“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
When Jesus ascended back to the right hand of the father, ,he left us with one great task. He called us to make disciples. The focus in Matthew 28 is on the process of making disciples, and too often we spend all of our time choosing to focus on a portion of this great task, but not the entire commission.
The first part of the mission Jesus gave us is to take the Gospel to all peoples of the world. That includes the neighbor across the street as well as the unreached people groups. The Great Commission, without evangelism, clearly misses the mark. There are billions of people alive today that have no hope, and we have the Truth of life. In your Sunday School classes and Small Groups, always remember that people who are far from God must always be a clear and central focus of the mission.
The other key aspect to this task is that we must teach people to obey all that Christ commanded. That means that we help them to know God, to live out His word and to pass their faith and life on to the next generation. This is essence of the Great Commission. In truth, we are called to know more about God and we need to be life long learners. However, the Great Commission is not focused on merely learning about God and His word; it’s about learning to be obedient to God through His word. Someday in eternity we will spend our time at the feet of Jesus knowing Him more and more. However, our time on this earth is limited. Therefore, we must share the truth of God’s word and focus on raising up the generations to come to do the same.
To have a robust and biblical perspective we must see all of this as part of the command of God from evangelism all the way to multiplication. So the question today is, are you leading your groups to think about reaching people, helping them grow and then sending them back out into the world to continue to multiply? Time is of the essence!
Lance Crowell serves the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention as an Associate in the Church Ministries Department.