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preaching article Alan Hirsch: The Great Commission Isn't About Evangelism

Alan Hirsch: The Great Commission Isn't About Evangelism

based on 7 ratings
Jan 20, 2014

Alan Hirsch's shocking observation might just influence the way you preach in the coming year.

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Derek Mccosh avatar
Derek Mccosh
0 days ago
You can't make a disciple without evangelizing first. The great commission also speaks of baptizing. He failed to mention that, and he failed to mention "going," instead jumping to teaching. I agree; the Great commission is about Making Disciples, but it's also more than just teaching. The title is misleading, and I don't think it accurately portrays what Hirsch is saying in the video. He includes evangelism, pointing out that he himself is still being evangelized.
Steven Chapman avatar
Steven Chapman
0 days ago
What Hirsch is pointing out has to do with the very verbal forms in Greek. Only one imperative occurs in the text --"make disciples". The other three go, baptize and teach are participles that define how the imperative is accomplished. Your comment unfairly implies his rejection of the evangelistic task, in favor of discipleship. His comment is relevant to those who define the purpose of the of the church as exclusively evangelistic. His remarks are not a rejection of evangelism, but a rejection of the perspective that sees evangelism as the whole of our mission, rather than the initiating step in the fuller process of discipleship.
Derek Mccosh avatar
Derek Mccosh
0 days ago
Thanks for your concern ,and I completely understand the Greek sentence structure. That actually drove my comment. And if you look closely I noted I agree with Hirsch that the Great Commission is primarily about Making Disciples, and my final comment notes that he includes evangelism. However, my point was in the next to the last sentence--that the title of the video is misleading. It leads one to believe that Hirsch doesn't believe evangelism is a part of the Great Commission.
Steven Chapman avatar
Steven Chapman
0 days ago
Agreed - the "tease" was poorly worded.
Joel Rutherford avatar
Joel Rutherford
0 days ago
One can't 'obey' one's way into the Kingdom of God. We have only to look at what happened in the book of Acts. The apostles did not begin discipling small groups of people after the Holy Spirit fell. Philip did not go to Samaria to begin discipling. Peter did not tell Cornelius' family to join a discipleship group. All of these began to be discipled the moment they received the salvation that comes instantaneously in a moment of grace.
Steven Chapman avatar
Steven Chapman
0 days ago
It does define the routine of the church as discipling in Acts 2:42, in both the context of large and small groups. According to Matthew 28, disciples didn't begin after conversion, it begins with the going, continues through the baptism and on into the teaching until Christlike obedience results. Consider the various verbal forms.
Clement Corimbelly avatar
Clement Corimbelly
0 days ago
I think that the goal of evangelism is to make people disciples of Jesus Christ. But unless we speak about Jesus to these people in the first place, there is no way they will want to follow. It is like looking for some one to marry. No one will engage thus in such a relationship unless both parties come to know each other in some way or another, and that this same relationship grows. Then, we will say: Will you marry me? So, like Romans 10:17 -"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. When the person to whom we are evangelizing will comes to that faith, there is no reason why he will not commit to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is true also that as Alan Hirsch says, we are all being evangelized continually - I think to become more and more consecrated to His cause.
Dan Grissom avatar
Dan Grissom
0 days ago
There is no line between discipleship and evangelism. Baptism is part of the process, which means some one has come to faith and teaching them to obey is what happens afterward. I'm always amazed at how many books and conference seats can be sold when some one has a "shocking" observation. Really? Shocking? Hardly . . .
Derrick Tuper avatar
Derrick Tuper
0 days ago
We are called to go make disciples, not merely converts. Alan talked about that including teaching someone about obedience. It's not just about getting someone to agree that they're a sinner and that they need Christ's forgiveness. Making a disciple is making a follower. A disciple means student-one who follows another's teachings. Remember, John the baptist had disciples. If I read into what Alan was saying I think he is implying that we are not to simply evangelize (tell someone about forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross), we are to also teach them about the Lordship of Christ and their need to devote themselves to it (make a follower-a disciple). It's basically giving someone the big picture regarding their decision for Christ.
Raj Mohan Paul avatar
Raj Mohan Paul
0 days ago
Great commission is the product of our acceptance of the gospel. Making disciples is not shocking for people who are already doing so. Evangelism is just the first step and then everything mentioned in Mt 28:18-20 follows without making excuses. This command is not only for pastors, leaders of the church and for a few who have been called, but for every Disciple of Christ.
Tc Williams avatar
Tc Williams
0 days ago
It's all about Evangelism - to teach someone you have to lead them to Christ; then you teach them to do what Jesus commands which part of it is to teach them how to lead people to Christ and duplicate themselves . It's all about Evangelism!
Steven Chapman avatar
Steven Chapman
0 days ago
To make it all about evangelism is to say Jesus commission is to seek decisions, rather than make disciples. Evangelism is only the starting gate for discipleship.
William Mudavanhu avatar
William Mudavanhu
0 days ago
Yes, if evangelism has to kind of find its way in the process of discipleship, we would have put the cart ahead of the horses. I would say evangelism comes first and then discipleship is continuous later since we can never be DONE with knowing Jesus.
Paul Fritz avatar
Paul Fritz
0 days ago
The great commission is referenced seven times in the NT all of which involve evangelism: Mark 16:15 Christ tells us to preach the gospel to every creature. Acts 1:8 Christ commands us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the utter most parts of the earth. In Luke 24:44-48 Jesus commands us to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins. In John 20:21 Christ commands us, "As the Father has sent me, so I send I you." (Luke 19:10 says, "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which are lost. Acts 26:18 Christ commanded Paul to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and deliver them from powers of Satan so they might receive forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ. Romans 15:20,21 Paul declared his ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named. To divorce evangelism from the Great Commission is unbiblical.
Bill Williams avatar
Bill Williams
0 days ago
I would agree with your final statement, but I don't think that's the point the video is making. The video is targeted more towards those who would divorce discipleship from the Great Commission (which is likewise unbiblical). He's not saying the Great Commission does not involve evangelism. He's saying evangelism takes place in the context of discipleship, not the other way around. In other words, evangelism is only a part of the whole, not the whole itself.
Shamsher Singh Bahadur avatar
Shamsher Singh Bahadur
0 days ago
Thank you Paul for pointing out that evangelism is an important part of the 'Great Commission'. But as others have commented, even citing grammatical support, making disciples is the imperative. From an Indian church community perspective undue emphasis on evangelism has led to many turning back to their original faith and thus harming the cause of Jesus. In our context we need to disciple and evangelize so that God brings forth in the power of the Holy Spirit disciples rooted and firm in their faith and ready to answer with confidence, Why I am a disciple of Jesus Christ? When neighbors ask for an answer. My concern is that we have many believers that are not disciples because they have not been taught how to become one. And because they are not disciples in times of persecution they falter and fail.

So, what did you think?


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