Read Lead Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Ponderings here!
Are We Obeying Jesus' Great Commission?by Duane Mabee on September 22, 2021
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20 ESV
Can we honestly say that we are obeying Jesus’ great commission if we are not actively reaching our own community with the gospel? Even if our involvement in world missions is stellar, we are not obeying Christ’s command if we aren’t doing anything to reach our next-door neighbor or the lost and hurting down the street.
Most of you know me well enough to know that I am all for global missions. Our personal and family record demonstrates that sufficiently. I am passionate about seeing the nations gain access to the gospel message. But I’m deeply concerned that most American churches, including ours, are not all that enthused about reaching the people closest to us. We are willing to give to support those who go. We keep up with the stories about their work, and we pray – all of which is good and should be increased. But those things require so little of us compared to getting our hands dirty in the work of reaching our own community.
Our theme this year is “All of Jesus for All the World”. It’s a great theme. It’s a Biblical theme. But it is a theme we are only giving lip service to if we aren’t actively trying to reach Hixson, Soddy-Daisy, Dayton and Ooltewah with the gospel.
Reaching our community will require a lot more than having a church building in it. It will require us to come together in organized ways to connect with people outside of these four walls. It will also require us as individuals to intentionally connect with people out in our community. We must actively build relationships that provide bridges for sharing the gospel.
Until we do that, we can’t honestly say we’re obeying Jesus’ commandment. Can we? And, if we aren’t doing that, we can’t honestly claim that He is with us. Can we? Just some things to think about.