After Jesus was risen from the dead by God the Father, he spent an additional 40 days on the earth, visiting and teaching his disciples (disciplined followers). At one point, when the disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where they were told to go, they saw Jesus. He said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20 NIV). This is known as the great commission, which is simply an empowering and instruction for all followers to carry out the will of Jesus.
We can see 5 important highlights in the great commission:
- Jesus now carries all the authority in heaven and on earth.
- We are asked to make disciples (disciplined followers) of all nations.
- We are asked to baptize (submerge in water, which is an act of obedience to God, and a demonstration that you are proclaiming publicly that you are a follower of Christ Jesus, and that you have been born again - see John Chapter 3) followers in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.
- We are asked to teach followers to obey everything Jesus commanded us.
- And, Jesus will be with us through every step of the way.
If we consider ourselves followers of Christ, then we must implement what He asks of us. The Great Commission is one of the primary goals of any form of Christian ministry. The truth and good news of Jesus Christ must be shared with others, and it should be shared by word and demonstration (through Speaking and Living it out in our own lives).
How do we do this?
The 2 Greatest Commandments?
In the old testament of the Bible, God had given to his people 10 commandments to assist with right living. In the book of Matthew (new testament of the Bible), a man asked Jesus which of the commandments were the greatest of all.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV).
- Love God with everything in you
- Love other people the way you love yourself
If we practice these two commands, then we will not break the laws of God, or go outside of His will.
I sometimes just meet with friends over a simple cup of coffee to share life, update each other, and to pray. Often times, I don’t have any great words of wisdom or concrete advise. I just offer myself as a friend, listen, encourage others to stay the course with God, and pray. I’ve found that simply loving people and encouraging them in the Lord can be far more effective than preaching a sermon or providing a blue print of directives to accomplish. My goals are certainly the same though, regardless. I am loving God, loving people, and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, there are many types of ministry that you can participate in or even lead, but remember to keep the first thing the first thing. Pray and talk honestly with God. Develop a relationship with Him. Ask Him questions. Allow Him to lead and guide you into the ministry He has for you. When you do eventually connect with the things you were purposed to be involved with, don’t forget to thank God for His wisdom and guidance in your life. Don’t stop praying, continue to keep the lines of communication open with the Lord and He will continue to direct you. Begin to share your life and love with others, pray for them also, and you will find that the reward can be greater than you ever imagined.
We will discuss further some different types of ministry in future posts. In your spare time, check out Proverbs Chapter 3, Verse 5.