Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples of all nations. It was a command that He expected them to obey immediately. But now — and until He returns — He expects us to obey this command as well. Here is His command,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)
This is also called the Great Commission.
If you read the Book of Acts, you will notice that the apostles obeyed this command in a particular way.
First, they proclaimed the good news about Jesus Christ.
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36)
Those who choose to believe were baptized and they become members of the fellowship of Christ followers.
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:37-41)
This fellowship of Christ followers were later called the church. They were characterized by three essential activities:
Discipleship – 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. (Acts 2:42-43)
Nurturing Relationships – 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. (Acts 2:44-47a)
Apostolic Mission – And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47b)
This became the essence of the early church, its DNA. In other words, the church in its essence is actually very simple. Since then, whenever and wherever the church is started, these three essential activities are always present. The church may become complicated later on as it grows, but in its essence these three remain: Discipleship, Nurturing Relationships and Apostolic Mission. We call this model the Simple Church.
If you want to reach your loved ones and friends, start a Simple Church.
The first step is to invite them to know about Christ and His teachings, and to try to practice those teachings in practical ways. This is called Discipleship. You use the Gospels for this (using the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).
Next, you need to learn from Jesus how to love each other. This is called Nurturing Relationships. More of this later.
Last but not the least, you need to learn from Jesus how to bless others by the power of God. This is called Apostolic Mission.
Are you ready to try this?
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