The Great Commission

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Helen, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    When I read this, at the end of Matthew, I read that we are to make disciples, not make believers. It is my impression from reading the Bible that the matter of believing, as in more than an intellectual acknowledgement but a life trust, is a personal matter between the Lord and the individual.

    But making a disciple, from what I can see, is walking alongside a new believer and praying, encouraging, and explaining to them about obedience to Christ and trust in Him.

    I was thinking about this when I read bapmom's post in the church size thread. And this is absolutely NOT an attack on her or her thoughts, but rather an attempt to clarify things, perhaps in my own mind.

    I know missions are a big part of most churches, and I would never argue with that goal of reaching the world with the Good News of Christ. But I don't think that is what the Great Commission is talking about. I think, perhaps, it is talking about how mature Christians are to reach out to young Christians everywhere and encourage and train them. This is not a matter of classes or large groups, but a matter of one-on-one relationships, so that, as they begin to have enough time with the Lord to know they can trust Him with everything in their lives (which so few seem to do now, anyway), then they, in turn, can reach out to new Christians and encourage them and pray for them and train them.

    It's not a matter of seminaries or church ministries, I don't think. It is a matter of knowing the Lord in your own life and then reaching out to others who have, so to speak, just met Him, and helping them along until they are more sure and mature in their faith and lives in Christ.

    Something that Barry and I have noticed in American churches is this great emphasis on evangelism with an almost complete lack of concern with building up the Body of Christ. That is something we have found very disturbing, for the result is a vast Christian population still on milk and so very, very vulnerable to false teachings and 'how to' books and lessons.

    We are, in short, not paying much attention to the Great Commission where are own neighbors are concerned, whom we are to love as we love ourselves...

    Again, I am not saying foreign missions are not to be considered or supported, but the fact is that America is considered so pagan now that African countries are sending their Christian missionaries to us!
     
  2. bapmom

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    I appreciate the discussion, Helen, and I can agree with your point.

    As far as foreign missionaries go, I see them as definitely doing both of these things....

    It is vital to a missionary church to train as many of its converts as are willing, in order to fill the positions there that we here in America just take for granted. Foreign mission field churches also tend to do more training of their own men to go out and start new churches in other areas of their own country. We'll see a relatively small missionary church (30, 40 or 50 people) and they have sent out ten men into outlying villages to start new churches. Here in the States we almost can't do that, because we seem to think that in order to start a church one must have several degrees behind his name first. The foreign mission field church does not have that luxury, and yet they are fulfilling the entire Great Commission better than we are here, I think.

    I do believe though, that you cannot train converts if you do not at first make converts.
     
  3. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    The key to Christ's great commission involves MUCH more than just telling people to believe in Jesus. Jesus also said to go into the world, preach the gospel and make disciples, BAPTIZING them into the triune name. The average layman cannot do all those things.The lay person can share the gospel, but anything further than that, the new believer should be directed to a church and be baptized as well.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Hi Ron,

    Why can't the average layman do all these things?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    Because the average layman is not trained in these areas. Preaching is truly a GIFT, trust me. I have sat under some bad, bad so called preachers. Also one has to know how to share the Gospel with people from different walks of life. MOST are not receptive and it takes a lot of patience and tact.

    I personally believe baptizing should be performed by a minister IN A CHURCH as the norm. Because when one is being baptized, they are public ally showing to others that they indeed are being obedient to the Lord's command and wanting to be a part of a local church at the same time.
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Ron,

    1. What if a layman is trained in these areas?

    2. None are receptive without the regenerating power of God working in their lives. They are spiritually dead.

    3. Do you believe this about baptism because of something in the Bible or because it is a cultural norm for our society today? Neither one, btw, is a bad thing necessarily, unless one tries to force a non-biblical cultural norm on the Church as if it were a mandate from God himself from the Word of God.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. gb93433

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    Evangelism is often emphasized because it requires little commitment to another. You can lead a person to Christ in 20 minutes to two hours but it takes 20 months to two years to get them on the road and growing to the point where they can begin to reproduce themselves in the lives of others.
     
  8. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    gb93433

    Your dreaming my friend. People come from all walks of life. They have different religious, moral and spiritual ideas. You have to LISTEN to them first and see what THEY believe first. Most people think you are selling them "your church". Many will say I'm Catholic. Some will will just brush you off entirely.

    People aren't going to just stop what they are doing and think, "oh goody, I can't wait to hear this guy preach to me today, when I got better things to do." No, it takes patience and tact and twenty minute ready made presentations cannot be forced upon someone.
     

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