What an exciting time at the Pentecostals of Sydney as we launched our 2018 theme; ‘Go Make’ and reaffirmed our vision and values. The importance of this task can not be understated since it is very easy to become distracted and deviate from the purpose and objective for the very existence of the church. It is alarming to see the level of activity in nominal Christianity and yet often still missing the most crucial part of Church.
Churches abound in good works, with giving to the needy, providing material relief and a myriad of services. While these deeds are important and occupy a part in the ministry, the unfortunate reality is that it’s often done at the expense of what Jesus called the Church to primarily do and prioritise. That is; the preaching of the good news of salvation and the discipleship of all nations to the observance of the Word.
At the other end of the spectrum, many churches have such a strong desire to reach the masses, which is to be commended, but in their great burden for this cause, they have forsaken doctrinal integrity. The demands that the Gospel places on the disciples of Jesus are left out and instead a kind of Christianity Lite is presented. This hyper grace teaching all but diminishes the need for repentance (which is an act of personal commitment and change - 2 Peter 3:9), confession (Rom 10:10), baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Mark 16:16), receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:38, Rom 8:9) and remaining faithful in the face of trial and temptation (Mark 10:22). All of these are essential for salvation in response to the grace of God. It is His grace that makes it possible at all that we have the opportunity to make these personal decisions. I am convinced that this can only be accomplished through the method that Jesus taught and exemplified; Discipleship.
It is incumbent upon the Church to focus on our purpose and primary objective and that is; to reach as many people as we can, with the teaching of Christ. This is in fact, the great commission that Jesus committed to the Church - Matthew 28:19-20:
Make Disciples of all nations, Baptise them, Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
This is what ‘Discipleship’ means.
So this year, let’s look at our habits, practices, church operations and ministry, and see whether what we are doing on a regular basis is fulfilling this model that Jesus gave to bring salvation to the world through the means of discipleship.