16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
AuthorityThe mission of the church is not something Jesus has left us to get on with. If it was, then it would be a daunting task, and rightly so, because we would fail. In our strength, we can not transform anyone’s life. But this is Jesus’ mission that he is inviting us to be a part of. All authority has been given to him in heaven and on earth. There is no higher authority than that! And he tells us he will be with us always, to the end of the age. That is forever! If Jesus wants something to happen, it will happen. He doesn’t need us for his mission, but he wants us, being part of this mission is what we were designed for. Sitting around discussing the bible with fellow Christians without the gospel getting beyond that is dysfunctional, and it probably means we haven’t understood the bible that we are reading!
DisciplesThe mission is making disciples. Discipleship is a life-long process. Making disciples is not the same as making converts. People will be “converted” as they hear and respond the gospel (baptising them... v19) but that is only the beginning of a life-long journey of growing in our understanding of who God is and what he has done and becoming more like him (teaching them to obey... v20). This mission is not limited to “professionals” or people who are really keen - but to all disciples. We should all be disciple-making disciples, who are making disciple-making disciples!
EverywhereWe are to make disciples of all nations (v19). Acts 1:8 elaborates, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” This involves some going across the world, but it also involves us going across the street. We are missionaries in our families, workplaces and social networks. God has determined the places and times that we live in order that some may come to know him (Acts 17) and we should see our whole life as a mission field. This is not about setting up events, it is about building relationships and sharing the gospel. It is ordinary people living ordinary lives with gospel intentionality.