In 2014, I shared a message with our church regarding our fulfillment of the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28. Let me remind us what it says,
Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.”
In the message, five changes and one reminder were offered that I hope to find true in my own life as we move into 2015.
Change #1: Move from working as campus chaplains to advancing as kingdom missionaries
- Churches are not to hide on campuses.
- We are told to “go” or “as you are going.”
- Wherever people are is where we are to be.
- The church campus and gatherings serve as launching pads, not as a monastery.
Change #2: Move from participating in religious programs to becoming lifestyle disciple-makers
- Programs are the paths of least resistance because disciple making is messy.
- Programmatic growth is the last vestige for sterile ministries.
- We want relationships that result in eternal transformations.
Change #3: Move from a perceived home field to active global engagement
- The mission of God includes our community but does not end with our community.
- God calls the church to the world.
- God calls our church to be a global sending center.
- God calls every believer to be a global missionary.
Change #4: Move from creating consumers of religion to community builders of the church
- We are baptized to publicly declare our surrendered before God’s sovereignty.
- It is secondarily a public alignment with the church family.
- The consumer mentality needs to die a quick death so we can become hyper-focused on the needs of people in our community.
Change #5: Move from being knowledge junkies to Jesus followers
- Too often, our knowledge has outpaced our obedience.
- It is easier to desire behavior modification from masters of biblical trivial pursuit. But that is not discipleship.
- “The gospel of sin management has produced vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else.” – Dallas Willard
- Jesus wants followers. He began the apostles’ work with “Come” and ended his training with “Go.”
- The gospel gives us the beautiful potential to be people who imitate Jesus.
One Empowering Reminder: The authority and presence of Jesus is what makes all of this a reality.
- Jesus has all of the authority and promised to never desert us.
- None of the five changes are possible by our own wit and self-determination. Jesus, however, loves to do the impossible.
I hope that all of our churches will once again lean into the beauty and the mission of Jesus’ work for us.