What is the mission of the church? To prepare the Christian to be missionaries to the world around them.
To be honest I think of the word “missional” is a made up buzz word. It’s all hip and cool, like a venti mohca frappacino, but I do sincerely believe in the principles of “missional”. The mission of the church is simple and clearly laid out in scripture: “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.” It’s interesting to me that the imperative here in this sentence isn’t the word “Go” it’s “make disciples” that’s a part of this instructions that’s overlooked a lot. We have a tendency, especially in the SBC to overemphasis the “Go” and we have an even worse tendency to turn the word disciples into “converts.”
Why is that? Why is the imparitive part of the great commission the part that is missed by some?
Why are some in the evangelical community content to make converts and not disciples?
Making disciples is hard, it’s messy and it’s frustrating, but most of all it takes time.
Disciple making should and will be a natural process. God has put each of us where we are for a reason. Acts 17 says this: “He has made…every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings“
Furthermore, as a man and husband and father, I have a responsibility to make disciples out of my children. I once heard a pastor say that every father is already the pastor of his own little church. 3 John 1:4 says: I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth.
Salvation belongs to the Lord, he is the author and perfector of faith. We cannot save anybody, only God can. Only God can open the doors to others hearing the gospel. But we have a part in that…and what is it? Prayer and proclamation of the gospel…for faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God.
Any church that’s not being a missional church is a social club and not a church at all. The church was created for a mission, and the mission is not to stamp out hunger or take care of the poor, the church exists to make disciples who make disciples who plant more churches that make more disciples…etc…
It’s very easy to reduce the mission of the church to social action and while social action is good if done for the right reasons, it’s not part of a missional church. Social action-driven mission isn’t unique to the church.
When Paul and Silas weren’t arrested and thrown into prison for feeding the poor and taking care of the sick and needy, they were arrested and thrown into prison for the proclamation of the gospel, and as soon as they were released from prison they went back out and continued to proclaim the message of the gospel. While feeding the poor and taking care of the sick and needy is VERY important and can open doors for sharing the gospel…we can’t stop at the taking care of part, Paul and Silas didn’t …and sometimes that will have consequences.