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March Activate Post: Are we in danger of hoarding?


If you subscribe to cable or satellite television, I am sure you have come across the television series “Hoarders.” This show depicts the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from a compulsive disorder that drives them to secure and hold on to material things, even though they may never use them.

I know someone who suffers from a compulsive hoarding disorder. Her house is so full of things she has bought or collected over the years that it is difficult to find a place to sit. Entire rooms of her home cannot be utilized because they are so full of possessions. Her response to the dilemma has been to pay monthly rental on storage units to hold her ever-growing collections.

While this is tragic, there is potentially a greater problem of hoarding that exists in far more people than those affected by compulsive hoarding disorder. A recent report by the Barna Group (January 2019) indicated that 51 percent of US churchgoers have not heard of the Great Commission. An additional 25 percent said they had heard of the term but could not recall its meaning.

That means 76 percent of churchgoers have little grasp of the Great Commission. Given that the expression “Great Commission” is so ingrained in the vocabulary of Christian mission, one can only wonder the degree to which the 76 percent engage in any way in reaching the nations with the gospel.

The irony is that all of these churchgoers are recipients of a Great Commission culture. The gospel came to them by those who were moved in response to the Great Commission as described in verses found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, and Acts 1.

The Good News of the gospel was never meant to flow into the life of a believer and remain there for personal security and blessing alone. The thrust of the Great Commission is that we are to pass on what we have received. Thus, we are not to hoard what has been given to us. For, “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

If you feel your church could use some guidance in understanding and engaging in the Great Commission, the TMS Global church culture team offers training and coaching that will move your church to greater mission involvement. Find out more by contacting our church culture department at

Stan Self is a training consultant for TMS Global.