Great Commission, Great Compassion: Following Jesus and Loving the World, By Paul Borthwick
Great Commission, Great Compassion
  • Length: 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: November 09, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4437
  • ISBN: 9780830844371

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Go and do. Jesus commands it, and the world needs it. Word and deed go together. One without the other is not enough. We follow Jesus into all the world, and we follow his example in all we do.

Mission mobilizer Paul Borthwick shows how proclamation and demonstration of the gospel go hand in hand. God gives us the Great Commission, Matthew 28's call to go wherever Jesus sends us, making disciples and proclaiming good news to all nations. And we become people of his Great Compassion, Matthew 25's vision for treating others as we would treat Jesus himself, caring for the needy and living justly.

Borthwick offers practical ways for us to live out the Great Commission and Great Compassion in every sphere of our lives. Holistic discipleship means learning and looking, praying and giving, welcoming the stranger, simplifying our lives and standing with and for others on God's behalf. Small steps can make a big difference in the mission of God. Will you answer the call?

"Poverty has a name! It's nine-year-old Mario in the slums of El Salvador, fourteen-year-old Orrapan in rural Thailand, forty-six-year-old Tom who lives on the streets of Denver. Jesus loves each one of them more than we can possibly imagine and he has commanded us to reach out and demonstrate that love through tangible actions. Great Commission, Great Compassion reminds us that by touching and meeting the needs of the poor, we are in fact touching and serving Jesus."

Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado, president and CEO, Compassion International

"Great Commission, Great Compassion is passionate, principled and extremely practical, and its invitation is hopeful. The possibility for genuine impact is available to all of us. Paul writes what he lives, drawing from a life journey that has taken him across the world. I commend it highly."

Stephan Bauman, president and CEO, World Relief

"With hundreds of practical next steps, scores of insightful stories, dozens of profound insights and one strategic invitation, Great Commission, Great Compassion distills a week-long missions conference into a form that you can read, savor and apply anywhere and anytime."

Gregory L. Jao, vice president and director of campus engagement, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

"In simple terms, Borthwick makes the Great Commission practical, easy and accessible. He challenges us to see how our everyday choices can help us love the world. Grounded in biblical reflection, full of stories from his experiences around the globe, Borthwick shows the simple, doable and everyday ways we can live out Jesus' command to love his world."

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, VP and director, The IJM Institute for Biblical Justice, coauthor of God of Justice

"In our highly attention-seeking culture, many in the millennial generation like me run the risk of pursuing social justice so intensely that we fail to call attention to the God of justice. In Great Commission, Great Compassion, Paul Borthwick offers a compelling corrective to this tendency by reminding us of the inseparability of compassion and discipleship. God has wed the two together because this marriage is what our world needs most. I invite everyone to learn not only from Paul's words, but from his disciple-making, justice-seeking, kingdom-building example. The man and the message are one and the same!"

Dave Ripper, campus pastor and pastor of young adult ministries, Grace Chapel, Lexington, Massachusetts

"Great Commission, Great Compassion delivers a wonderful overview of both dimensions of the gospel. But it does even more. It tells us how to live our daily lives in this complex modern world in obedience to these callings. And it somehow manages to do all of that with great depth, yet at the same time keeps it so simple and practical that you cannot finish a chapter without feeling that you now know how to do something valuable—today! This is not just a good book for the church missions committee, this is a valuable read for every believer on the road to greater obedience to God and his ways."

Jane Overstreet, president and CEO, Development Associates International

"Rather than jumping on the latest fad, in this book, Paul shares the Christian essentials that he's been teaching—and living—for forty years! In that time he's learned how to say it in a way that's easy to read but difficult to ignore. His stories are so engaging that you don't even realize that he's messing with your mind! God has used Paul to shape more than my view of missions; he used Paul to shape my view of being a Christian."

Dave Swaim, pastor, Highrock Network of Churches, Greater Boston

"Great Commission, Great Compassion is God's heartbeat, written by his passionate servant Paul Borthwick on the core of what the gospel really should be—the urgency, purpose, practice and proclamation of the Great Commission. It is a timely piece that redirects us to show love to our world—the needed ingredient and the lifestyle that will drive us to fulfilling the master's ultimate task. It reveals the best way to appropriate our all (intellect, mind, strength, soul, talents and gifts) into expanding God's kingdom here on earth. It has the capacity to correct and change our many misconceptions about our possessions, intellect and energy. The church must be reminded that the very first step in—and the last thing in fulfilling—the Lord's Great Commission in all its facets is to live out the gospel as it is: the Jesus style of doing, teaching in the best way ever. It is the unequivocal and sure way to enjoy true peace for everyone. Given the opportunity, I will make sure every young person, especially students, youths and youth mentors, and every discipler get a copy. It has the latent capacity and power to transform ungodly ambitions to God's missional agenda. I recommend this book for everyone who in practical terms is passionate and desires fulfilling the Great Commission with great compassion."

Bala Usman, national director, Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES)

"For those looking to expand their horizons in relation to missions, this book in an effective primer."

Daniel Camp, Baptist Standard, July 6, 2016


Foreword by Christopher J.H. Wright
Introduction: Choices

Part I: Biblical Foundations
1. How Shall We Then Live?
2. Commission and Context: Living Out Jesus' Final Imperatives
3. Five Great Commissions, One By One
4. The Great Commission: Three Takeaways
5. The Great Compassion: Caring for the Disadvantaged
6. The Great Compassion: Eight Takeaways

Part II: Lifestyle Imperatives
7. Choose: Committing to Kingdom Mission in Our Personal Choices
8. Learn: Developing an Ongoing Posture of Learning and Discovery
9. Look: Opening Our Eyes and Responding to Needs and Opportunities
10. Pray: Remembering That We Have Access to the Throne Room of God Almighty
11. Welcome and Celebrate: Looking for Ways to Welcome the Stranger
12. Simplify and Give: Making a Generous Lifestyle a Priority
13. Stand Together: Finding Like-Minded People and Advocating for Others
14. Go: Serving Crossculturally and Leaving Our Comfort Zone

Epilogue: Witnessing to All the Senses
Recommended Resources
Appendix: One Hundred Ideas for Great Commission, Great Compassion Outreach
About the Author


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Paul Borthwick

Paul Borthwick (DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior consultant for Development Associates International. His books include Western Christians in Global Mission; Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World; Great Commission, Great Compassion; and The Fellowship of the Suffering.