Jesus calls all of his disciples to live beyond personal convenience to fulfill the great commission. It’s rightly labeled great because it’s no small task, Jesus calls us to reach and disciple the entire population of the planet. Pause for a moment and think about the enormity of that call, but also consider the reality that with Him, it’s possible. Let’s take a look at how Jesus first brings the great commission to his disciples:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20
The heart of the father is that all would be saved and brought close. To fulfill this global mission, it will require us, his Church, to stay mission conscious, but there is a constant assault from the enemy to pull us off this mission. The relentless message of culture tells us we must discover our purpose, our mission, our strengths, our passions, our lane, and the way we’re directed to find this purpose is by looking inward and doing what makes me truly happy. But even with all of the strengths surveys, courses, achieving success, self-discovery trips, and checking off bucket-list items, many still come up short of living a fulfilling life. Why? Because we try to grasp for meaning within ourselves, but I’ve found purpose has been revealed as I stay on mission more than through internal contemplation.
“If you want to discover your purpose—stay on mission.”
Jesus said in Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” The enemy will always try to offer you an alternative path to fulfillment, but it never satisfies. The only way to find yourself is to lose yourself in Christ—You’ll discover your personal mission within the context of the great commission. As a follower of Jesus the great commission must occupy my attention.
Our mission can be summarized with two key words, Evangelism and Discipleship. Honestly, these are two of the scariest words to most Christians. Which is why many believers unintentionally wander off mission. I don’t think we wander because we’re heartless towards lost people but because most Christians have never been effectively discipled themselves. However, the truth is that it’s not as complicated as you might think and you don’t need a bible college degree to do your part.
Evangelism = Tell Your Story
Discipleship = Commit to Their Story
Tell Your Story
Evangelism is simply sharing the story of how Jesus has changed your life; this was the direction Jesus often gave people who encountered his ministry on earth. After an encounter with Jesus the individual in the Bible would go back to their community with no additional education or special training, they would just passionately tell their story.
Commit To Their Story
Discipleship is about committing yourself beyond personal convenience to help someone walk out their Jesus-story. We cannot expect a new believer to just figure it out on their own without someone showing them how to take those first steps. We wouldn’t expect a child to know how to ride a bike the first time you put them on it, there is a process of training before you can take the training wheels off and a new Christian needs that same initial training so they can thrive in this new life without a massive wipeout.
Living On Mission doesn’t mean that everyone has to quit their jobs and go work for a church as a pastor, but it does mean that in everyday life you Include your story and create space for theirs. It’s not about an unwelcome insertion of your testimony during every lunch break, or theological arguments on social media, but it is about not withholding the Jesus factor of your life. The hope you and I have found in Jesus, is the very thing they’re missing; we carry the answer to the pain of the world. Your family, school, workplace, and community needs to hear your story. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and empower you to confidently introduce Jesus to the people in your world.
“The great commission isn’t difficult, but it does require personal inconvenience.”
Finally, staying On Mission means creating space to show people how to follow Jesus. Leading someone to Jesus personally or bringing them to a church and seeing them respond to an altar call isn’t the finish line, it’s the beginning of the most important decision of their life. In my new book, Following Jesus, I layout the seven essentials to following Jesus for a new believer and I provide a practical section to help Christians disciple a new believer, but it really comes down to opening up our lives and inviting people to walk with us. As we passionately follow Jesus ourselves, let’s take on the mantra of the Apostle Paul:
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” —1 Corinthians 11:1
Because of the importance of this mission, I just released my new book, Following Jesus, it focuses on the seven essentials to developing a relationship with Jesus. This book will stir and strengthen your personal passion to follow Jesus and will equip you to be more effective at discipling your friends and others in your world. You can order a copy at FollowingJesusbook.com.
I’m praying for you as you follow Jesus and commit your life to fulfilling the mission that Jesus gave us!
Interview with Chris Durso on my new book and a few tips on Following Jesus.