World Missions Responsive Bible Readings

How can we affirm together our understanding of the Great Commission and our commitment to fulfilling it?

Three responsive readings from the Bible emphasizing world evangelism

Useful for weekly worship services as well as special events such as Faith Promise weekends, district missionary conventions, commissioning missionaries, and other events promoting ends-of-the-earth outreach.

A designated leader should read aloud the words in normal weight type. The rest of the group should then read the text in bold. Everyone then reads the concluding portion marked "unison."

I will be with you

Jesus said, "Peace be with you!
"As the Father has sent me, I am sending you

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
Baptizing them in the name of the Father
And of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

"Freely you have received, freely give."

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be discouraged,

(Unison) For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Sources: John 20:21; Matthew 28:19, 10:8b; Joshua 1:9

A Charge to the Church

Jesus went through all the towns and villages,
Teaching in their synagogues,
Preaching the good news of the kingdom
And healing every disease and sickness

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
Because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore
"To send out workers into his harvest field.

"Do you not say, Four months more and then the harvest?'"

"I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!
They are ripe for the harvest.

"Even now, the reaper draws his wages,

"Even now, he harvests the crop for eternal life.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

"Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
And of the Holy Spirit,

"And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

(Unison) "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Sources: Matthew 9:35-38; John 4:35-36a; Matthew 28:19-20

The Mission of the Church

Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

The God who made the world and everything in it
Is the Lord of heaven and earth.

From one man, he made every nation of men,
That they should inhabit the whole earth.

God did this so that men would seek him
And perhaps reach out for him, and find him.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?

And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?

And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can they preach unless they are sent?

As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Sing to the Lord, all the earth
Proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among all nations,
His marvelous deeds among all the peoples.

(Unison) For God so loved the world
That he gave his one and only Son,
That whoever believes in him shall not perish
But have eternal life.

Sources: Matthew 28:18; Mark 16:15; Acts 17:24a, 26a, 27a; Romans 10:13-15; Psalms 96:1b, 2b-3; John 3:16

    -- Howard Culbertson,

Afterword: Why Use Responsive Bible Readings?

Responsive Bible readings, where the entire congregation participates by reading or reciting specific verses, contribute to church services in several meaningful ways:

More help for promoting world missions