Take a look at our Project 28 logo, and you'll see the slogan, "EVERYONE KNOWING DOING." What's this all about? It is a simplified version of the Matthew 28:19-20 Great Commission, our marching orders as Christians.
I sometimes find it hard to fathom how massively ambitious and audacious the Great Commission really is. There at the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus told his followers, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." These were Christ's last words on earth, our Christian mandate. If you read Christ's words carefully, you'll see how it fits our slogan:
Christian leaders are to "make disciples of all nations." This means everyone. The Christian cause isn't complete until the overwhelming majority of humanity become fully transformed followers of Christ.
Jesus said, "teach them everything I have commanded." We are to teach everyone everything. The Christian cause isn't complete until knowledge of Christ’s commands are complete in every person.
Jesus said, "teach them to obey everything I have commanded you." We are to teach everyone to follow everything Christ commanded, which, if you read Christ's Sermon on the Mount, includes all of the Old Testament as well as the New. The Christian cause isn't complete until knowledge becomes action: until our doing is as complete as our knowledge.
The Great Commission is a massive, ambitious, comprehensive assignment, no matter how you look at it. I start by thinking about this assignment as it relates to my own personal life. What kind of disciple am I? Of all the things Christ wants me to know, how much do I actually know? And of all the things Christ wants me to do, how much do I actually do? How far do I have to go to reach a hundred percent knowledge of his commands, and a hundred percent obedience to his commands? And how well am I promoting this comprehensive knowledge and obedience in others? I can tell you this: I've got a long way to go.
Then I think about my church. Of all the six-thousand-plus people that attend my church, what kind of followers are they? Of all the things Christ wants them to know, how much do they really know? Of all the things Christ wants them to do, how much do they really do? How far do they need to go to reach a hundred percent knowledge of and obedience to Christ's commands? And what are they doing to promote comprehensive knowledge and application of Christ's commands in others? I can tell you this: we've got a long way to go.
Then I think about my city. Of all the eight-hundred-thousand people living in the Pierce County area, what kind of disciples are they? Of all the things Christ wants them to know, how much do they really know? Of all the things Christ wants them to do, how much do they really do? How far do they need to go to reach a hundred percent knowledge of and obedience to Christ's commands? And what are all of them doing to promote comprehensive knowledge and application of these commands? Again, we've got a long way to go.
If we define the Christian purpose as simply "preaching the gospel," then we've got a whole lot less work to do than if we define the purpose as discipleship. And for many years, modern evangelicalism has done just that. We've all been under a bit of a misapprehension about why we're really here. But Christ clearly defined the Matthew 28 mandate as a discipleship mandate. We can't think that we've fulfilled Christ's calling as leaders if we've handed out tracts or told everyone about Jesus. We can't even see our job as finished if every single person on earth accepted Christ as Savior and Lord tomorrow. No, we've got a comprehensive world-renovating job to do, starting with the individual and working out into cultures and nations. And we've been given the assurance that the omnipotent Christ is with us and will give us the power to fulfill our task.
Far from not having enough to do, Christians have a mountain of productive work to tackle. We've got a load of room to grow, and a load of people to encourage in their growth.
Erik is the author of the personal finance discipleship system, Breaking Free: Financial Strategies that Transform Debt into Wealth. Breaking Free is like driver's ed in your financial life, a powerful integrated video curriculum that offers experiential learning, assessment, and transformation! Take our free MoneyFinder Quiz to see just how much payoff Breaking Free can create for you!