What’s Our Mission?

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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.’

(Matt. 28:19-20 NIVUK)

As a church, our mission statement is simple: Making disciples of Jesus in Rochdale. It’s pretty much straight from the mission Jesus gave to the original disciples at the end of Matthew’s gospel. We’ve just localised it to Rochdale (our bit of “all nations”!).

Let’s briefly consider three things about that mission.

Disciples Make Disciples

Matthew is clear who Jesus is talking too when he says these words: his disciples (Matthew 28:16). So the disciples are to make more people like them. This is how Jesus gives the ongoing mission of the church. A church is a group of disciples of Jesus and disciples of Jesus are about making more disciples of Jesus.

That means there aren’t any people without a job in the church. We all have a role, because we’re all disciples. That role is to be involved in making more disciples.

Evangelism Plus

A disciple of Jesus has to be following Jesus – that’s what the word means! So making disciples involves evangelism. That is disciples will tell people who aren’t Christians about Jesus – who he is and what he’s done – so they can trust and follow Jesus. This is a critical part of our mission as a church and as individual disciples.

However, it’s not the whole story. We’re not just looking to make converts. We want to make disciples and that’s a whole-of-life process. Jesus tells us what that involves. We baptise people – the picture or sign of someone moving from not believing in Jesus to trusting him with their whole life. Then we teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded. That’s a big task, which is why we’re committed to the whole-of-our lives discipleship.

We’re Not On Our Own

If we were facing that kind of task on our own, it would be a bit overwhelming to say the least. Imagine being 11 men in Galilee being told to make disciples of all nations!

But we’re not on our own in the task. Jesus tells us he will be with us to help us all the way. And we need to remember who Jesus is. He has just told the disciples that he has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). So the ruler of all things is with us in the mission.

We might only be a little church in Rochdale, but Jesus is with us, so it isn’t mission impossible!