Then Jesus came to them and said, “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 28:19-20
The Gospel of Matthew highlights the kingship of Jesus. The Great Commission, thus, reflects God’s thoughts about Jesus’ kingdom and its mission. King Jesus came to declare and establish His kingdom. He spent the bulk of the three and a half years of His earthly ministry discipling a band of twelve men. Rather than planting a hundred churches, He disciples twelve church planters. Rather than doing all the work of missions Himself, He creates missionaries. He invited ordinary men to be a part of His Kingdom work, then equipped and empowered them to carry out the task. This invitation, equipping, and empowerment extend to all believers today. Along these lines, we believe firmly believe that as Christians we “gather to scatter”. We pray for powerful gatherings here at CFC so that we can have effective scatterings to the ends of the earth.
We believe that the Great Commission provides two main foci for missions. The first is to “go to all the nations” and “baptize them”. This is the evangelism aspect of missions. We must reach people from every ethnic group. If there is a group of people that does not know about the Good News of Jesus Christ, someone must go. We must preach the Gospel so that they would trust in Jesus Christ alone (by faith) for salvation, as pictured in these verses through baptism.
But there is more. Missions is not just about evangelism but also about discipleship. The second focus of the Great Commission is to “teach them to obey everything.” We are to teach people to obey. Teaching does not involve merely the transfer of information but transformation into Christ-likeness.
Thus, the “missions mandate” has two prongs. It involves both a ministry to unbelievers (evangelism) and a ministry to believers (discipleship). Using this as our theological framework, CFC is trying to participate in the Great Commission at this point in Redemptive History.