The Finishers is written by two veteran CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) staff members, Roger Hershey and Jason Weimer. The book is designed for college students and other young adults. Its goal is to challenge them to complete the task of the Great Commission in their generation. The authors explain it in this way, “Like a relay race with thousands of legs, the baton of world evangelism and discipleship has been passed from generation to generation, each one carrying forward the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ in every nation. Some generations have taken the baton a great distance, others only inches, based on their obedience to Christ’s command and reliance upon His Spirit. Yet there will be one generation who will serve as the anchor leg, the one who will carry the baton across the finish line.”Hershey and Weimer begin by reminding the readers that there are billions around the world who have not yet even heard the good news of Jesus Christ. They explain that the term“nations” in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) are people groups, which they define as the largest group within which the gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance. Based on the website www.joshuaproject.org, at the writing of the book in 2011, nearly 7,000 people groups were classified as “unreached” or“least-reached”, some of which had populations of more than ten million with no known believers.After presenting the great need, the authors set forth the biblical case for going to the nations. For example, Revelation 5:9 says, “By your blood you ransomed people from every tribe and language and people and nation.”Revelation 7:9 gives this picture:“After this I looked and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and people and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.”On the authority of verses like these, we can be confident that disciples of all nations WILL be made. These images of heaven guarantee it. We’re combatants in a contest that ends in certain victory. The authors go on to challenge the readers to embrace the call and go forth as ambassadors of Christ, to be His sent ones released to make disciples of all the nations. The next section of the book tells the story of the progress of the Mission over the last two thousand years. The authors desire to demonstrate that “the light of the gospel candle cannot be extinguished.”The gospel has survived the Vikings invasion, the Crusades, the Black Plague, and numerous over challenges over the centuries. Early Christians after Pentecost were the first to pick up the baton of world evangelism, but sadly Christians have often fallen into complacency over the centuries. Nevertheless, God won’t give up on His plan!
Progress has been made despite the fact that only 10% of missionaries today serve among the least reached groups of the world. The other 90% labor where there is already an indigenous church. The writers seek to show how the remaining 90% could be reached with proper allocation of personnel, funds, and prayer.The catalyst needed is the Holy Spirit and “we’re praying that He sparks a powerful movement out of your generation, an awakening that finishes the Great Commission.” For this to be done God will also raise up many from nations outside the West. Hershey and Weimer write with great passion, and they give numerous examples, some very transparent, from their own lives and the lives of other in order to help students understand the need for laborers to take the gospel around the world and how to prepare for their role in it, whatever that might be. Much of the book sets forth biblical and practical teaching on how to be a mature disciple of Jesus and how to make disciples of others. The authors are not theologians, missiologists, nor full-time missionaries, but rather campus workers. They know American college students, and they have a passion to mobilize them.In this300 page book they quote extensively from the writings of recent well known and well informed missiologists and practitioners, such as Ralph Winters, John Piper, Bill Bright, Patrick Johnstone, David Howard, FrancisChan, Josef Tson, Randy Alcorn, Os Guinness, Robert Coleman, and others.The Finishersis composed of five sections:Section One: A Vision of the End Section Two: The Mindset of the Finisher Section Three: The Stewardship of the FinisherSection Four: The Convictions of the Finisher Section Five: The Means to the End The Finishers Commitment This final section begins with the words of Jesus Christ from Matthew 28:18-20, then sets forth seven promises which the reader can personally sign:
With the hope that my generation might be the one to see Jesus’ Great Commission finally fulfilled I commit to become a Finisher of the Great Commission, understanding that to mean: I will go, if God should lead, to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to one of the world’s remaining unreached people groups. I will pray persistently for the nations and God’s glory revealed among them. I will disciple others with the focus on mobilizing them to become Finishers as well. I will live a modest, simple financial lifestyle and give sacrificially so that the nations of the world might be blessed through Christ.I will, with God’s help and to the best of my ability, steward my life in order to maximize its effectiveness in God’s purpose of making His name known among all the peoples of the world.I am not my own, I was purchased with a great price. My life belongs to God and His purposes (1Corinthians 6:19-20).Signed this _____ day of ______________, 20__.
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