The Great Commission
Followers of Jesus have long believed that the chief charge from Jesus is to make more followers. In other words, we have the task of multiplying. The word used for followers in Scripture is “disicples,” and Matthew 28:19-20 sums up this commission.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I command you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
To understand the commission a little better, I’ve broken it down into four lines. The first line is the charge to make disciples of all the nations, and the last line is the comfort that we have as we make more—He is always with us. Sandwiched in between is the method of how we do that.
Does this mean that we should just dunk as many people as possible? No. Baptism had a heavy weight to it in the first century. It was an affirmation that you were forsaking all other ways and following Christ. In other words, to baptize someone meant that they had been told the gospel of Jesus, they believed in it and trusted in Him, and they were forsaking all else. That’s the first half of making disciples—calling people to trust in Christ alone for salvation.
But it does not stop with baptism. A host will not receive someone through the door only to tell him to find food or drink or rest for himself. In the same way, to make disciples means to teach young Christians to observe what Jesus commanded. This teaching and learning continues for the life of the disciple.
I believe we as a church could dive deeper into what this means for us. How do we structure ourselves so that we are a healthy disciple-making church? How do we make new converts and how do we assimilate them into our body?
On February 25, we will host the RCBA Evangelism and Discipleship Conference. I hope you will plan to attend and learn more about how we link together to make sure we are completing the charge we’ve received from Christ.