Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Over the next few posts I want to take some time to look at the great commission of Jesus, and what that does, or should mean in our lives.
(This is part 3 of our multi-part series on The Great Commission)
Special Forces Christianity. Get in, get the job done with the minimum of casualties, and get out.
We idolize our commando’s, our SWAT teams, our special forces. They get in, do a dangerous job, and get out with as little fuss as possible. They usually avoid the spotlight, preferring to work in the dark and just get the job done. When we meet them in person they are commanding, yet humble figures. They don’t brag about their achievements, but quietly and efficiently get the job done.
Sound a little like Christianity? I mean, they are humble, they are efficient, they follow their leader to to the death if required.
I know not all missions and outreach programs are like this, but many are, and others appear to be so. Get in, get the gospel preached, get conversions and ‘decisions for Jesus’, maybe fill out a few discipleship cards to send them our mailout and get back home and resume normal life.
Decisions for Jesus becomes our missional mantra. We desperately want to show numbers, we want to show that our preaching has been powerful and effective, our worship powerful and cutting to the heart. We have become special forces Christians.
But this is not what Jesus called us to do is it? The command wasn’t ‘get decisions for me’, or ‘see how many people come forward at an altar call’, but ‘Make Disciples‘.
Making disciples is hard work. I know, not from making them, but from being made one. I am still being made one, and until I am freed from this body of sin I will continue being made one. I have been hard work I know, because my faults have been many.
And praise God that someone didn’t stop with a ‘decision’ and say ‘God Bless, go in peace now you are a brother’, but many people over the years have taken the time to input into my life, to teach me, to guide me, to instruct me, and even to rebuke and admonish me. These people took on Jesus’ command to make disciples, rather than accepting I am ‘in the club’ now and leaving me to fall back to my old life.
So what does it mean to make disciples? It is a lifelong investment in teaching and practicing the Christian life. It is reminding people all that Jesus said, and teaching them to obey His words, just as we do. It is not just being a special forces Christian and getting a ‘conversion’ to feel good, but investing yourself into the lives of others that we all might grow closer to Jesus.
So, when you go, make a decision beforehand to follow what Jesus commanded and make disciples, not just converts.