Matthew 28:18-20 is the most well-known biblical record of what is commonly called “The Great Commission.” This is one of the most important commandments of Jesus that occurred just before His death. Jesus was telling the disciples what would be their “final great charge”… what they were to focus on doing as the church in the world, as the church that took on the active ministry of Jesus in the world as disciples of Jesus: Christians…“go and make disciples of all nations.” However, most disciples today, most Christians in local churches today, do not know or are aware of these famous words from Jesus. Leslie Newbigin, the greatest theologian on the mission of the church said, “We have corrupted the word ‘church’ by constantly using it in a non-missionary sense.” The church has a mission. And that mission is to make disciples and teach them to obey all Jesus has commanded.
A recent church poll showed that 51% of active church goers say that they “DO NOT know anything about the Great Commission.” That is a challenge for us and every church today. Our call is to discover and to focus on the mission of Jesus as our mission.
- How are we focusing on the mission of Jesus?
- Does it have our primary focus in all we do?
- Do we talk about it on Sunday mornings?
- Do we talk about it when we discuss any program or ministry of the church?
- Do we ask how every event we hold has a purpose and roots planted in the “Great Commission?”
- Do we welcome the inclusion of persons into our church and its ministry?
John Wesley said that that “The world is our parish.” Jesus said that we are to bring people into the church by GROWING so that we can help persons take on and live the life of Christ in the world. In the past few years, we have failed to bring new life and persons into the fellowship of our church. The task of bringing people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ is ours… all of us together. Not just statistically, but in real ways… Jesus ways of inviting people to come “do church with us!”
This September, we are going to focus on ways and events to welcome persons from our community into the church. Not demanding them to attend on a Sunday morning, but by going out to them and living our lives in such a way that people will want to love Jesus and want to be a part of the family of God. We want to be that example to them so that they may want to come and “do life as a Christian with us.” To demonstrate “radical hospitality” which means not just welcoming them, but to go to where they are. Learning about them and their needs and creating programs and events that will work together to help them “GO BE THE CHURCH!” And discover the real Jesus. That is a priority and task for each of us in the world today as a “Great Commission church.”
Throughout September, we will be looking at every aspect of our church and praying for our church… each member praying for our church, our leadership, our pastor and our mission to be seen in us and lived out through our re-focused church as we live out what it means to fully “GO BE THE CHURCH!”