Missions, What It Involves
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The Great Commission involves many elements. These include witnessing, proclaiming, making disciples, baptizing and cultivating. In defining the task of making disciples, three important roles must be noted: going, baptizing, and teaching. Besides baptizing and teaching, missions is also about going, or the sending out of people as missionaries to do God's work. A missionary is one who is called by God to go across geographical or cultural distances to carry out the Great Commission in part or in full. This specific calling is not the same as the general calling to the Great Commission, where all Christians are to play their part to "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them … and teaching them" to observe all that Jesus has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20 NAS).
The apostle Paul provides a good example of the type of specific calling to missions, in which he demonstrated four distinct categories of missionary ministry in: preaching the gospel to the unreached (Romans 15:20), building up and edifying the newly reached (Romans 15:22-29), teaching discipleship and theology to the misled (Romans 15:31), and feeding the 'poor among the saints' or the unfed (Romans 15:26). All these four ministries are legitimate missionary tasks.
In understanding that missions is not just about preaching the gospel and bringing people to Christ, let us all as Christians desire to be trained in the understanding of God's word, in theology and discipleship, to help nurture new believers to grow in the LORD and build them up to make disciples too, not forsaking the good works in continuing to meet the needs of the deprived and the unfed, by which we can then bear a better witness in presenting Christ to them.
For the complete e-book of this article, please read Introduction to Christian Missions.
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