Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 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, teaching the to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age. - Matthew 28:18-20
Many of us have probably heard those verses read or maybe we have heard someone preach or teach on that Scripture. Its' called the Great Commission, but as Dallas Willard once put it, The Great Omission. As the people of God we will do all sorts of things for the glory of Jesus except the one thing that Jesus told us to do before ascending to the Father...MAKE DISCIPLES
So why don't we do it? Why do so many struggle with actually following the teachings of Jesus with this assignment?
We Don't Know What It Is
I read a sobering article sharing some of the research recently released by the Barna Group that stated 51% of churchgoers don't know of the Great Commission. OVER HALF!!!
Of the rest, the majority recognized the phrase but couldn't identify it. There was an interesting graph revealing some of the data broken down by age groups that I found fascinating as well. I would encourage you to read the article if you get a chance.
This is a sad and convicting indictment on the church in America. I would encourage you to not immediately point fingers at someone else or blame an obscure "generation." Instead let this truth first drive you to your knees in prayer.
My concern is not in the people who don't even know what the Great Commission is, but in the ones who know it and yet do nothing about it.
It Will Just Happen
For some reason, we think that obedience to the Great Commission will just happen. We think that if we just live our lives then disciples will be made accidentally. We may even be willing or interested in sharing the Gospel with someone but the perfect scenario and opening must fall into our laps.
Anything that we love passionately we will pursue intentionally.
Intentionality is so important. The Greek literally reads in Matthew 28 "As you are going." As you are going about your everyday life make disciples. This won't happen by accident. You must intentionally build your life around this pursuit.
My hope is this can be a primer for discussion with your small group, family, or reflection time between you and Jesus.
Please don't see this as a guilt trip. I have no interest in making you feel guilty. Guilt as a motivation might last a couple of days or a week at the most.
Instead let it drive you to Jesus all the more. Let your love for him grow deep and it will push you out.