Posted tagged ‘Great Commission’

Disciple-Making and Cultural Transformation

October 27, 2010

Below is a video of Kevin DeYoung, Greg Gilbert, and Ryan Kelly talking about the mission of the church.  DeYoung and Gilbert have a forthcoming book coming out on this subject, and it will certainly be one worth reading.

However, I think Doug Wilson is on to something about seeing things a little differently as it relates to the mission of disciple-making.  Wilson argues:

The commission is not to “make disciples” in our modern individualistic sense. That is included, and amen to it. But the commission as the Lord worded it says that we are to disciple the nations. To say that cultural transformation is not part of this is to completely overlook the direct object of that verb. We are to disciple the ethnoi, their hearts, souls, and minds, but also their court systems, and their film industries, and their politics, and their art studios, and their publishing industries. This certainly means discipling their citizens, and we start with that. But it is just the beginning.

If the point of this video is to start with personal evangelism, then absolutely. If the point is to head off those who want to have a bunch of missional stuff that by-passes gospel declaration, then great. But when we make individual disciples, and we move on to the institutional structures of their cultures and societies, we are not changing the subject. We are not moving on to another area. We are not abandoning the Great Commission. We are just getting started.

What do you think?  Is cultural transformation included in the work of making disciples (which is at the heart of the mission of the church)?

The Christian Minister by William Carey

July 2, 2009

This coming Sunday, I will be preaching on a difficult passage from Matthew 10 dealing with being persecuted, hated, and some even killed because of Jesus.  This is hard for several reasons, not the least of which is that we are living in a country where real persecution, hatred, and martyrdom is seldom if ever found.  Additionally, it is tempting to read such passages of Scripture and not feel the weight of what Jesus is saying.  The “hard” passages are not hard because we have so easily dismissed them and made ourselves the exception to what Christ tells us all who follow Him are expected to experience.  Finally, I believe there is has been a wrongful separation of mission from discipleship so that one can be a listener or learner of Christ without be a laborer in the harvest fields or lead in the mission.

In any case, I think William Carey rightly understood the expectations all believers should have when on mission to make Christ known.  Consider these words, which I believe are consistent with the sending of Christ and rather inconsistent with the status-quo that both he faced then and we face today, and may our lives be wrecked by the realities of missional life in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.

“A Christian minister is a person who in a peculiar sense is ‘not his own’ (1 Cor. 6:19); he is the ‘servant’ of God, and therefore ought to be wholly devoted to him.  By entering on that sacred office he solemnly undertakes to be always engaged, as much as possible, in the Lord’s work, and not to choose his own pleasure, or employment, or pursue the ministry as something that is to subserve his own ends, or interests, or as a kind of bye-work.

He engages to go where God pleases, and to do, or endure what he sees fit to command, or call him to, in the exercise of his function.  He virtually bids farewell to his friends, pleasures, and comforts, and stands in readiness to endure the greatest sufferings in the work of his Lord, and Master.

It is inconsistent for ministers to please themselves with thoughts of a numerous auditory, cordial friends, a civilized country, legal protection, affluence, splendour, or even a competency.  The slights, and hatred of men, and even pretended friends, gloomy prisons, and tortures, the society of barbarians of uncouth speech, miserable accommodations in wretched wildernesses, hunger, and thirst, nakedness, weariness, and painfulness, hard word, and but little worldly encouragement, should be the objects of their expectation.” (emphasis mine)

– William Carey, An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use the Means for the Conversion of the Heathens

David Platt on the Great Commission

September 7, 2008

David Platt, lead pastor of The Church at Brookhills, was the guest preacher for the 2009 Great Commission Lectures at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  From those in attendance, Platt’s messages were powerfully used to impact the lives of all who were in attendance.  I encourage you to download them and listen for your own advantage.  Here are the links (MP3s):

1.  The Presence of Christ in the Great Commission (Said at Southern live-blogging)

2.  The Command of Christ in the Great Commission (Said at Southern live-blogging)

3.  The Authority of Christ in the Great Commission