I am a football fan who occasionally dabbles in watching basketball. However, I must admit that there is something exciting about March Madness! Maybe it’s the story of the Cinderella team that no one gives a shot to win, but somehow finds the right combination at the right time. Maybe it’s because of the frenzy of games and the do-or-die situation that every team faces. Whatever the reason, I enjoy the excitement. Regardless of whoever you are pulling for this much is true—no team makes it to March Madness without intentional preparation.
This same kind of intentionality is true also for the church. Jesus calls His disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8). Jesus’ call is for every church regardless of size or location. Obedience to Jesus’ disciple-making command is not for the faint of heart. Disciple-making is hard work. Faithfulness and effectiveness in the Great Commission must be intentional. If we aim at nothing, we will always hit nothing. In order to be a Great Commission church intentionality is essential.
If we do not make the Great Commission priority it will never be priority. There will always be committee meetings, staffing issues, member care concerns, as well as a whole host of other (important) matters that compete for our attention. It’s not that these issues do not need our attention as leaders in our churches, but not to the neglect of the Great Commission. To prioritize internal church issues over the external and clear command to make disciples of all nations is to minimize or even ignore Jesus’ final words to the disciples.
Because church ministry is filled with multiple layers of responsibilities, an intentional plan for Great Commission faithfulness is a must. No team aiming to arrive at March Madness does so without intentional preparation. So why would the church of our Lord be any different when it comes to following Jesus’ final earthly words?
There are multiple levels of Great Commission preparedness. Churches need to know why they exist, who they are in Christ, what they are called to do, and how they will do it. If every church is called to makes disciples of all nations (and they are!), then every church must figure out what that looks like for their congregation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the Great Commission, but there are basic principles that apply to all. The Missions Mobilization Team at the KBC is happy to help you march through disciple-making principles for your church without all the madness!