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Go and Make Disciples - But Go Where?

• Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

Posted in Books, Discipleship, Evangelism, Every-Member Ministry, Life in the Church, Theology

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." (Matt. 28:19)

What about the 'going'? Traditionally, this has been read as a missionary mandate, a charter for sending out gospel workers to the world. However, this can lead local churches to think that they are obeying the Great Commission if they send money (and missionaries) overseas. But the emphasis of the sentence is not on 'going.' In fact, the participle is probably better translated 'when you go' or 'as you go.' The commission is not fundamentally about mission out there somewhere else in another country. It's a commission that makes disciple-making the normal agenda and priority of every church and every Christian disciple.

The authority of Jesus is not limited in any respect. He is the Lord and Master of my street, my neighbours, my suburb, my workmates, my family, my city, my nation--and yes, the whole world. We would not ever want to stop sending out missionaries to preach the gospel in places where it is yet to be heard, but we must also see disciple-making as our central task in our homes and neighbourhoods and churches.

Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift that Changes Everything

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