Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Marching Orders For The Church

Matthew 28:19

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,

RayMcDMy wife – occasionally – gives me a honey do list – which could be considered marching orders so to speak. She even uses – when I remind her – an application on our iPhones where she can leave me her honey do list. We share our grocery list on the same app (Reminders on our iPhones) – so when one of us is in the store we can see what the other needs or wants.

I’ve worked for a number of companies over the years – and the boss or foreman would give us daily marching orders so we could accomplish the tasks for the day. It is important to know what you on the list for the day so we are not working blindly. Focus is helped when we have a to do list each day. Do you keep a to do list – whether personal or professional?

Spring Training is less than four months away (when your team is out of the playoffs you start thinking about next year) and Buck Showalter has been known to have a very detailed plan for each day of Spring Training. The players seem to appreciate having a road map so to speak to their spring practices. I imagine Buck has already started working on his plans for Spring Training – even as he works on putting together next year’s team.

Today’s passage is part of some final instructions from Jesus to His disciples. Some have called them the Marching Orders for the church – some call them The Great Commission. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 28:16–20 – 16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So the main focus or the marching orders for the church is to go and make disciples. How’s that going? With every declining numbers in many churches and denominations – I would imagine we all have work to do with making disciples.

A small group of clergy will begin to read and discuss a book titled Membership to Discipleship this month and for months to come. The book is written by Phil Maynard and we have a short study guide from him. My hope is that it will help to sharpen our skills and give us new ideas on how to help transform members to disciples. We have 20 plus folks interested in our next membership class and I want to help them (and me) become disciples or better disciples.

The call is more than filling the pews with warm bodies. It is a call to make or develop followers – disciples – of Christ. We use to have a saying in our conference – a slogan really – Each One Win One. If we did that in our local church – each one win one – each year – our disciples would multiply and attendance would pick up – even double annually. The church needs to take seriously the call the make disciples!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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October 13, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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