Summary: How can we live our lives on mission for God?
In the Great Commission, Jesus tells us what our mission is. As we’ve pointed out, in the most familiar version of the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, we find Jesus telling us to “go and make disciples.” Our mission is to be disciples who make disciples.
“And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples - letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” - Matthew 4:19 (Amplified)
Notice how Jesus defines a disciple in this call He issued to His disciples. A disciple is one who . . .
A) Knows and follows Christ;
B) Is being changed by Christ; &
C) Is committed to the mission of Christ.
This is what we’re focused on in this message today - the priority of mission. You and I can know and follow Christ; and our church can help us do that, as well as help us be changed by Christ as we participate in worship and community; but we will fail to be the
disciple-making church Christ calls us to be unless we also encourage, equip, and empower folks in our church family to live life on mission - to be a disciple who is committed to making disciples.
Let’s consider another version of the Great Commission found in Scripture and consider what all is involved in living our lives on
mission for Christ. (READ TEXT)
1. Our Mandate - “He said”
Gene A. Getz, in his book, The Measure of a Church, asks the question, “What is the measure of maturity in the church?” And he lists what others believe are the measure of maturity: 1) An active church (involving people in meetings and programs); 2) A giving church (supporting the church and efforts financially); 3) A growing church (new people coming and staying); 4) A soul-winning church (leading unbelievers to faith and baptism); 5) A smooth-running church (efficient and orderly); 6) A mission-minded church (supports missionaries); 7) A Spirit-filled church (enthusiastic, emotional); 8) A big church (large attendance, with many programs).
God used Paul to give us a different measure for maturity of the church. Paul says that the church is mature when it functions like one body, where Jesus Christ is the Head.
Getz says that when their daughter was a newborn, they could see her eyes wanting to reach for a toy, but her hands and arms were not yet able to cooperate. As she became more mature, her body parts began to do what her “head” wanted her to do. Likewise, when we mature as the church, we individually obey what our “head,” Jesus Christ, wants us to do.
Getz says that the Church is not obedient to a set of rules. We are obedient to the Person of Jesus Christ through a trusting
relationship and to the truths He has spoken. And our obedience is not just in our head, but in the way we live and serve one another.
As mentioned last week, when Jesus called His disciples to “fish for men” they understood the call was to work as a team to reach people for Christ. That’s the mandate we have - to work together to reach others for Jesus. One key way to do this is by being part of a small group. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
2. Our Message - “the Good News”
What is the Good News we have to declare? Let’s consider the message we have to declare by looking over a classic summary of the Gospel commonly referred to as “The Four Spiritual Laws.” What makes the message of the Good News, “good?” It explains four truths:
4) Our possibility - If we will must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:1-8; Revelation 3:20).
3. Our Method - “them”
As we mentioned previously, when we mature as the church, we will individually obey what our “head” wants us to do, and we will function as part of the body of Christ. The same is true of living life on mission as part of a small group “team.”
In their book, Becoming a Contagious Christian, by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelburg, identify six styles of evangelism. As we go over each of these, think about which one might be your particular strength and style, as you discern how you can partner with others in your group to reach out to those who need to know Jesus.