Based on Biblical Text: Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
We need to ask ourselves sometimes, “What has made an impact on us lately?” Is it our family? Could it be our neighbors or our community? I wonder how many folk would say the Church has impacted their lives.
I think maybe the greater question is not has the church impacted us, but has our church made an impact in someone else’s life? The church is obviously the company of all Christians. The impact is the effect or impression we have made on another. So then, a church of impact consists of Christians collectively effecting or making an impression on others with the good news of Jesus Christ.
That is exactly what Jesus had that in mind when He said, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Jesus was not in the business of giving those standing around Him a nice colloquial phrase to utter every now and then to a gathered group of people called the church. Rather, He was intending to impact His followers in order that they themselves as the Church might make an impact. We find in our text the goal, strategy, and commitment level needed to be successful as a church.
Clearly our defined goal is to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things. The emphasis of making disciples is to get folk saved through Jesus, baptized into Jesus, taught about Jesus, and encouraged to follow Jesus.
The truth of the matter is over the past year and beginning this new Conference Year, we as a church have made some good decisions about the development of our programs, budget, and building. However, the measurement of success for our church is not the programs, budget, or buildings. The true measurement of success for our church is in the production and development of disciples. The programs, budget, and building should be utilized to help us make disciples.
When Jesus said, make disciples, He was not looking for good decisions; He was looking for good disciples. We must understand our defined goal is to make disciples. With a defined goal as the church, we need to determine our strategy. Our strategy is simple and intentional. Jesus said go therefore.
To simply and intentionally go therefore implies we go with a certainty knowing and understanding our goal. The Bible reminds us that, then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach. We are challenged that going involves reaching out. We are admonished to go where the people are. We are to bring people into the fellowship of the church. We are to be about building up teaching and training people.
The Bible reminds us, as you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)
Jesus wants us to understand that people reach people, not programs. Jesus was all about reaching people, and He did that by going to them. The way we go could possibly be up for discussion. Some will suggest we go door to door, while others will work to develop relationships and friendships. However, the goal is always making disciples.
Many evangelists argue that one of the true tests of whether or not a church is making an impact for Christ is not by how many people it takes in, but by how many people it sends out. Jesus had in mind, then, and still has in mind, that His disciples simply and intentionally go therefore. He leaves no room for negotiation. We are all called to go and make disciples. Jesus had in His mind and heart total commitment as He clearly says, “I have commanded you.”