“Growing together as disciples and going together to make disciples of neighbors and nations”
It has been said that last words are lasting words. Some of the last words Jesus spoke to his followers were,“All authority in heaven and on earth has given to me. 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 them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of this age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) With these lasting words, Jesus gave a mission to his disciples. This too, is our mission.
One Command, Three Components
Jesus commands his followers to make disciples. We carry his charge out in three ways: going, baptizing and teaching. Going involves taking the initiative to pursue people who don’t yet know Jesus with the intent of an introduction. Baptizing new disciples is the rite of initiation. It’s the symbol of a new life with Jesus. And it’s the statement of a new loyalty to Jesus. Teaching has just one purpose. Through teaching, disciples learn to obey Jesus.
It Takes One to Make One
A disciple is a learner. A person in progress. He or she is transforming into a person who thinks, feels, speaks and acts like Jesus. And for a disciple to make another person a disciple, he or she must be growing as a disciple. Which brings us to the first half of our mission statement, “growing together as disciples”. Before we are making disciples, we are being disciples. And being disciples is a community project. It’s a thing we are together. At North Church, this means we will organize as communities being disciples, committed to making disciples.
The Scope of it All
We want to do more than grow together as disciples. We are also devoted to going together to make disciples. This is the second action item in our mission statement. And it has a global scope. Jesus established our scope with his mention of “all nations”. Practically, this means we will make disciples of our neighbors living across the street. This means we will make disciples of our neighbors living across our state. And it means we will make disciples from the nations around the world.