“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples” The words of Jesus, Matthew 28:18-19
Christians are quite familiar with the words of Jesus at the end of Matthew’s gospel. We have even given the final 5 verses of chapter 28 a name: “The Great Commission”. In our familiarity, we are not only cognizant of where the words are, and what they mean, but are fairly clear That this is what the church is supposed to do, all the way until Christ returns.
Jesus said that all authority, both in heaven and earth, (i.e. everywhere, for all time) is His. It is His because the Father (God) has bestowed it upon Him. Subsequently, He then chooses to place a certain amount of authority to His followers. This “commission” is ours then, bestowed upon us by Christ. A commission that involves proclaiming the gospel so as to make disciples – true followers – of the one we are commissioned to work for.
This is rather straight forward, isn’t it? It is not hard to understand this commission. But, do we also grasp the implications of the Great Commission. It is something we must OWN.
When I worked in corporate America for a rather large consumer packaged goods company I was trained that as an account manager I “owned” the results. I was given resources both financial and human to achieve set dollar sales goals. I was a manager and owned the outcome. Success or failure was, quite literally, on my shoulders. And I must admit I experienced both successes and failures. I had to own the outcome rather desirable or undesirable.
I think this concept of personal ownership of something plays in other arenas of our lives. Do we own the success or failure of friendships and even our marriages? Do we own the responsibility of raising Godly children? Equally as important, do we OWN the ministry outcome of our church?
I heard it said one time that nobody every washes a rental car. But, everyone will attend their own wedding. What is the difference? The difference is what you have at stake. The difference is ownership. A rental car is somebody else’s. Why put such care into something you are just renting? At your wedding you have, as it is often put, “skin in the game”. There is something great at stake. You are making a commitment for life. Marriage is between two people. But, each person must own what they are pledging to on their wedding day. Ownership is a big deal.
Members of churches, do you have the same level of ownership in the outcome of your church as you do in other areas of your life? It is a great thing to be a member of a local church. But, membership is more than a name on a role. It means you have a stake in the game. You have a real part to play in the ministry outcome of the church. Own it. Cherish it. Polish, it. Care for it. Serve it. Give to it. Make sure that nothing will stand in the way for your church to have the greatest impact in the community, region, and the world.