There are many things that come under the phrase, ‘the mission of the church’. We could say that the mission of the church is to ‘observe all that Jesus commanded us to do’ (Matthew 28:19-20). And this mission includes ministry to one another as we discussed last week – to build one another up, to pray together, to help each other stay accountable to the Lord, and to challenge and equip one another.
But the local church is to be more than just a place to learn, grown, and bring our children up to know and serve God. The church has a ministry to the world – this is the church’s mission. To find out what the church is supposed to be doing in the world, we will review some of what the Bible teaches about the mission of the church.
First, Understand That God Is Always On Mission.
After the first sin, God went looking for man (Gen 3:8-9). Through Abraham, God came up with a plan to bless the nations (Gen 12:1-3). And, ultimately, through Jesus, God would come and save the world (Mark 10:45, 2 Cor 5:19).
Second, Understand That Jesus Sends the Church to Carry Out His Mission.
In John 20:21, Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.’ This mission involves the following:
1. Proclaiming the gospel to everyone.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2. Proclaiming the gospel everywhere.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
3. Making disciples of all nations, which involved going, baptising, and teaching.
Matthew 28:19–20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- To make disciples, we must go. We can’t make disciples of all nations by staying where we are. We must go out. Acts 8:4 says, ‘Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.’
- To make disciples, we must baptise. Becoming a disciple is not just about praying a prayer. It is about a firm commitment that results in a life of obeying, identifying with and following the Lord Jesus! Matthew 28:19 says, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:’
- To make disciples, we must teach. Discipleship involved ongoing teaching which is impossible without a local church. Matthew 28:20 says, ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’
4. Sending disciples out to disciple others.
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
5. Planting churches that will repeat the process.
Acts 14:21–23 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
In summary, the church’s mission to the world is to…
- Proclaim the gospel to everyone.
- Proclaim the gospel everywhere.
- Make disciples of all nations – going, baptising, teaching.
- Send disciples out to disciple others.
- Plant churches that will repeat the process.