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!