Tuesday, February 18, 2014

4Bs and the Great Commission

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been 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 the age.” (Matthew 28.18-20)

The Great Commission defines the mission of the Church. Make disciples of all nations.

The scope of our mission is the world, concentric circles of our cities (Jerusalem), our region (Judea), our transcultural neighbors (Samaria) and our distant countries (the end of the earth) (cf. Acts 1.8)

The above text in Greek reads "make disciples, going..., baptizing..., teaching."

The Great Commission not only defines the mission of the Church but also prescribes the functional characteristics or the essential functions of the Church.

GOING: bless


As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you. (John 20.21b) The Church is led by the Spirit and is being sent out into the world (apostolic). She is always outward-focused and advancing as the change agent (light and salt). She is moving into new places in society as the beacon of hope. The Church is spiritually on the offensive. She is by nature missional. Reaching out, we are to bless.

BAPTIZING: belong


This refers to the fact that the church is a Kingdom community. Its culture reflects the character of King Jesus. It is united by one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith (cf. Ephesians 4.4-5). As people begin to follow Jesus, they create this new community because they now belong to the new reality known as the Kingdom of God.

TEACHING: believe


Teaching is more than information gathering. It is to obey. This is about transformation. Teaching to obey is for shaping our true belief system which, in turn, defines our reality. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24.45) Our full and true understanding of God, ourselves and the world is therefore critical. We are to believe the truth that sets us free.

I AM WITH YOU: be


The very presence of Jesus is promised for the Church on His mission. Because we are now united with Christ and because Jesus is in us through the Holy Spirit, our very being in Christ as defined by our relationship with God is the foundation of our collective and collaborative work and ministry as the Church.