. As you read more, I hope that God will inspire you to think about your life, how you can impact others after you are gone, and what it would take for you to leave a legacy that has redemptive force.
One of the keys to fulfilling my mission is the redemptive use of technology. There is an echo of omnipresence in technology. I can be in one geographic location while communicating globally—at the same time. It’s stunning grace to be able to reach around the globe with the message of Christ.
Before our current technological age, prayer was the only way we could cooperate with the Lord in assisting people on the other side of the world. Today, prayer is just as effective, but the Lord has given us an additional means of grace for missional activity. Prayer and technology: who would have thought such a thing?
It was 2013 when our work officially went global. We began in 2008, grinding away, writing and pushing content to whosoever would. Then our analytics revealed in 2013 that we had gone into every country for the first time. It has been that way every year since. We have reached hundreds of thousands of people worldwide through the Internet.
Our website is our sanctification center; it’s the hub where all the action happens. Though we use social media platforms like missional communities, places like Facebook and LinkedIn are not our point-of-focus. They are portals where we place content, and our followers launch those resources to their friends and friends of friends.
But as a hub in a wagon wheel, our website is a sanctification center where we create content and interact with our community. We do everything virtually, in cyberspace. We do not have any brick-and-mortar structures by design. As of 2020, there are twelve of us who all work virtually. We are VAs (Virtual Assistants). We take care of the sanctification center and all those who come to us for help.
You could think of it as a mega-warehouse with millions of words in articles, ebooks, podcasts, videos, graphics, and so much more. We have interactive forums where folks can freely come to ask their most important questions. We are the caretakers of the sanctification center.
The redemptive use of technology concept logically flows into this second key element to pulling off my unpublished mission statement, which is the replication of leaders. We need many leaders to keep the work alive and moving forward after the Lord calls me home. I call this the “Jesus Model of Ministry.”
Jesus replicated Himself into a few people, and then He left planet Earth. I am always looking for a few good men and women to train. Paul, a person whom the Lord instructed, also employed Jesus’ training method. He had a passion for pouring what he was learning into others. He said it this way to one of his proteges, Timothy.
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:1-2).
The primary way that I replicate leaders is through our Mastermind program, where I spend most of my energies. It’s like a school where the candidate student comes to learn the skill of disciple-making. I have written many articles and have produced several podcasts about this vital training. You may peruse some of those resources here.
As I continued to think about the ministry of Jesus and how I could adapt it to my life, I noticed how He gave most of His time to a few people so that He could train them for a more extended and more expansive ministry. I’m not suggesting that He neglected anyone who had a genuine need, but He understood how to stay focused on the few while ministering to the many.
For example, Jesus would not feed the 5,000 hungry people, but He gave that responsibility to His well-trained team. (See Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 6:37-44.) Jesus created the food and then asked His team to distribute it. Analogously, I do not give individualized time to the thousands of people who come to us for help. It was humanly impossible for Jesus to do this, and I have nothing near His capacity.
The good news is that we don’t turn away anyone. We can “feed 5,000” or 500,000 on any given day. It is knowing the difference between receiving my attention and receiving my care. If you want to interact with me personally, it probably won’t happen, but if you desire my care, we have a team to guide you and the resources to help. Because of God’s grace, we’re in a spot to help an innumerable amount of people.
Before I wrap up, let me state the most obvious way to live twenty-five years beyond the grave. It is the effect you have on your spouse, children, and grandchildren. If you’re not married, you still have a sphere of influence that you will affect. The options are not (1) will I or (2) will I not impact others. There is only one option: you will affect those nearest to you.
You and I are what we call “shaping influences.” We shape people for good or evil. We influence those closest to us, and they pass it along to their sphere of influence. The question that each of us must ask is what are we exporting to those around us.
We’re in the import, export business: individuals shape us, and whatever we become, we pass along to those in our immediate circle. Though I’m speaking mostly about influencing the world with the practical message of Christ, those in your closest community are in the world. You must decide how you want to impact them.
If you are unsure how to change, I appeal to you to study my thirteen steps of repentance, which is a cornerstone resource of this ministry. You may also watch the shorter or one-hour video formats. (Look for “The Doctrine of Repentance.”)
How has God gifted you? What is that thing you do that nobody else can do like you? I’m not necessarily speaking about leading a ministry or starting a business. Perhaps you have a complimentary gift that would fold nicely into what a church or organization is doing. In what way can you mobilize your unique gifting to either lead or supplement a gospel-centered organization in fulfilling the Great Commission?
2020 was the year that we brought all of our resources into the public space so that anyone in the world could access them freely. Because we have a global outreach, it was wise to make sure when they entered our sanctification center, they had free access to our life-changing resources.
Our most vital need is for financial supporters. If you can help us, will you? We are doing more, and people are asking for more. To keep up, we must hire more while developing the resources to meet the demand.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).