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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. ~Matthew 28: 18-20
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus’ last words to his disciples were to “go…and make disciples of all nations.” The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church tells us that the mission of the local church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Our mandate is clear.
I have recently heard it said that the greatest weakness of the church today is that we tend “to look in the mirror more than we look out the window.” Another way of putting it is that the church as a whole is more concerned about self-preservation than about the task of being out in the world making disciples of all people. Yet, ironically, our very preservation is dependent on our ability and willingness to set aside our own agendas and work under God’s agenda. Still, somehow, we seem to be forgetful of this; of Jesus’ call to be out in the world seeking out the lost and sharing the message of God’s love in the darkest recesses of our society. But God does not give up on us, and neither should we give up!
With a revitalized Children’s and Youth Sunday School kicking-off this month and with the Pumpkin Patch coming up next month, Grace is primed to welcome any and all who stand “outside our windows.” We have education offerings for children, youth, and adults. We have inspiring worship with great music. We are warm and friendly to any and all who step foot on our campus. So the task before us now is to step beyond the walls, to stop simply admiring ourselves in the mirror, and to be in the world looking out for those who hunger for the Bread of Life and who thirst for Living Water.
Will we take the next step? With Grace primed to “make disciples,” will we do what it takes to seek out those people in our lives and in this community who are frantically searching for the transformation that is only possible in Jesus? The time has come! Our mandate is clear! It’s time for us to let our friends know of all the great stuff that’s happening at Grace. It’s time to spread the word in the community about everything that Grace has to offer. It’s time for us to share the message of God’s love with the nations! Let’s go and make disciples!