Commission and commands – Priorities for the Church
By Mark McIntyre
When thinking of the mission of the church, many will take the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) as a starting point. In that commission, Jesus tells us to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them. It is succinct and speaks directly to the issue. This is a good launch point for the mission of the church.
But this mission must be evaluated against something that Jesus said earlier in his ministry as being foundational. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus tells us that the two Great Commands are to love God and love your neighbor. He further states that “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Disciples have to be made by people who first love God with their entire beings. The disciple making process cannot be our first love. “Soul winning” results cannot be our first love. Being in connection with people cannot be our first love. Disciple makers must first and foremost be those who love God.
Secondly, disciples are made by people who love people unconditionally. Not with a mushy anything-goes love, but with a dynamic (root meaning – powerful) love that draws people into relationship and makes them better.
Since these are the two Great Commands, since Jesus tells us that upon these commands all of Scripture depends, then I doubt that they can be over emphasized. I do not think that we can talk about them too much.
Disciples are not made by methods. Sure there are programs that have helped people explain their faith better. There is nothing wrong with being organized or using tools such as the wordless book. But we must remember that the tools and the programs do not bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ.
Followers of Jesus Christ bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus does the saving, the believers make the introduction…
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