Summary: Mission, Purpose, Discipleship
AN “I” EXAM: Restoring Our Vision for Christ’s Mission – Mission Possible
Matthew 28:16-20 (p. 698) April 10, 2016
Say this with me, ready? The Mission of the church never changes!!! One more time...The Mission of the church NEVER changes!!!
And that mission is pretty simple to explain...“Go make disciples who follow Jesus.” “And then teach them to obey His commands.”
Is this Mission possible? Absolutely...we have the authoritative power of Jesus and we have His word, we have the same resurrection, the same Holy Spirit, and His same family plan for the church...so why is a mission that is absolutely possible...in fact essential for our future being ignored? I think one person got it right when he assessed the condition of the visible body of Christ when he said,
“The Church today has raised a whole generation of mules.”
I love animals...and before you get too mad at me...I know we live in Kentucky and it’s “horse central” but most people would agree with these statements:
• Mules can endure extreme temperatures better than horses.
• Mules are by most accounts noticeably more intelligent than horses.
• Mules eat less and rarely have hoof problems, unlike horses.
• Mules live longer (18 years vs. 15 years) than horses.
• Mules are generally more productive when it comes to work than horses. A mule can carry a 50-60 pound pack up to 50 miles in one day!
• As a matter of fact, about the only problem with mules is that they are almost always sterile and therefore incapable of reproduction. Durable--yes! Smart--yes! Inexpensive to maintain--yes! Hard workers--yes! But unfortunately most mules are the end of the family line. Perhaps this is what is meant by this individual who claims that we’re raising a whole generation of mules!
The church is full of hard workers. We teach classes, serve the physical needs of others, clean up and mow the grass, cook, move tables, organize social activities, visit and even write letters and cards, and do a host of other things, the vast majority of which are good and helpful ministries. There is just one problem. We’re not very good at reproducing. For some obvious reasons, we don’t share what it means to be a disciple of Christ with others so that they can know Him and enlist in His work. Many are at the end of the line when it comes to spiritual reproduction. The mission of the church given to us by our Lord is to go into all the world and make disciples of others. It is entirely possible that we can work very hard at various activities and yet still fail to get the job done. Let me say it plainly. If we are not contributing to the Great Commission by making disciples, we are not doing the job completely. If we are nothing more than a generation of infertile mules, then at least from a human perspective, we are on the road to extinction.
So once again will you repeat this truth with me? “The Mission of the Church NEVER changes!!!”
“Go Make Disciples.”
So why does any church who claims Jesus as their authoritative leader become sterile?
I. ISSUES THAT PUT THE GREAT COMMISSION OUT OF COMMISSION
The Great Commission are some of Jesus’ final words here on earth...This commission is authorized by the power of Christ, accomplished by the plan of Christ, and assured by the presence of Christ.
If the command is so simple that my 8 year old grandson, The Peanut, gets it
“Jesus Loves Us...Tell this to everybody” why don’t adult followers get is...or have stopped getting it? Well, here’s a few I believe make us mules instead of multipliers.
1. It’s not my job.
I had a friend ask me how many baptisms we had last year...and I said 8...His response was like “that’s not very many.” I stayed quiet...which is hard for me to do...but I thought...what if every committed follower of Christ led 8 people into the waters of baptism this year? or 4...or even 1.
You see the Great Commission wasn’t fulfilled in the early days of the church after Pentecost because the Apostles baptized thousands and thousands. In fact they dedicated themselves to studying the Word of God and prayer...so they could make disciples who make disciples...the Apostle Paul would say:
1 CORINTHIANS 1:14-17 (p. 793)
What kind of idiot preacher would say something like that? LOL...I’ll tell you...an idiot preacher who knew it was about Christ and not him...an idiot preacher who knew people who argue about the number of baptisms and who did it...miss the point of discipleship...baptism is essential in fulfilling this commission or Jesus wouldn’t have included it.
But the people who came to know Christ daily in Jerusalem were made by individuals who knew it was their calling...and the mission field of Paul was to make disciples who make disciples so that when he wasn’t there...they’d still be making disciples...my dad used to say “it’s more productive for 10 people to do 10 jobs...than for 1 person to try and do 10 jobs.