Fulfilling the Great Commission as Ordinary Christians


When we think of the Great Commission we usually have in mind career missionaries going overseas or cross-culturally. Definitely that's an important part of the Great Commission. But not all will become full-time missionaries. Some will be stuck in the home taking care of their children or to some their aging parents. Some will be managing family business. A few might even do both. Still some will probably stay in their local churches serving for the rest of their lives. Does that mean that they can't fulfill the Great Commission?

Let's look at it this way. Yes, the Great Commission takes place cross-culturally and in faraway places as missionaries are sent out to preach the gospel, make disciples of Christ, and start a church. However, ordinarily it happens in our homes, our workplaces, in the church, at school, even in some unexpected places.

The Great Commission begins at home where Christian parents are patiently teaching and disciplining their children in the ways of the Lord, including doing cheerfully simple house chores. Disciple-making takes place at home where husbands and fathers lead their families in reading the Bible, in teaching their families the precious doctrines of the Christian faith, and in leading their wives and children in prayer. Remember that as believers our children also belong to the Lord. We consider them disciples also. They also need to be taught of the teachings of Christ until they, too, would profess faith in him.

Proper understanding of the Great Commission would also lead Christian single men and single women to seriously consider marriage with a fellow believer in the Lord in order to build a home where Christ is honored as Lord, where his Word is taught and obeyed, and where children are nurtured to believe and serve God.

The Great Commission also happens in the workplace where Christian professionals and employees bear witness to the grace of God in their words (evangelism) and their good deeds to their fellow workers. They are the light of Christ in the workplace bearing good works as testimonies to the power and presence of God in their lives.

The Great Commission is also being fulfilled in Christian schools where children are taught in every subject the truth about God not only as the great Creator and Lord of the universe but also as the Redeemer and Savior in the person and work of His Son Jesus Christ. So Christian teachers are also fulfilling the Great Commission in the workplace.

And of course, in the church, where everyone is being taught of the gospel and its implications in personal lives and in the life of the whole community of faith, the Great Commission also takes place. Our Reformed churches must always proclaim the gospel in the pulpit, in Sunday school classrooms, in catechism classes, and in the nursery. Every member of the church must be captured and saturated by the same good news of salvation so that each one and the whole body naturally bear the gospel-fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. We need the gospel not only to fulfill the Great Commission but also to live daily the Christian life bearing witness for Christ.

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